Kaiyuan-2 monastery, (in) Dingxian, Hebei, CN

Raw data

"How narrow the interior of a pagoda is, can be seen at the pagoda of Kaiyuan Monastery 開元寺 in Dingxian 定縣/Hebei (left; 1st half 11th cent.). A quarter of the whole tower has been broken off that we can see the "intestines" of the 11 storeys. With 84 m, it is the highest building of Chinese architecture."

Dingzhou, China Page
Other names: Dingxian,Ting,Ting-hsien-ch'eng-kuan,T'ang-hsien,Tingchow,Dinsyan,Ting-hsien
World:China:Hebei Sheng
Lat 38.5131 Long 114.9956

"Liaodi Pagoda (Pagoda for Watching the Enemy), located in today's Dingxian County, Hebei Province, was built as a military observation tower, though it was supposed a Buddhist pagoda containing the relics of saints. At the time the pagoda was built the place was located on the border between the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127) and the Liao Dynasty (916-1125). Because military conflicts often took place there, the commanders of the Northern Song Dynasty decided to build a pagoda in Kaiyuan Temple in Dingzhou to be used as an observation tower. In order to make a display of ceremony, Emperor Zhenzong (998-1022) of the Northern Song Dynasty issued a special decree for its construction. In name, of course, the pagoda was built for worshipping Buddhism, but we have learned from the stone tablets still kept in the pagoda that most contributors to the construction were military commanders or officers stationed on the border at that time. It took more than fifty years (1001-55) to build the pagoda, and when it was finished, no one even attempted to hide its true purpose by giving it a more religious-sounding name."
Input by: tmciolek, Dec 15, 2009

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 30 Apr 2013

Lat/Long coordinates' accuracy:
The monastery in question is assumed to be situated actually no farther than 20 km from the point defined by the coordinates below.

Location of Kaiyuan-2 monastery, CN.

General location of the Kaiyuan-2 monastery, CN.
Lat 38.5131 Long 114.9956
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (http://www.fallingrain.com), 2009.

Google Map link:


Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

  • Kaiyuan-2 monastery

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • China:Hebei Sheng

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

  • [missing data]

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

  • [missing data]

6. Modern name of the known nearest city, town, or village

7. The settlement's alternative/historical names

8. The settlement's coordinates

9. Monastery's major Buddhist tradition

  • Mahayana

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

  • [missing data]

11. Date-early

  • [missing data]

12. Date-intermediate

  • MBM chrono-tag 0967-99p 1000-32p 1033-66c - tmciolek 30 Apr 2013
  • 0967-99p 1000-32p 1033-66c 1067-99p dated-x

13. Date-late

  • [missing data]

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • [missing data]

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • [missing data]

16. Additional notes

  • [missing data] (incl. details of the size of the monastic population)

17. Corrections & addenda to this page were kindly provided by

  • [missing data]

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