Home Page>>Why Hangzhou>>West Lake Heritage>>West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou>>West Lake Cultural Relics

Leifeng Pagoda – An Old Monk Stands Nearby the West Lake 2018-10-11

Leifeng Pagoda is an octagonal 5 storey tower, built of wood and bricks, with a solid brick base. Located on Sunset Hill, south of West Lake in Hangzhou, it was originally constructed in 975 AD, during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period, and at the order of King Qian Chu of Wuyue. This ancient King ordered its construction to celebrate the birth of his son, born to Huang Fei. 
It offers one of the most classic and spectacular views of the lake and visitors flock to this site every year to enjoy the scenic view known as Leifeng Xizhao (Sunset Glow over Leifeng Pagoda). Collapsing in 1924, it was rebuilt in 2002. Since then it has been a popular sacred Buddhist tourist attraction, and as if this wasn’t enough, it is the legendary site for a mythic Chinese love story.

During the Ming dynasty, Japanese pirates attacked Hangzhou. Suspecting the pagoda contained weapons, they burned it to ashes, leaving only the brick skeleton, as can be seen from Ming paintings of the West Lake.
Leifeng Pagoda is, and was known worldwide for the Legend of the White Snake, and it was said to be the final abode that the merciful Lady White Snake lived in. In later years, owing to a superstition that the bricks from the tower could repel illness or prevent miscarriage, many people stole bricks to grind into powder. On the afternoon of September 25, 1924, the pagoda finally collapsed due to disrepair.
As to whether or not  a mausoleum existed below the structure was debated for years until finally, radar was used to investigate. On March 11, 2001 the mausoleum was excavated and many artifacts were found, most notably a gold and silver coated hair of the Buddha.

In October 1999, the provincial and municipal governments decided to rebuild Leifeng Pagoda on top of the ruins of the old one. The new pagoda opened on 25 October 2002. It is composed of a 1400 tons steel structure with 200 tons of copper parts. It contains four sightseeing elevators, and modern amenities such as air conditioners, televisions and speakers. At the entrance of the pagoda there are two autonomous escalators to carry visitors to the base of the pagoda.


Leave a message


Fall in Love with Autumn Scenery2018-10-18
With the ostentatious sweet-scented Osmanthus and a plethora of golden leaves dominating the city, now is the time to fall in love with autumn’s most poetic scenery…
How Beijiaqiao River is Making Waves…2018-10-17
With a stone tablet carved with “Hangzhou Municipal Historical Heritage”, this old river has witnessed, over time, many transformations and is now beginning to make waves.
No.188, Fuchun Road, Hangzhou, China
TEL: 86-571-96123
FAX: 86-571-96123
Complain: slw@hz.gov.cn
Consult: slw@hz.gov.cn