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Six Harmonies Pagoda

The Six Harmonies Pagoda is located in the Yuelun Hill on the north bank of Qiantang River, Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province.

The location of the Six Harmonies Pagoda was originally the south orchard of the king of the Wuyue state in the Five Dynasties Period (907-960). The pagoda was first built in the third year (970) of the Kaibao reign of the Northern Song Dynasty on the denoted land by Qian Hongshu to control the tides of the Qiantang River. The temple was built at the same time. The 9-storeyed pagoda is more than 50 zhang (1 zhang = 3.33meters) high, steep and grand. Bright lamps were installed on the top for guide the ships to sail in the dark nights. In the third year (1121) of the Xuanhe reign, the Six Harmonies Pagoda was destroyed by the war. The existing brick body was rebuilt in the 26th year (1156) of the Shaoxing reign of the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279). The project was not completed until the first year (1165) of the Qianbao reign.

The Six Harmonies Pagoda has 13 layers of wooden eaves that were rebuilt in the 26th year (1900) of the Guangxu reign of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Six storeys of it are close, and the seventh storey leads to the inside. From outside to inside, the pagoda is divided into four parts: the outer wall, the cloister, the inner wall and a small room, forming two rings. Inside the inner ring is the small room at the heart of the pagoda; the outer ring is the thick wall; between two rings is the corridor, and the stairs are in the corridor. A leaning pole is fixed at the corner of outer wall, connected with the wood eaves. Doors are opened in each side of the wall. Because the wall is 4.12-meter thick, each door has a corridor with wall niches on both sides. The niches have pedestals. The passageway leads to the cloister. Four doors and four niches alternate with each other on the eight sides of the inner wall. The 4.2-meter-thick inner wall has doors with a corridor each, leading to the small room at the heart.

The niches are carved with The Sutra of Forty-Two Sections. The small room was originally set for the statue of Buddha; it is an exquisite building intimating wood structure. The molds of the Hu Gate in the Six Harmonies Pagoda are typical style of the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279), with smooth lines and round and beautiful design. The seventh storey and the pagoda spire were built in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368).

On the pedestal of the Six Harmonies Pagoda, there are more than 200 vivid brick carvings that contain wide-range subjects: pomegranate, lotuses, phoenixes, peacocks and parrots flying in the sky, lions, kylins (unicorn) galloping and jumping, and fairy maiden dancing high-spiritedly, etc. These brick carvings tally with the record in Ying Zao Fa Shi (Constructing Molds and Styles) of the Song Dynasty. They are valuable material in the history of China's ancient buildings.

The Six Harmonies Pagoda is one of the famous sceneries in Hangzhou City. When travelers come here, they can not only enjoy the heroic posture of the pagoda, but also get some idea of the views on the Qiantang River. Therefore, a number of scholars and poets in the past wrote poems and lyrics about them.

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