Porcelain Tower of Nanjing Facts

Porcelain Tower of Nanjing Facts
The Porcelain Tower of Nanjing is a pagoda built during the Ming Dynasty in the 15th century. The tower was designed by the Chinese Emperor Yong Le. It gets its name because it was built with porcelain bricks. The top three stories were destroyed by lightning in 1801 but it was soon restored. In the 1850s most of it was destroyed during the Taiping Rebellion. A Chinese businessman named Wang Jianlin donated the equivalent of $156 million U.S. to reconstruct the Porcelain Tower of Nanjing.
Interesting Porcelain Tower of Nanjing Facts:
The tower is also known as Bao'ensi which means ‘Temple of Repaid Gratitude'.
Wang Jianlin's $156 million donation is the biggest personal donation that has even been made in China.
The tower is one of the Seven Wonders of the Medieval Ages. It also believed to be the youngest of these seven wonders.
It was built as a Buddhist place of worship. It was also thought that it was meant to honor Emperor Yong Le's parents, but some think it was only for his mother. It was also a place of pilgrimage until its destruction.
Yong Le was the third emperor of the Ming Dynasty.
When the tower was built it stood 260 feet tall. It was also one of the tallest buildings in China at the time it was built. It was also 97 feet wide at the base.
It was nine stories tall and had an interior staircase that was 184 steps.
The top of the tower was adorned with a golden sphere. Some descriptions compared it to a pineapple.
The white porcelain bricks reflect the sun and keep the tower to stay cool. These bricks made up the main portion of the pagoda. Wood was also used to build other elements of the tower.
At night the tower was lit with over 100 hanging lamps.
The porcelain bricks were decorated with images of flowers, landscapes and animals with glazes and stoneware.
The octagonal shaped tower was built on the south bank of the Yangtze, a river in China.
After it was destroyed during the Taiping Rebellion, the rubble was used in the construction of other buildings.
During the rebellion it is believed that the tower was destroyed by the Taiping rebels so it could not be used a lookout for the enemy.
In the museum in Nanjing, the arched door has been put back together and is on display.
A nine foot high pagoda is on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. It's believed to be a replica of the Porcelain Tower of Nanjing.
Thanks to the businessman Wang Jianlin who donated 156 million to Nanjing to rebuild the tower, it may exist one day again.
A book written in 1843 by Granville Gower Loch titled The Closing Events of the Campaign in China there was a detailed description of the Porcelain Tower of Nanjing. In the book it was described as having 13 stories and a height of 330 feet.
The site where the tower once stood has been cleaned up in preparation for reconstruction of the Porcelain Tower of Nanjing.

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