Squares and Gardens around Big Wild Goose Pagoda
Around the Xian Daci'en Temple with the magnificent Big Wild Goose Pagoda inside, there are a number of squares and gardens built to present the grandness of the pagoda and the cultural spirit of the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907). To the north is the famous North Square with a spectacular musical fountain; to the east are the Tang Ci’en Temple Site Park and the East Garden; to the west lies the West Garden; and to the south the South Square sits in front of the main gate of the Daci’en Temple and the Great Tang All Day Mall extends further southwards.
|Music Fountain Square |
Largest Musical Fountain in Asia
The T-shape musical fountain and waterscape area covers an area of 15,000 sq m (about 17,940 sq yd). Possessing 1,024 burner caps, this fountain is divided into three areas: Hundred-meter Waterfall Pool, Eight-level Plunge Pool and Prelude Music Pool. The main music played during the fountain performances is a symphony - Water Phantom of Tang.
When the music starts, the central area of the square is full of different shapes of fountain sprays showing 22 matrix patterns. Some are particularly designed with advanced science and technology, including the lotuses, hundred-meter running spring, sea of clouds, flying gulls, sixty-meter-high water column and the laser water curtain. In particular, the ‘Fire Fountain’ of 60 m (about 197 ft) in width and 20 m (about 65.6 ft) in height spurting from water and blowing up in the air attracts much more attention. The effect of the fountain performance is perfectly designed by combining the music, lights, water and colors, and thus the fountain at night, when colorful water sprays fly in the air like thousands of sparkling fairies, is more attractive than that in the daytime.
Admission Fee: Free.
Show Time of the Musical Fountain
|Monday, Wednesday - Friday||June 10 to Octobr 5: 12:00, 21:00; |
February 1 to June 9, October 6 to 31: 12:00, 20:30
|Tuesday||June 10 to October 5: 21:00; |
February 1 to June 9, October 6 to 31: 20:30
|Weekend and other statutory holidays||June 10 to October 5: 12:00, 14:00, 16:00, 18:00, 21:00; |
February: 1 to June 9, October 6 to 31: 12:00, 14:00, 16:00, 18:00, 20:30
|Note||There is no show from November to the next January except the Chinese New Year Holiday.|
Tip: Due to the extraordinary number of visitors, for a good angle of view, you are suggested to be on the scene 20 minutes before the musical fountain show starts. Don’t get too close to the burner caps. Also, please watch out your belongings especially cameras while you are enjoying the waterscape.
Statues and Other Attractions
At the entrance of the square stands a cupreous statue of an ancient book telling the prosperity of the Tang Dynasty. Behind the statue are Buddhist beacons and culture columns. The two nine-meter-high Buddhist beacons are the symbol of North Square. The bodies of the beacons are designed to show the spirit of Buddhism based on the patterns of the Mogao Caves in Dunhuang.
On the two sides of the fountain, there are statues of the elites of the Tang Dynasty. The development of Tang Dynasty in Chinese history is unparalleled. At that time, many elites of various fields emerged, including the famous poets and scholars such as Li Bai, Du Fu, Wang Wei, and Han Yu, outstanding calligrapher Huai Su, and the ‘King of Chinese Medicine’ - Sun Simiao etc. Besides, the delicate ground relievos show the excellent calligraphy work and the auspicious patterns of the Tang. Even the street lamp chimneys and the stone railings around are covered with well-known Chinese poems.
East and West Pedestrian Streets
On the two sides of the Daci’en Temple, two pedestrian streets link the North and the South Squares. A number of statues describing the locals’ life in the Tang Dynasty are set along the streets, including the scenes of the birthday party, the shadow play, the clinic and doctor, the music show on the streets, the wrestling competition, etc. There are also many stalls by the side, selling featured tourist souvenirs.
Tang Ci'en Temple Site Park
First named Chunxiao Garden, this park located on the original site of the Daci’en Temple is just to the east of the present temple. It is an exquisite park, and was built based on both its quiet natural environment and the Buddhist theme. Various statues stand among the well-arranged vegetation, vividly showing stories of the temple and the pagoda, including the Emperor Gaozong guiding the construction of the temple, the Monk Xuanzang designing and leading the construction of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, and the Monk Jianzhen Sailing to Japan to promote Buddhism.
This is set as the Shaanxi Opera Garden. Here the colored painting statues, local opera copper relief, statuaries of famous Shaanxi opera writers and actors embody the cultural characteristics of Shaanxi and present the unique charm of the Shaanxi Opera (Qinqiang). Here visitors can see various facial paintings and enjoy the vivid scene of some classical Shaanxi opera plays.
To the west of the pagoda lies the West Garden - Shaanxi Folk Customs Garden. On the entrance there are sandstone statues of two loyal generals of the Tang Dynasty, Qin Shubao and Yuchi Jingde, who escorted and protected Emperor Taizong for a lifetime. The highlights of this garden are the lively bronze statues showing the diversified folk customs of Shaanxi and the real life scenes. Here visitors can have a good understanding of the folklores passed by the locals from generation to generation, including the half-built houses, the handkerchief on head, the huge bowls, the roaring local opera, the large round baked wheat cake, etc.
The focus of the South Square is the standing statue of Monk Xuanzang of the Tang Dynasty. The statue is built to expound Buddhist culture. Resting on the green lawn and appreciating the statue, visitors can see that Xuanzang seems to be telling the Buddhist doctrines. The greenbelt and other facilities around provide a wonderful place for visitors to relax.
Great Tang All Day Mall, with a width of 480 meters (525 yards), extends 1,500 meters (1,640 yards) southwards from the South Square of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, across the Zhenguan Culture Square and Kaiyuan Ceremony Square, and finally reaches the Tang City Wall Relics Park at its southern end. It is a comprehensive culture center and shopping mall with sights featuring the style of the Tang Dynasty as well as shopping, food and recreation facilities.
The large statuary landscape avenue on the axis combines nine groups of theme statuaries with modernized waterscape system and light system. The statuaries depict the Tang emperors, famous historical figures, historical heroes, classical art articles etc, showing the dominant achievements of the Tang Dynasty in religion, literature, art and technology. Zhenguan (the reign title of Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty) Monument is the typical and symbolized building in the Great Tang All Day Mall. It is composed of a main statue of Emperor Taizong with a height of 5.95 meters (19.5 feet) on top of the tall monument and a group of statuaries of his attendants, including 12 buglers, 12 standard-bearers, 2 drummers and 6 court officials. On both sides of the avenue, there are six blocks built in the Tang Dynasty style, among which the Xian Concert Hall, Xian Grand Theater, Qujiang Cinema and Shaanxi Artists Gallery are the most attractive.
How to get there
1. Take Subway Line 3 to Dayanta Station (Big Wild Goose Pagoda) and get out from Exit B or C.
2. Take bus nos.5, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 27, 30, 34, 41, 44, 224, 237, 242, 400, 401, 408, 500, 501, 521, 526, 527, 601, 606, 609, 701, 715, Tourist Bus Line 4, Line 6, Line 8 (610), Line 9 (320) and get off at Dayanta Station.
Xian Bus / Subway Search
3. Taxi: It costs about CNY 20 from the Xian Railway Station to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda.