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Great Pagoda

The Great Pagoda was the tallest and most ambitious structure in a royal circuit of 16 buildings. 

You may learn more about the Great Pagoda in Kew Gardens here.

It was constructed in the royal park at Kew and showcased architectural styles from all over the world. It consists of 253 steps. 

There is no charge to peek inside the little compartment at the pagoda’s base. 

Additionally, there are two automata. 

In one, the architect is seen studying pagodas in Canton, China. One more depicts the royals going around Kew Gardens. 

The movable elements of the automata are controlled by handwheels at their bases.

Completed in 1762 as a gift for Princess Augusta, who established Kew Gardens, the Great Pagoda was built. 

When it was built, the 10 storeys’ roofs were decorated with 80 dragons made of gilded wood. 

In 1784, the dragons were exterminated. However, it is more likely that they just deteriorated over time. 

There were reports that they were sold to cover King George IV’s gambling debts. 

The Eight dragons on the first floor were made the old-fashioned way – by hand painting. 

The final 72 were produced using 3-D printing and a sturdy polyimide substance.

Featured Image: KEW.org

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