This famous ancient pagoda in Guangzhou is so named because it looks magnificent and ornamental, but its structure is typical of multistoreyed pagodas rather than ornamental pagodas.
Located in Liurong Temple on North Chaoyang Road in Guangzhou, the pagoda was built in 537 during the Liang Dynasty.
The original pagoda was a huge square wooden structure. It was destroyed in a fire in the tenth century, but reconstructed in 1097 during the Northern Song Dynasty. The present structure dates from that time. Although it has been rebuilt several times since then, the main body has been retained. In 1980, when the pagoda was being repaired, bricks inscribed with the names of periods of the Northern Song Dynasty were found.
The octagonal, nine-storey, wood and brick pagoda is fifty-seven meters high, making it a fairly high one among ancient pagodas in south China. There is a hidden storey for each of the storeys above the first one, making the pagoda a structure of seventeen storeys. There are staircases for climbing up and down. The steeple is made of copper and iron. The copper mainstay, carved with a thousand images of Buddha, was cast in 1358 and bears nine tiers of discs. The steeple, including the bead on its top and the iron chains running from the top to other storeys of the pagoda, weighs five thousand kilogrammes.