The Sakyamuni Pagoda of Fogong Temple (Chinese: 佛宫寺释迦塔; pinyin: Fógōng Sì Shìjiā Tǎ) of Ying County, Shanxi province, China, is a wooden Chinese pagoda built in 1056, during the Khitan-led Liao Dynasty. Siddhārtha Gautama ( Sanskrit; Pali: Siddhattha Gotama) was a spiritual Teacher from Ancient India and the founder Pinyin, more formally Hanyu pinyin, is the most common Standard Mandarin Romanization system in use ( Postal map spelling: Shansi) is a province in the northern part of the People's Republic of China. China ( Wade-Giles ( Mandarin) Chung¹kuo² is a cultural region, an ancient Civilization, and depending on perspective a National The Chinese Pagoda is a Landmark in Birmingham, England. It is a stone carving of a Chinese pagoda, carved in Fujian, China The Liao Dynasty ( 907 - 1125, also known as the Khitan Empire (契丹國 was an empire in northern China that ruled over the regions of Manchuria The pagoda was built by Emperor Daozong of Liao (Hongji) at the site of his grandmother's family home. Emperor Daozong of Liao (耶律洪基 (1032-1101 born Yelü Hongji or Yehlu Hongji, was an Emperor of the Liao dynasty, a kingdom of the  The pagoda, which has survived several large earthquakes throughout the centuries, reached a level of such fame within China that it was given the generic nickname of the "Muta" (Chinese: 木塔; pinyin: mùtǎ; literally "Timber Pagoda"). Pinyin, more formally Hanyu pinyin, is the most common Standard Mandarin Romanization system in use 
The pagoda stands on a 4 m (13 ft) tall stone platform, has a 10 m (33 ft) tall steeple, and reaches a total height of 67. 31 m (220. 83 ft) tall; it is the oldest existent fully-wooden pagoda still standing in China.  Although it is the oldest fully-wooden pagoda in China, the oldest existent pagoda is the 6th century Songyue Pagoda made of brick and the oldest existent wooden buildings in China date back to the mid Tang Dynasty (618–907), which are Buddhist temple halls found at Mount Wutai. The Songyue Pagoda, constructed in 523 CE is located at the Songyue Monastery on Mount Song, in Henan province China. The Tang Dynasty ( Middle Chinese: dhɑng (June 18 618&ndashJune 4 907 was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by Chinese Buddhism ( Pinyin fójiào refers collectively to the various schools of Buddhism that have flourished in China proper since ancient times Mount Wutai () also known as Wutai Mountain, located in Shanxi, China, is one of the Four Sacred Mountains in Chinese Buddhism. 
The Pagoda of Fogong Temple was built 85 km (52. 8 miles) south of the Liao Dynasty capital at Datong. Datong ( is a city in the northern Shanxi Province in China, and is located a few hundred kilometres west by rail from Beijing with an elevation of  The Gujin Tushu Jicheng encyclopedia published in 1725—written during the reigns of Kangxi and Yongzheng in the Qing—states that a different pagoda built between the years 936–943 stood previously at the site before the present one of 1056 was built. The Gujin Tushu Jicheng ( is a vast encyclopaedic work written in China during the reigns of Qing emperors Kangxi and Yongzheng The Kangxi Emperor ( Mongolian Enkh Amgalan Khaan, May 4, 1654 &ndash December 20, 1722) was the third Emperor of The Yongzheng Emperor (雍正帝 → yōngzhèngdì) (born Yinzhen (胤禛 → yìnzhēn) December 13, 1678 - October 8 Not to be confused with Qin Dynasty, the first dynasty of Imperial China  The same statement appears in the Shanxi tongzhi (Record of Shanxi Province) and the Yingzhou xuzhi (Record of Ying Prefecture, Continued).  The Yingzhou zhi (Record of Ying Prefecture)—edited by Tian Hui during the reign of the Wanli Emperor (r. Wanli Emperor ( September 4, 1563 - August 18, 1620) was Emperor of China ( Ming dynasty) between 1572 and 1620 1572–1620) of the Ming Dynasty—states that the pagoda was funded and erected in 1056 by a Buddhist monk names Tian. The Ming Dynasty ( or Empire of the Great Ming ( was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol -led A Bhikkhu ( Pāli) or Bhiksu ( Sanskrit) is a fully ordained male Buddhist Monastic.  In compiling a record for Ying County, Tian Hui of the late Ming Dynasty researched the history of the pagoda and recorded the history of its repairs in his Zhongxiu Fogongsi ta zhi.  The placard on the third story of the pagoda listed that periodic repairs were conducted in the years 1195 and 1471.  While piecing together the history of the pagoda, Tian Hui never came across any information to suggest that the pagoda had a predecessor built from 936 to 943, as other texts suggest. 
