Feihong Pagoda: Temple Coated with Colors

Feihong Pagoda in the Guangsheng Temple is one of the most impressive sites in China. The pagoda is located in Shanxi which is home to many cultural and historical places. Although the temple and the pagoda have a rich history, what makes the pagoda famous is its exterior glazed with tiles of different colors. Due to this aspect, locals also call the pagoda the Flying Rainbow Tower. Moreover, the temple carries various traces from different Chinese dynasties as all of them developed the temple in some way. While the construction of the Guangsheng Temple began in 147, Feihong Pagoda was added in the early 16th century.

Feihong Pagoda

The Guangsheng Temple consists of three different sections: the upper temple, the lower temple, and the Water God Temple. While these sections are all important in their own right, the upper temple is especially interesting as it is home to Feidong Pagoda. The pagoda’s construction started in 1516 and lasted for 11 years during the reign of the Ming Dynasty. However, the glazed tiles were an addition that came nearly a century later.

Feihong Pagoda little sculptures

Feihong Pagoda is the largest and the most preserved temple that has colorful tiles in China. It is nearly 50 meters tall and is also one of the five existing Buddhist Relics pagodas. Its tiles consist of 5 different colors and the temple exterior is home to hundreds of little colorful sculptures.

Feihong Pagoda close up

What makes the pagoda so important and valuable is the intricate craftsmanship that is visible in nearly every part of it. Especially, the sculptures and statues that are the presentations of various Buddhist figures and animals are sights to behold. Moreover, the pagoda contains an ancient treasure which is the scripture “Zhao Cheng Jin Zang.” Many believe that this scripture is the first edition of a woodcut printing manual. The scriptures are 6980 rolls in total.

Feihong Pagoda carvings
Feihong Pagoda tiles of different colors
the temple exterior
the temple during day light
the temple tiles