Five Pagoda Temple
The Five Pagoda Temple is an Indian-style temple and was first constructed in 1473 from a model presented to the imperial court by an Indian monk. The temple has had a tumultuous history - it underwent major renovations in 1761, but was looted and burned to the ground, first by the Anglo-French Allied Armies in 1860 and then by the Allied Forces in 1900. After being partially rebuilt, it was forced to close again during the Cultural Revolution but has since been restored and re-opened.
The square throne foundation is 17 meters (55ft)
high and the 5 pagodas rise from this base. The entire structure
is made of white marble, that after more than 500 years of oxidation,
give the building a pale orange cast. The 4 walls of the foundation
are carved with rows of Buddhas (the One Thousand Sagacious Buddhas)
as well as bas-reliefs of Buddhist symbols, floral designs and Sankskrit
letters. The 5 pagodas are also covered with similar carvings on
a lesser scale.