The pagoda is situated in Xingjiao Temple in Chang'an County in the southern suburbs of Xi'an. It was built in 669 during the Tang Dynasty to bury Buddhist priest Xuanzang's remains. In 828 it was rebuilt as it is today.
The five-storey brick pagoda has a square ground plan, with each side of the first storey, 5.2 meters wide. The pagoda tapers sharply, making it very steady. At twenty-one meters high, it is a fairly big tomb pagoda, since Xuanzang was an eminent monk in the Tang Dynasty.
The pedestal is very low. On the south side of the first storey is an arched brick door; inside is a shrine for a statue of Xuangzang. As it is a tomb pagoda, it is solid inside, and people cannot climb it.
The exterior of the pagoda is modeled on multistoreyed pagodas, and on each side of each storey are four semidetached pillars. Under the eaves are simple semidetached brick brackets, rarely seen in other structures.
The first and third tiers of the brick eaves are in the shape of chevrons and from the fourth to the eleventh tier the eaves become wide and wider, presenting a curve. This is an artistic characteristic of the piled eaves of TangDynasty pagodas. However, the eaves of this pagoda have more tiers of bricks and they are wider, making the pagoda look all the more like a multistoreyed pagoda. This is also rare in other Tang Dynasty pagodas.
The pagoda is well known not only because Eminent Monk Xuanzang was buried there, but also because it is an early brick imitation of multistoreyed wooden pagodas.
The steeple was destroyed and rebuilt, therefore its original features are not known.