Yongning Pagoda

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The Yongning Pagoda or Yongning Temple (simplified Chinese: 永宁寺; traditional Chinese: 永寧寺; pinyin: Yǒngníng Sì) in Luoyang was one of the tallest buildings of the world from 516 AD to 534 AD. The wooden pagoda was built during the Northern Wei in 516 AD but is no longer extant. Some sources suggest that it may have been 137 metres high, making it the tallest building in the world at that time and the tallest pagoda ever built until the completion of the Tianning Temple (Changzhou) in 2007. According to evidence unearthed by modern archaeological excavation, the pagoda had a square foundation of rammed earth with a width of 38.2 meters. The earthen foundation was covered by a 2.2 meter thick layer of limestone bricks. Pillar bases have been discovered at each corner of the pagoda. According to Yang Xuanzhi who lived in Luoyang in the year 520, the pagoda could be seen from as far as 50 kilometers. The Yongning Pagoda was destroyed in 534 when it was struck by lightning and caught fire.

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Records
Preceded by
Great Pyramid of Giza
World's tallest structure ?
c. 516 AD - 532 AD
147 m
Succeeded by
Lincoln Cathedral