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Shanxi - Twin Pagoda Temple

Shanxi - Datong - Pingyao - Taiyuan

The Twin Pagoda Temple (Shuang Ta Si), also known by the name "Yongzuo Temple", is located in the southeast of Taiyuan City. There are two 53 meter tall pagodas standing in the temple, hence the name "Twin Pagoda Temple". History records reveal that the temple and 2 pagodas were built under the Emperor Wanli's order in 1608 during the Ming dynasty.

Twin Pagoda Temple Each of the pagodas has 13 stories and is made entirely of bricks and stone. The exterior was sculptured in the shape of an octagon and decorated with the exquisite flying eaves. An internal staircase was added so that visitors can climb to the top of the pagoda and gaze far afield. It's worth mentioning that a rare collection of steles have been stored in the temple that contain the handwriting of famous ancient Chinese calligraphers from various dynasties such as Wang Xizhi (303-361), Yan Zhenqing (709-785), Liu Zongyuan (773-819), and Su Dongpo (1037-1101).

The best time to visit the temple is in spring (April and May) when all the peony and cloves are in their full bloom. These beautiful flowers are said to have been planted during the Ming dynasty and their beauty indeed makes the old temple more elegant and appealing.