The original pagoda was built during the reign of Emperor Gaozong of Tang (ruling from 649 to 683), then standing at a height of 60 meters. The building functioned to collect Buddhist materials that were taken from India by the hierarch Xuanzang.
The tower sits inside the Daci’en Temple complex. The temple was built in 648 to honor the Empress Zhangsun. This tower with a stone exterior façade collapsed decades later. The ruling Empress Wu Zetian had the pagoda rebuilt and added five new stories.
A massive earthquake in 1556 heavily damaged the pagoda and reduced it by three stories, to its current height of seven stories. The pagoda was extensively repaired during the Ming dynasty and renovated again in the 60’s and currently stands at a height of 64 meters tall.