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The Restoration: Porcelain Tower of Nanjing

Travelers Today       By    Mumtazah Umal

Updated: Sep 20, 2016 03:55 PM EDT

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Nanjing Tower, china, Porcelain Tower, Wang Jianlin
Nanjing Porcelain Tower Lit Up For The 13th World Blood Donor Day
NANJING, CHINA - JUNE 13: (CHINA OUT) The Porcelain Tower at the Porcelain Tower Heritage Park is lit up to welcome the 13th World Blood Donor Day(WBDD) on June 13, 2016 in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province of China. The Porcelain Tower of Nanjing, also known as 'Bao'en Temple', which means 'Temple of Gratitude', was ranked one of the Seven Wonders of the World during medieval times and it is lit up for all gratis blood donors during the upcoming 13th World Blood Donor Day(WBDD) which falls on June 14 each year. (Photo by Yang Bo/CNSPHOTO/VCG/VCG via Getty Images)
(Photo: VCG / Contributor)

Considered as one of the Seven Wonders of the Medieval World, the Porcelain Tower of Nanjing has been rebuilt after it was destroyed more than 150 years ago.

Reportedly, China's richest man, Wang Jianlin has funded the reconstruction of the tower. Located at the newly opened Porcelain Tower Heritage Park, the tower was revamped with steel beams and a futuristic Buddhist-themed museum alongside.

History

In CNN's report, it was constructed by Ming Dynasty's Yongle Emperor during the 15th century to honor his deceased mother. The tower was made of white porcelain bricks with different images on the wall. They used images such as animals, flowers, bamboo, landscapes and Buddhist illustration for the stonework.

The tower became one of the most well-known Chinese buildings and considered as a national treasure for China. It was built with nine floors, a spiral staircase in the middle and a golden pineapple at the top of the tower.

The Destruction and Reconstruction of the Porcelain Tower

In 1801, a lightning bolt struck the tower and damaged the top 4 levels of it. The tower was then immediately restored. During the Taiping Civil War in 1850s, the city was controlled by the rebels. They started destroying the Buddhist images as well as the staircase of the tower. Eventually, they demolished the entire stories of the building.

In 2008, an excavation was done which led into a discovery of the tower's various fragments.

In 2010, reportedly as the single largest personal donation that was ever given in China, a businessman handed out one billion yuan to the municipal government for the tower's funding.

Last year, the Porcelain Tower Heritage Park was publicly opened in December. The park features a reconstructed Buddhist temple with porcelain pagoda and a conservatory that displays the Buddhist relics and other archaeological discoveries.

Today, you can now visit the Porcelain Tower Heritage Park and enjoy the exhibits in the museum like the original blocks of the Nanjing Tower's arched door.

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