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Ornamental Pagoda at Chengziwan in Dunhuang of Gansu Province
Beside the Mogao grottoes in Dunhuang is a place called Chengziwan where an ornamental pagoda stands. Its interior was built of mud bricks, daubed first with a layer of mud mixed with straw and then with another layer of fine mud. The walls are covered with various kinds of ornamental clay sculptures. A huge Sumeru pedestal supports the one-storey, octagonal chamber of the pagoda. Above the chamber the large main body is in the shape of a lotus flower, looking like a huge column of bouquets. A niche and a Buddhist statue are built into the middle of the flower, and a steeple, in the shape of a square, one-storey pagoda, sits on top. There may once have been discs and a bead over the pagoda, they are now gone.

The pagoda's chamber has a door on the east side and false doors on the other three sides. Above the arched door are decorative flame designs, reflecting the style of stone niche doors in the Sui and Tang dynasties and foreign influence. On both sides of the door are twin ornamental day dragons playing with a bead. At every corner of the chamber is a octagonal clay pillar; between the pillars a system of brackets supports the eaves. The style of the brackets indicates the pagoda must have been built later than the Sui and Tang dynasties and should be a relic of the early Song Dynasty.

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