Covering about 40 mu (= 0.0667 hectares), the North Temple Pagoda was originally the Tongxuan Temple during the reign of Chiwu of the Eastern Wu in the Three States built by Sun Quan, the Emperor of Wu, for his wet nurse. It was granted as the “Epoch-making Temple” in the Tang Dynasty and began to be called the “ Reciprocation Temple ” at the end of the Five Dynasties. So far it has a history of more than 1,700 years.
The Reciprocation Temple Pagoda, or the North Temple Pagoda, is a provincial preservation unit of historical and cultural relics and is popularly praised as the “ Number One Pagoda in South of the Yangtse River ” . Standing far apart facing the Tiger Hill Pagoda, the North Temple Pagoda is also a famous old pagoda and an important symbol of Suzhou .
The North Temple Pagoda has a long history. It was originally an eleven-storeyed pagoda built by Zhanghui, a monk in the Liang Dynasty. Then it was destroyed by the flames of war and the base of the North Temple Pagoda today was built by Dayuan, a monk in the Southern Song Dynasty.
The North Temple Pagoda is a brick and wooden Buddhist pagoda of the style of building and has nine storeys with eight sides each. With the height of 76 meters, it is the highest of the pagodas in Suzhou . It is famous for double eaves and flying corners and is a building in the same type as the Liuhe Pagoda in Hangzhou . The base of the pagoda covers 1.3 mu (= 0.0667 hectares), whose eaves are extraordinarily long. Its body consists of the outer corridors, the inner corridors and the square rooms in the center. Visitors can walk up along the wooden stairs in the internal corridors and by leaning on the railings look down at the panorama of the city as well as look at hills, waters, and rural scenery of Suzhou in the distance.