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Iron Pagoda

The Iron Pagoda is located at the northeastern corner of Kaifeng. It is a huge pagoda built of glazed bricks, but it looks like an iron-cast one, hence the name "Iron Pagoda". The iron pagoda is a most valuable structure left over from the Northern Song Dynasty more than 900 years ago.

The pagoda is a thirteen-storeyed building. It is 55.9 meters high, which is the tallest and largest among the existent glazed-brick pagodas in China. The tower was designed in the form of an octagon with each side measuring 4.16 meters in width at the base and tapering upwards. The whole pagoda is covered with more than 80 different varieties of colorfully glazed bricks. There is a 168-step brick staircase inside the pagoda spiraling up along its central pillar.

There are many "structural bricks" of different shapes and sizes in different parts of the interior of the pagoda. The "structural bricks" have tenons and mortises, which fit in well when assembled. They look like chiseled wood. It is surprising that although no wood was used in building the pagoda, some of its bricks were baked in the shape of tiles, pillars or rafters, so that when completed it looks very attractive with its wood-like eaves, rafters and tiles.

A few dozens meters to the south of the pagoda is an octagonal Buddhist pavilion in which stands a bronze Buddha statue of more than five meters high weighing almost twelve tons. Dignified in manner, the Buddha statue is said to be a relic from the Song Dynasty (420-479A.D.).

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