Tiger Hill Pagoda
Tiger Hill is renowned as 'the number one scenic spot in the land of Wu' and 'a marvelous example of hills in the south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River'. And the Tiger Hill Pagoda, which is situated right on the Tiger Hill, has watched over the Suzhou section of the Grand Canal for more than 1,000 years. The pagoda was constructed from the end of the Five Dynasties period through the beginning of the Northern Song dynasty (A.D. 959–961). Imitating Chinese wooden frame towers, the pagoda is a seven-story and eight-sided masonry structure of pavilion style. The Tiger Hill Pagoda is also known as Yunyan Temple Pagoda, which was named after the Yunyan Buddhist Temple nearby. It is a famous leaning tower for the way it leans to the northeast. The center of the top of the tower leans 2.34 meters away from the center of the bottom, and the maximum inclination angle is 3°59′. Even so, the pagoda still stands firmly as a 47.7 meter high tower on the hill. In March 1961, the pagoda was announced by the State Council as one of the first batch of major historical and cultural sites protected at the national level. Years ago, a number of precious cultural relics were discovered in the pagoda. Among them, the Celadon Lotus Flower-Shaped Bowl from Yue kiln of the Five Dynasties period is a piece of rare treasure. This art piece, fired using traditional Yue ware craftsmanship recorded in a secret glaze formula, is now displayed at Suzhou Museum. And the Sword Pool at the foot of the pagoda is generally said to be the burial place of Helv, the king of Wu in the late Spring and Autumn period.