Small Wild Goose
Small Wild Goose Pagoda Scenic Area is located in the
southern suburb of Xian, about 2 kilometers to the south
of the City Wall. Covering an area of 16.3 hectares
(40.4 acres), it mainly consists of the Xian Museum,
the ancient Jianfu Temple built in the year 684 A.D
during the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and the famous Small
Wild Goose Pagoda. The scenic area has become a wonderful
leisure site for the appreciation of cultural relics,
sightseeing and entertainment.
The Xian Museum in the west displays more
than 2,000 precious historical relics. In the central
axis, there are the White-Clothing Pavilion, the Small
Wild Goose Pagoda, the Sutra Depository, the Mahavira
Hall (Daxiongbaodian) and the Maitreya Pavilion in the
Jianfu Temple. Verdant trees, grass and beautiful flowers
can be found throughout the time-honored building complex.
Moreover, beside the museum sits a big circular square
and an artificial lake with two stone arch bridges featuring
The scenic area incorporates an intelligent
guide system which offers a audio guide device to visitors.
When visitors come to a scenic spot, the device will
automatically give a detailed explanation. Besides the
Chinese version, the museum will introduce a version
designed for children and versions in other languages.
Tourists need to deposit CNY 100 for such a device,
which will be refunded to them when returning it at
either the west gate or the north gate.
The Small Wild Goose Pagoda was built in
the year 707 A.D during the Tang Dynasty (618-907).
As it is newer and smaller than the Big Wild Goose Pagoda
the name was given to distinguish the two. Unlike the
grand Big Wild Goose Pagoda, it is dainty and exquisite
in its appearance. It is an important cultural relic
and one of the remaining symbols of ancient Chang'an
(the name of Xian in the Tang Dynasty).
This multi-eave brick pagoda is thirteen
stories tall, reaching 43.38 meters (142 feet). It is
square on plane and rises skyward in an elegant spindle
shape. Above the ground floor, the height of each storey
diminishes, rendering a graceful curve to the contour.
Multi-eaves are made by overlapping bricks which curve
inward, a characteristic of the Tang Dynasty construction.
The ground floor has arched doors facing north and south;
the other floors have arched windows instead. The fine
drawings on the doors reflect the artistic style prevailing
in the Tang Dynasty. Inside, a narrow wooden stairway
winds its way to the top of the pagoda.
The construction of the pagoda is a wonder.
Because Xian is located in an area where earthquakes
sometimes occur, the pagoda base is made from packed
earth in the shape of a hemisphere. In case of an earthquake,
the pressure can be evenly divided, thus the pagoda
has remained standing after over seventy earthquakes.
After so many earthquakes, only the pinnacle and the
two upper floors (the original pagoda had fifteen stories)
have been damaged. Remarkably, cracks in the pagoda
which occurred during earthquakes have been closed by
quakes that came later.
A giant iron bell 3.5 meters (11.4 feet)
in height and about 10 tons in weight resides in the
Jianfu Temple. It makes a magnificent clear sound that
can be heard more than three miles away. The elegant
pagoda along with the bell is known as 'The Morning
Bell Chimes of the Pagoda' and is considered one of
the eight major cultural sites in the province.
The ancient Small Wild Goose Pagoda and
the newly-built museum echo each other; and the sonorous
bell chimes response to the melodious Chang'an ancient
music played here. The Small Wild Goose Pagoda Scenic
Area, with its brand-new appearance, welcomes tourists
from both home and abroad.