Famen Temple is located in Famen town, Fufeng County, 120 kilometers west of Xi'an City, Shaanxi province. It was widely regarded as the "ancestor of pagoda temples in Guanzhong area".
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Architecture of Famen Temple
Famen Temple currently maintains such a layout as Grand Hall following Pagoda. The True Relic Pagoda is regarded as the middle axle of the temple. Before it stand the Front Gate, the Front Hall, and behind it is the Grand Hall of Great Sage. This is the typical layout of the early Buddhist temples in China.
The True Relic Pagoda has been altered several times. It evolved from four-storied pavilion-like pagoda in Tang Dynasty to thirteen-storied brick pagoda in Ming Dynasty. The current version was rebuilt based on the surveyed drawing of the pagoda in Ming Dynasty before it collapsed. It is made of armored concrete as skeleton, and then covered by grey bricks. Inside the pagoda there are sightseeing platforms for tourists.
The underground palace was restored to the structure of Tang Dynasty. Only few severely damaged parts were replaced. The whole palace was built by white marbles and limestone tablets. Inner walls and stony gate are all engraved. During the renovation of the underground palace, a circular basement was built surrounding the Tang palace, and Buddhist shrines were included. The preserved Buddhist finger relic rests at the center of the underground palace.
The western division of the temple is Famen Temple Museum, including multi-functioning reception hall, treasure hall and other buildings.
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