Standing on the northeast of Kaifeng, Iron Pagoda is a Buddhist Chinese pagoda which built in 1049 during the Song Dynasty of China. “Iron” in its name does not means the pagoda is made of iron, because the color of the pagoda is similar to the iron. The Iron Pagoda is a brick structure tower, a previously wooden one burnt down by lightning fire in 1044, and is reputed as “The First Pagoda under the Heaven”.
This octagonal-base structure stands at a current height of 56.88 meters (186.56 feet) with a total of 13 stories. It is a solid-core brick tower with an inner spiral stone staircase and outside openings to allow light and air flow. The architectural style features densely positioned, articulated dougong in the eaves (miyan) and multiple stories (louge). The exterior features more than fifty different varieties of glazed brick and 1,600 intricate and richly detailed carvings, including those of standing and sitting Buddha, standing monks, singers and flying dancers, flowers, lions, dragons and other legendary beasts as well as many fine engravings. Under the eaves are 104 bells that ring in the wind. The foundation rests in the silt of the Yellow River. Inside the Iron Pagoda are frescos of the classical Chinese tales, such as The Journey to the West.
After built for thousands of years, the Iron Pagoda still stands firmly. Nowadays, the Iron Pagoda lies as a remark at a big park named Iron Pagoda Park in northeastern Kaifeng. The park is about 50 hectares and two octagonal pagodas and a big Buddha figure sit around it. The reputation of the pagoda has been spread around the world, which has attracted thousands of visitors every year.