Tianning Temple China, Changzhou

Tianning Temple

The Tianning Temple, located in Changzhou City, Jiangsu Province, China, is noted for its giant wooden pagoda, the Tianning Pagoda (天宁宝塔/天寧宝塔). Construction began in April 2002 with the opening ceremony for the completed structure held on April 30, 2007, where a crowd of hundreds of Buddhist monks gathered for the ceremony. With 13 stories and a height of 153.79 metres (505 ft), this wooden pagoda is now the tallest pagoda in the world, taller than China's tallest existent pre-modern Buddhist pagoda, the Liaodi Pagoda built in 1055 at a height of 84 m (275 ft). Although the existing pagoda was built by April 2007, the temple grounds and the pagoda have a history of construction and destruction for the past 1,350 years, since the time of the Tang Dynasty (618–907). Building of the pagoda was proposed by the Buddhist Association of China in 2001, yet providing money donations for the temple was an international effort, as leaders of 108 Buddhist associations and temples worldwide attended the opening ceremony at the temple.

On 25 May 2006 the lower levels of the pagoda caught fire. However, no permanent damage was done.

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