A Chinese county -- home to the world's oldest wooden pagoda -- plans to invest 1 billion U.S. dollars to make it better known as a center of Buddhist culture.
The government of Shanxi's Yingxian County, home to the world-renowned Sakyamuni Pagoda, recently announced it has signed a contract with a media company to jointly build the Sakyamuni Buddhist Cultural Park.
The park will cover 400 hectares and comprise a conference center, a Buddhist practice cultural park and a Buddhist culture research institute. The project will be completed in 2016.
The county is also applying to have the 67-meter-high Sakyamuni Pagoda, one of the tallest wooden structures in the world, included on the UNESCO list of cultural relics by 2013.
The Sakyamuni Pagoda is the oldest completely wooden pagoda still standing in China and is believed to be the oldest of its kind in the world.
The octagonal pagoda was built in 1056 AD during the Liao Dynasty.