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The Temple of the Twin Pagodas is located in Taiyuan City , the provincial capital of Shanxi , and is noted for its pair of 13-storey octagonal pagodas, dating back some 400 years. Indeed, these twin pagodas, which can easily be seen from much of Taiyuan , are often used as a symbol of Shanxi ’s largest city.
Also known as Yongzuo Temple , the Temple of the Twin Pagodas was built in the Ming Dynasty under the orders of Emperor Wanli. The most noteworthy structures in the temple are the two pagodas, with the eastern pagoda (Wenfeng Ta) having been constructed in 1599 and the western twin (Xuanwen Ta) opened 13 years later. The two octagonal towers, made of brick and stone, are 53 meters in height. Visitors can climb a spiral staircase to the top of the western pagoda to enjoy a panoramic view over the city.
In addition, the temple includes a number of other structures, including a number of halls of similar age to the pagodas. There is also a “tablet corridor” displaying the works of famous calligraphers—including Wang Xizhi, Yan Zhenqing, and Su Dongpo—and a garden famous for its peonies.
Location: The Temple of the Twin Pagodas is located on a hillside in the southwestern part of Taiyuan City , a short taxi ride from the central part of town.