Big Goose Pagoda

sights / Religious

Big Goose Pagoda information

Xī'ān , China
Yanta Nanlu
admission to grounds ¥50, entry into pagoda ¥30
Opening hours
8am-7pm Apr-Oct, to 6pm Nov-Mar
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Xī’ān’s most famous landmark, this pagoda dominates the surrounding modern buildings. One of China’s best examples of a Tang-style pagoda (squarish rather than round), it was completed in AD 652 to house the Buddhist sutras brought back from India by the monk Xuan Zang. Xuan spent the last 19 years of his life translating scriptures with a crack team of linguist monks; many of these translations are still used today. His travels also inspired one of the best-known works of Chinese literature, Journey to the West .

Surrounding the pagoda is Dà Cí’ēn Temple (大慈恩寺; Dàcí’ēn Sì), one of the largest temples in Tang Cháng’ān. The buildings today date from the Qing dynasty. To the south of the pagoda is a newly developed open-air mall of shops, galleries, restaurants and public art; well-worth a wander. The area also includes a cinema and monorail.

Bus 610 from the Bell Tower and bus 609 from the South Gate drop you off at the pagoda square; the entrance is on the south side. An evening fountain show is held on the square.