In confirming the date of 1056 and not the years 936–943, Zhang Yuhuan writes in his Zhongguo gudai jianzhu jishu shi (1985) that the Wenwu Laboratory determined various wooden components from the second to fifth floors of the pagoda to be 930 to 980 years old.  Other evidence to suggest the later date includes the fact that the foster mother of Emperor Xingzong was a native of Yingzhou. Emperor Xingzong of Liao (耶律宗真 (1015-1054 was an emperor of the Liao Dynasty.  Xingzong's son Hongji (Emperor Daozong) was also raised in Ying County due to his following of the Khitan custom of raising Yelu clan sons within the families of their mothers. The Khitan (or Khitai,) were a Nomadic people, located in Mongolia and modern Manchuria (Northeast China from the 4th century dominating much of it The Yelu clan of the Khitan people assumed leadership of the Khitan nation in 907 when Abaoji became khan of the Khitan nation  Hongji was also known as a devout Buddhist; the pagoda (following the tradition of the stupa) symbolized the death of the Buddha, which Hongji might have associated with his deceased father, the Xingzong Emperor. A stupa (from Sanskrit and Pāli: m स्तूप stūpa, literally meaning "heap" is a mound-like structure containing Buddhist Siddhārtha Gautama ( Sanskrit; Pali: Siddhattha Gotama) was a spiritual Teacher from Ancient India and the founder  Steinhardt writes "only something like the memory of an imperial youth might account for the construction of such a phenomenal building in such an out-of-the way place. " Also, the 1050s was a decade which marked the end of a Buddhist kalpa, which would signify the Pagoda of Fogong Temple as an "ultimate death shrine to the Budda of the age," according to historian Nancy Steinhardt. A kalpa is a Sanskrit word meaning an Aeon, or a long period of time in Hindu (cf  This occurred at roughly the same time in which Fujiwara no Yorimichi of Japan converted the Phoenix Hall of his father Fujiwara no Michinaga's residence at Byōdō-in into a temple meant to guide souls into the Buddhist afterlife (according to Pure Land Buddhism). (990-1074 son of Michinaga, was a Japanese Court noble He succeeded his father to the position of Sessho in 1017 and then went on to become Kampaku For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Japan topics. Fujiwara no Michinaga (藤原 道長 966 - 3 January 1028; Japanese calendar 万寿4年12月4日 represents the highpoint of the Fujiwara regents For the Arena in Debrecen Hungary see Fonix Hall. For the replica temple in Hawaii see Byodo-In Temple. Pure Land Buddhism ( Jìngtǔzōng; 浄土教 Jōdokyō; Korean: ko-Hang 정토종 jeongtojong; Vietnamese: 浄土宗 vi 
The pagoda was placed at the center of the temple grounds, which used to be called Baogong Temple until its name was changed to Fogong in 1315 during the Yuan Dynasty. The Yuan Dynasty ( Pinyin: Yuáncháo Dai Ön Ulus (Дай Юан Улс was a ruling Dynasty founded by the Mongol leader Kublai  Although the size of the temple grounds were described as being gigantic during the Jurchen-led Jin Dynasty (1115–1234), the temple began to decline during the Ming Dynasty. The Jurchens ( were a Tungus people who inhabited the region of Manchuria ( Northeast China) until the 17th century when they adopted the name Manchu This is an article for the Jurchen Jin Dynasty (1115–1234 For other Chinese dynasties whose names are also rendered "Jin" in Pinyin, see Jin Dynasty 
The Yingzhou zhi records that there was a total of seven earthquakes between the years 1056 and 1103, yet the tower stood firm.  In its entire history before the 20th century, the pagoda needed only ten minor repairs.  However, considerable repairs were needed after Japanese soldiers shot more than two hundred rounds into the pagoda during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The Second Sino-Japanese War ( July 7, 1937 to September 9, 1945) was a major war fought between the Republic of China and the  While repairing the pagoda in 1974, renovators found Liao Dynasty texts of Buddhist sutras and other documents that were printed, attesting to the widespread technological use of movable type printing that developed within the neighboring Song Dynasty. Movable type is the system of Printing and Typography that uses movable components to reproduce the elements of a document (usually individual letters or punctuation The Song Dynasty (宋朝 960–1279 CE provided some of the most significant technological advances in Chinese history, many of which came from talented statesmen
The pagoda features fifty-four different kinds of bracket arms in its construction, the greatest amount for any Liao Dynasty structure. Dougong ( is a unique structural element of interlocking wooden brackets, one of the most important elements in traditional Chinese, Japanese, and  Between each outer story of the pagoda is a mezzanine layer where the bracket arms are located on the exterior. In Architecture, a mezzanine or entresol is an intermediate Floor between main floors of a Building, and therefore typically not counted  From the exterior, the pagoda seems to have only five stories and two sets of rooftop eaves for the first story, yet the pagoda's interior reveals that it has nine stories in all.  The four hidden stories can be indicated from the exterior by the pagoda's pingzuo (terrace balconies). A terrace can be defined as an outdoor occupiable extension of a building above ground level  A ring of columns support the lowest outstretching eaved roof on the base floor, while the pagoda also features interior support columns.  A statue of the Buddha Sakyamuni sits prominently in the center of the first floor of the pagoda, with an ornate zaojing (caisson) above its head (the pagoda is named Sakyamuni Pagoda due to this statue). The Caisson ( also referred to as a caisson ceiling, or spider web ceiling The caisson is generally a sunken panel set into the otherwise largely flat  A zaojing is also carved into the ceiling of every story of the pagoda.  The windows on the eight sides of the pagoda provide views of the countryside, including Mount Heng and the Songgan River. Heng Shan (Traditional 恆山 Simplified 恒山 PinyinHéng Shān in Shanxi province is one of the Five Sacred Mountains of Taoism. On a clear day, the pagoda can be seen from a distance of 30 km (18. 6 miles).