This pagoda, on Beigu Hill in Zhenjiang, was made entirely of cast iron. Because of its location next to Ganlu (Sweet Dew) Temple it was called the Iron Pagoda of Ganlu Temple. The seven-level thirteen-meter pagoda was first build between 825 and 820, but was destroyed at the end of the Tang Dynasty. During the Yuanfeng years (1078-1085) of the Song Dynasty it was reconstructed, but it was blown to the ground by a strong storm in 1582 and restored later with donations collected by some monks. Unfortunately, the pagoda suffered more damage from storms later during the Qing Dynasty. Today only the base and first two storeys are the original Song Dynasty structure,
The iron pagoda was modeled on a multistoreyed wooden pagoda. The octagonal Sumeru pedestal at the lower part of the pagoda has cast patterns of sea waves and other ornaments on the surface. On each side of the recessed belt around the pedestal are carved arch patterns and statues of Buddha. The main body of the pagoda has doors in four directions and false windows in the other four directions. It is also embellished with cast-iron statues of Buddha, images of bodhisattvas, flying apsarases, dragons and other animal and floral patters, showing exquisite craftsmanship, The eaves, brackets, rafters, beams and tile ridges are all made of cast iron but in the fashion of wooden structures and proportioned according to the system of the Song Dynasty.
The pagoda has been repaired many times since 1949. The third and fourth storeys, built in later years to match the original structure but lying neglected in the courtyard of Ganlu Temple, have been restored. Valuable Buddhist relics, including a gold coffin containing some sarira, were discovered while the underground palace was being repaired.