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Twin Pagoda Temple (Shuangta si), Taiyuan
(4.2/5 based on 20+ reviews on the web)
The Twin Pagoda Temple, officially known as Yongzuo Temple, of Taiyuan, Shanxi province, China, is a temple containing two pagodas dating from the Ming dynasty.HistoryThe East pagoda was built in 1597, and the West one in 1612. In charge of the pagoda’s construction was a high ranking monk, named Fodeng (佛灯). By the 20th century, deterioration since construction had caused the East pagoda to slant from its center of gravity by 2.87 meters. In 1995, experts set about trying to correct the slant. They removed earth from underneath the pagoda and successfully corrected the pagoda's tilt.PagodasThe pagodas are the tallest set of twin pagodas in China. They are both eight-cornered, with the lowest floor being comparatively taller than the rest, the size of the upper floors progressively decreasing. The West Pagoda is 54.78 meters tall, with the lowest floor’s circumference being 4.16 meters. The pagoda’s eaves are painted with emerald green glaze. The East Pagoda is 53.3 meters high, and the lowest floor’s circumference is 4.36 meters. On top of the East pagoda are three magic gourds (宝葫芦), with the upper two parts being made of copper.TempleThe temple contains approximately 260 stone steles, as it is the location where stele from temples in the area that are no longer extant were moved. The temple grounds also contain many peony trees, one of which dates from the Ming Dynasty.
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  • To visit only if you are already in Taiyuan. Difficult to reach by taxi (leaves you 1 km before entering) because, at present, there are jobs with half-closed roads. You have to then go to a riot of streets made by machine shops that repair and sell scooters. The site is well maintained and the first pagoda you can climb up to the top. The view from the top is not spectacular because you can admire the view only through small Windows. It's not crowded and you can enjoy some peace and relaxation, away from the chaos of the city
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  • It's nice to see one or two little pieces of history still left in Taiyuan, which is mostly a city of urban sprawl. I took a taxi to the twin pagodas from the hotel, after 2 taxi's refused to take me ...  more »
  • I went to the pagoda last year in winter after a snow fall. It is really quiet then because a few people visiting made me feel comfortable without much noises. It is a bit difficult to climb up and do...  more »