In a street garden in downtown Yangzhou there is an ancient pagoda with spectacular features. It was originally built in 840 during the Tang Dynasty at Mulanyuan Temple in the west of the city and moved to its present location during the Southern Song Dynasty. Today none of the temple buildings remain, but the ancient pagoda is still intact.
Except for some statues of Buddha, most of the existing pagoda was the result of a major reconstruction in the Qing Dynasty, but its value as a building of historical importance remains.
Built entirely of stone, the hexagonal pagoda, modeled on multistoreyed buildings, has five storeys and is more than ten meters high. The relatively low base pedestal is surrounded by stone balustrades with carved patterns of dragons, phoenixes, oxen, horses and so on. There are S-shaped patterns on the banisters. The decorative patterns are characteristic of the artistic style of the Ming and Qing dynasties. The progressively smaller storeys all have circular columns at their six corners. The first, third and fifth storeys have arched doors on the south and north. The other storeys have small niches in the walls. The slightly upturned eaves have tube-shaped tiles with carved patters, an architectural style seen south of the Yangtze River. The hexagonal hip roof is topped by a steeple composed of a lotus pedestal, a stone gourd, a bottle and a bead. The whole structure, sedate and elegant, is a rare example of ancient stone pagodas.