Inside the western gate of the county town of Jixian in the suburbs of Tianjin there is a white pagoda. People call it the Guanyin Temple White Pagoda because there was once a Guanyin Temple in front of the pagoda.
The pagoda was built in the Liao Dynasty. Though it was repaired many times during the Jiajing, Longqing and Wanli reigns of the Ming Dynasty and the Qianlong reign of the Qing Dynasty, its structure and style have remained Liao Dynasty. The octagonal pagoda, 30.6 meters tall, stands on a Sumeru pedestal made of granite slabs and bricks. The brackets, balustrades and ornamental patterns on the pedestal are all made of bricks, but in the style of a wooden structure. The pagoda's similarity to Dule Temple indicates it was constructed during the Liao Dynasty. On the southern side of the two-storeyed multi-eaved pagoda is a niche whose walls have mural paintings on them. On the east, west and north sides there is a false door with sculptures of flying apsarases. Each of the eight corners of the first storey is a three- storeyed pagoda itself, decorated with dew basins and lotus petals. The main body of the pagoda has two layers of short eaves, on which stands an octagonal pedestal that serves as base for a steeple in the form of a Lamaist dagoba. The inverted-bowl-style dagoba is crowned by thirteen tiers of discs and a bronze spire.
Combining the multi-eaved and inverted-bowl Lamaist styles, the White Pagoda in Jixian County is unique among ancient pagodas in China. It bears resemblance only to the North Pagoda in Yunju Temple. Both are masterpieces of the Liao Dynasty.