Small Wild Goose Pagoda is located in the Jianfu
(Felicity) Temple at about 1.5 km outside the
south gate of Xi'an. The Jianfu Temple was originally
the residence of Princess Xiang Cheng, a daughter
of Emperor Tai Zong (Li Shimin), which covers
half of the area of Kai Huafang Lane.
The Jianfu Temple was built
in 648 AD to pay homeage to the Emperor
Li Zhi of Tang dynasty upon the centenary
of his death by his son Emperor Rui Zong,
Li Dan. Therefore, it was originally named
"The Xianfu Temple (The Temple of Offering
Happiness)". Six years later, the Empress
Wu Zetian took the throne by deposing her
son (the Emperor). In order to show her
memorial of her dead husband, the Xianfu
Temple was renamed the Jianfu Temple and
the name still being used now.
The Jianfu Temple had been damaged
and tattered and tattered because of the
year-round wars in the later Tang dynasty,
so the temple was moved to the southern
yard (that is the Tower Yard). The present
Jianfu Temple has been formed and established
after the remedy and maintenance of dynasties
from the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing.
The pagoda of the Jianfu Temple
was built from 707 to 709 A.D (in the regin
of Emperor Jing Long) and it was named after
the Temple. The pagoda had originally 15
storeys, with architectural pattern of multiples
of eaves being constructed by water polished
blue bricks, whose shape was outstanding
and beautiful. For it was built almost in
the same dynasty and bear similarity to
the Big Wild Goose Pagoda in architecture
and height, it came to be called the Small
Wild Goose Pagoda.
It was recorded on Wang He's
broken stone tablets in the Ming Dynasty
(1551 A.D) that in the 23rd year of the
regin of Emperor Chen Hua in the Ming dynasty
(1487 A.D), there happened a strong earthquake.
The body of the Small Wild Goose Pagoda
was split into two parts from the top to
the very bottom, with about one foot in
the middle of the two parts. This also indicated
that in 1520 AD (the regin of Emperor Zhen
De), there came another strong earthquake
in Guan Zhong area (the central plain of
Shaanxi Province). But oddly enough, the
quake miraculously re-united the two split
halves over night...... This is very rare
and it amazed the local people, so they
referred to the miracle as the "Magic
Healing". So there is still a beautiful
saying quite popular among the local people
in Xi'an that it was a fairy who felt sorrow
and drove two cracked halves together with
a magic whip like driving a flock of sheep,
when she saw the Small Wild Goose Pagoda
cracked into two halves.
Many cracks have really been
left on the body of the Small Wild Goose
Pagoda because of the earlier earthquakes.
In 1965, the Small Wild Goose Pagoda was
renovated by Xi'an Municipal Government.
The body of the pagoda was reinforced with
steel in the middle of the 2nd, 5th, 7th,
9th and the 11th floors ect, and a lightening
rod was fixed as well on the top of the
Inside the pagoda, there is
a huge iron bell dating back to the Jin
Dynasty in 1192 (the 3rd year in the regin
of Ming Chang). The Buddhist and monks struck
the bell every morning. The sound of the
bell is crisp and pleasant, spreading as
far as five kilometers, hence the "Morning
Bell-ring of the Small Wild Goose Pagoda"
has become one of the eight scenic features
in the Central Shaanxi Plain--- Chang'an.
Now the Small Wild Goose Pagoda has only
13 storeys and is about 43 meters in height.
The top two storeys of the pagoda were destroyed
in a strong earthquake happened in the 34th
year (1555 AD) of the regin of Emperor Jia
Jing in the Ming Dynasty in central Shaanxi.