The Wooden Pagoda Temple, originally called Wanshou Temple, is located on Xianfu South Street in Zhangye City. The temple was built in 582 during the Sui dynasty. It has a history of over 1400 years. In 639, Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty ordered the temple to be renovated. During Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty, Sun Sike, Commander in Chief of the Gansu Province, visited the temple in 1685 and renovated it again. Unfortunately, the temple was destroyed. Later in 1926, the temple was rebuilt.
The temple is considered one of the five-element pagodas of Zhangye City. Metal, wood, water, fire, and earth are the ‘five elements’ in ancient Chinese philosophy and fortune telling.
The pagoda is actually a nine-story building with a height of 32.8 meters. It has a unique octagonal structure with eight dragon head carvings in each row with a pearl in the mouth and a wind bell under the neck. The main body is made of wood with eaves, which are shaped in a pavilion structure. In the pagoda, there are doors, cloisters, engraved windows and lintels on each floor, embedded with stelae carved in brick. It differs from other pagodas because there is no nail or rivet in the whole structure. Once at the top, you have a panoramic view of the surrounding city.