Xuankongsi, beilou 懸空寺北樓



  • northern tower (English)
  • 北樓 (Traditional Chinese)
  • 北楼 (Simplified Chinese)
  • běilóu (Pinyin)
  • pei-lou (Wade-Giles)
  • Xuankongsi beilou (English)
  • 懸空寺北樓 (Traditional Chinese)
  • 悬空寺北楼 (Simplified Chinese)

Building Information

The northern tower of Xuankongsi is a three-story tower, 7 meters in length and 4 meters in width. The first story consists of a Five Buddhas Hall (Wufodian五佛殿), sheltered by a single set of eaves (單檐). Occupying a total area of 11.19 square meters it enshrines the statues of the Five Buddhas. The second story consists of a Three Saints (or Sages) Hall (Sanshengdian 三聖殿) occupying an area of 8.34 square meters with eaves and galleries cantilevered out into space (檐廊懸空). Located on the third floor of the northern tower and at the highest position of the entire temple complex, the Hall of the Three Teachings (三教殿) is one of the most iconic sites of Xuankongsi. Crowned by a single eaves, hip-gable roof (單檐歇山頂), it occupies a total area of 8.33 square meters. This building houses the key figures of the three most influential religions in China: Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism.1

Date 14th century to 20th century
Dynasty Ming - Qing 1368 - 1912 2

Works Cited

Any information without attribution has been created following the Syriaca.org editorial guidelines.

  • 1 张. 2016. 衡山悬空寺, 55-56.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 国家文物局. 2006. 中国文物地图集. 山西分册, 127.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 李. 2014. 悬空寺的巧妙设计理念探究, 114.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 2 WILKINSON. 2000. Chinese History: A Manual, 12.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record

Contained in Place

How to Cite This Entry

LI Zhixian 李知賢 et al., “Xuankongsi, beilou 懸空寺北樓 ” in Architectura Sinica last modified February 18, 2022, https://architecturasinica.org/place/000298a.


LI Zhixian 李知賢 et al., “Xuankongsi, beilou 懸空寺北樓 .” In Architectura Sinica, edited by Tracy Miller. Entry published December 12, 2021. https://architecturasinica.org/place/000298a.

About this Entry

Entry Title: Xuankongsi, beilou 懸空寺北樓

Authorial and Editorial Responsibility:

  • Tracy Miller, editor, Architectura Sinica
  • LI Zhixian 李知賢 and Tracy Miller, entry contributors, “Xuankongsi, beilou 懸空寺北樓

Additional Credit:

  • Website coordination by Yuh-Fen Benda
  • Editing and proof correction Tracy Miller Yuh-Fen Benda
  • Initial research, data entry, and adding external links by LI Zhixian 李知賢

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