Repairs in the works for ancient Huzhu Pagoda
The ancient Huzhu Pagoda, built in 1079 and located on Tianma Hill in Songjiang District, will soon undergo its first repairs in decades, district authorities announced on Wednesday.
The seven-story brick-and-wood pagoda had an eastward deviation of 2.28 meters as of 2015, tipping it at an angle of 7.1 degrees.
Built during the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127), the 18.82-meter-high pagoda underwent repairs in the 1980s to improve its resistance to earthquakes.
According to Yang Jiayou, an expert on ancient architecture, the formation of the tilt is due to different soil conditions on the hill. The soil in the southeast of the hillside is deep, while it is shallow on the northwest. Yet, the structure has not collapsed because of its design and high-quality building materials.
New cracks on the walls of the pagoda have been spotted recently, and the southwest of the pagoda base is now subsiding more noticeably, according to Songjiang District cultural relics conservation management authorities.
Detailed plans for the pagoda's repair are being worked out to minimize the impact of the project on the structure, authorities said.
The Xiudaozhe Pagoda built in 978 on Sheshan Hill in Songjiang will also experience repairs at the same time. It is a seven-story brick-wood-structure octahedral pagoda which is about 29 meters high. It had repairs in 1997 and cultural relics like Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) bronze statues, jade ornaments and coins were found at the pagoda site at that time.