Please update your Flash Player to view content.
Please update your Flash Player to view content.
image image image image
Cultural Imperialism; Fried Chicken Takes Over China
Ellen’s at Night, Shepherd’s Delight?
Importing la Vie Française to Nanjing
The Love Story of a Chinese Century: Sanmao and Hexi
Cultural Imperialism; Fried Chicken Takes Over China Fried chicken and beer is now all the rage in China; and it’s all because of the Koreans. Admittedly, both the food and the beverage have been around for a while. However, pairing the two during meetings with friends is now the in-thing to do after a South Korean TV drama has created an unprecedented craze about the combo that is now entering into Chinese mainstream culture. Read the Full Story
Ellen’s at Night, Shepherd’s Delight? Ellen’s at night is one of those infamous places many tend to steer clear of, but what about Ellen’s by day? It felt strange disembarking walking into a place that looked more like a ‘pirates cove’ than a bar/restaurant; in tune with its reputation for the rough and rowdy after 10 pm. Read the Full Story
Importing la Vie Française to Nanjing Nine years ago Hu Ya opened up the first French restaurant in Nanjing; now the owner of one of Nanjing’s most longstanding establishments is venturing into the bar scene. On the checklist of foreign cuisine in Nanjing Les 5 Sens is undoubtedly a top contender. Opened in 2005 by two Chinese ladies and a French chef it has been a steady success. Read the Full Story
The Love Story of a Chinese Century: Sanmao and Hexi Hardly a Nanjinger does not know the tragic love story of Sanmao and Hexi. The Chinese writer, who partly grew up in Nanjing, would have been 71 this month. Local students are currently bringing her story to the stage.  Read the Full Story

Hello Nanjing - The premier expat social network for pleasant living in Nanjing Jiangsu, China

Resurrecting Nanjing: The Porcelain Pagoda

Here in Nanjing, a city rich in history since even before its time as Jinling (金陵) the capital of the Southern Tang Kingdom, the opportunity to feel the surging force of history is still alive – if a little plastic like the tops of Zhonghuamen (中华门).

Recently, the resurrection of Nanjing began with the reconstruction of the city-wall (the longest city-wall in the history of the world). The city government has decided to reconstruct the entirety of the wall, perhaps as an attempt to keep out Anhui provincials looking to sell our long-missing chao mian. In fact, it was at the city-wall museum near Jimingsi (鸡鸣寺) with my class that I found what I’d been looking for for a long time now: a part of a model displaying the city during the Ming Dynasty.

South of Zhonghuamen once stood the tiny structure of a delightful little pagoda, which has been gone from the Nanjing skyline for some time.

Now, the loss of a simple pagoda here or there is not an unusual development in Chinese history. In fact, Jimingsi burned down in the 1970’s – cause uncertain. I had been searching for the location of Dabaoensi (大报恩寺) since reading about the discovery of an ancient miniature pagoda in Nanjing, which is thought to contain a piece of the Buddha’s skull. Although this discovery is interesting enough by itself (taking those who want to learn more on a journey through Asoka’s India and into the Buddhism of early China), I was more interested in what once lay above that piece of bone.

After reading about it, my challenge was to see if I could find the location of the temple under which this discovery had been made.

Searching for the Pagoda

Asking Nanjing Ren about the history of Nanjing is a lot like volunteering to lift stones out from mud in a monsoon. I was told by several people that they had never heard of Dabaoensi. Thus, my search continued. I discovered through much fact checking that perhaps it would be better if I were to ask if locals know about the famous Porcelain Pagoda (陶塔).  Eventually, someone pointed me in the right direction, south of Zhonghuamen. There I stumbled upon a cross-road of Nanjing’s history, a location that really had put our little city on the map some six-centuries ago.

This site was at its grandest when the Porcelain Pagoda was built during the reign of the first Ming Emperor, Hongwu. It was built on the original location of a previous temple. It is believed that back before the Tang Dynasty the temple received the gift of the small Asoka Pagoda and placed it underground for safe keeping, where it was eventually buried when that temple was destroyed.  Many years later Emperor Hongwu decided to build the Temple of Ultimate Gratitude (Dabaoensi) on the same sight, just outside of the southern gate of the city wall.  There, he built a fantastic temple compound crowned with the famed Porcelain Pagoda.

For centuries this tower would be known throughout the world for its beauty, especially at night, when it was lit by hundreds of lanterns. Today it is considered (as it was then) one of the seven wonders of the medieval world. However, the touch of history gets just a bit heavier when we come to the destruction of this famous tower. It was in 1856 (during the Taiping Rebellion) that the tower was destroyed by the rebels, in order to prevent it being used as an observation point to take the city back. They were using Nanjing as their capital, and it was there that they made their last stand. 

Hooray for Progress

It all comes together today, thanks to the leaders of this city having a desire to fill the coffers with tourist dollars. Nanjing is enjoying a cultural restoration. The construction site where the piece of the Buddha’s skull was found is in fact a reconstruction site. There, just south of the city wall, the government has begun to rebuild this landmark. 

This project got the go-ahead back in 2004 and is expected to cost some 600 million RMB.  The new site will have commercial areas and pedestrian walk-ways, perhaps evolving into a new Fuzi Miao.  Though at present I could not find a completion date for the project, existing homes and businesses have been leveled, meaning that whenever the pagoda is completed, it will be another brick in the resurrection of Nanjing. Perhaps, if the sky is ever clear enough, someday you’ll be able to see the tower as you walk into the new Aqua City Mall.
Please login to comment

Comments (3)

  • Any idea when the pagoda is slated for completion? I'd love to see some in-progress pix as they're building it.

    I might even taxi down and take some shots, if someone could write out how to get there, in Chinese (I will show it to a taxi driver).

    0 Like
  • Guest (a guest)

    Permalink

    i can't say exactly where the construction is - my Chinese co-workers could find out that it was south of zhonghuamen - just a bit. but that was all.

    0 Like
  • Spencer J, I heard from Casey recently, and this piece is still being developed. I'm looking into photo possibilities as well, so check back in a few weeks, and I reckon we'll have something for you. ;-)

    0 Like

Forums & Classifieds

Community chat

Work

Accommodation

Personals

Classifieds

Activity & Community

Reviews

Deliciousness Delivered
Star10Star10Star10Star10Star10

Element Fresh

I used the delivery coupon for a free appetizer from Element Fresh, along with a seasonal salad,...

What game do you play?
Star10Star10Star10Star10Star10

Poker Card Club

I would like to check it out.

Yep!
Star10Star10Star10Star10Star10

Poker Card Club

Certainly is! Email Simon at the address above to check the exact details

Great experience!
Star10Star10Star10Star10Star10

BenQ Hospital

Went to the international medical center @ BenQ for the first time today. It has a really...

Efficient, clean and...
Star10Star10Star10Star10Star00

BenQ Hospital

I've been here a couple of times during my three year stay in Nanjing. First couple of times I went...

A very good option for...
Star10Star10Star10Star10Star00

BenQ Hospital

I just spent 5 exhausting nights at BenQ, so I feel very qualified to review the place at this...

Mixed review
Star10Star10Star10Star00Star00

Element Fresh

The place is nice, the price is steep. The food tastes nice, the service stinks. Most of the...

Latest Comments

Wow, I never know that "The concept of Restaurant Week was originally introduced in New York in 1998 and has spread at a rapid pace, nowadays a Restau...
Hi, Can anyone tell me which one is a good place to eat a good and tasty food or we can say that we can go with our family too. ........................
Hi, Actually I like all of them select one of them is really tough I also like bbq chicken, pizzas and all type of finger food. ........................
The new center is such a cute and lovely idea to help children in Nanjing. It makes my heart warm to see Butterfly Children's Hospices take such affir...
Finally found flour tortillas at "Times Grocery". They got small frozen no=label one or "Old El Paso" brand upstairs.

Who Did What

 

Search Hello Nanjing

Nanjing Directory

Statistics
Total Members : 10720
Total Photos : 4176
Total Activities : 66434

Latest Reviews

Deliciousness Delivered
Star10Star10Star10Star10Star10

Element Fresh

I used the delivery coupon for a free appetizer from Element Fresh, along with a seasonal salad,...

What game do you play?
Star10Star10Star10Star10Star10

Poker Card Club

I would like to check it out.

Yep!
Star10Star10Star10Star10Star10

Poker Card Club

Certainly is! Email Simon at the address above to check the exact details

Great experience!
Star10Star10Star10Star10Star10

BenQ Hospital

Went to the international medical center @ BenQ for the first time today. It has a really...

Site activity

 
6 users and 244 guests online