The story behind the ancient pagoda next to the Yangtze River
After going through wind and frost for 130 years, the pagoda has mottled walls, but still proudly stands there.
Wenfeng Pagoda is located at the north bank of the downstream of the Chaotianmen section of the Yangtze River and sits on Tazi Mountain next to the Gailanxi part of the river.
Look up at the foot of the mountain; you can see the white pagoda clearly in the sunshine despite the height of the mountain. Where the white pagoda sits is not high; it does not take long to get up the more than 200 stairs.
Standing on the top step of the stone stairs, you can see Wenfeng Pagoda standing in front of you. Looking up, you can find the seven-floor pagoda is tall and primitive.
Scrutinize the walls, you’ll find time, wind and frost left their marks, bringing a certain primitiveness to it. The stone carvings at both sides of the ancient pagoda were worn away long ago; only the words “title for the famous historical site” on the door are faintly visible.
Hong Zhicheng, deputy director of Jiangbei District Cultural Commission, explained, “according to research, Wenfeng Pagoda was built in the 14th year of the governing of Guangxu, Qing Dynasty (year 1888) on the foundation of an obsolete tower in the Southern Song Dynasty. It has a history of 130 years and is the only ancient pagoda in Jiangbei District.”
Wenfeng Pagoda is also called “White Pagoda” because of its white walls. It is made of bricks and 26.64 meters tall. The tower top looks like a hexagon and the body is hexagonal with each floor decorated with a window.
In ancient times, after a long journey by ship, the ship member groups will be suddenly enlightened when they see the tower on the Tazi Mountain in Jiangbei District, because they know after seeing the Wenfeng Pagoda they are not far from Chaotianmen. Hong Zhicheng says, “so Wenfeng Pagoda has become a navigation mark, if you see it, you will know you will soon arrive in Chongqing.”
Chongqing government listed Tazi Mountain Wenfeng Pagoda in Chongqing as a Culture Relic Protection Site in 2000.
Out of repair for long years, part of the wall of Tazi Mountain Wenfeng Pagoda has fallen off and the wooden stairs inside the pagoda have become rotten. Beginning this month, Jiangbei District started the restoration work which will last for six months.
The reporter learns that the repair work of Wenfeng Pagoda is based on the principle of “keeping the original state” and using original materials as much as possible to preserve the original components as well as using the original crafts to carry out the work. At the same time, the tower body will be decorated with light fixtures, thus allowing people to appreciate the beauty of Wenfeng Pagoda at night.
After the completion of the ancillary facilities of the leisure park under the Wenfeng Pagoda, this centurial ancient pagoda will attract tourists again. (Translated by Bo Jing, Fathom Language Limited)