But Thap Pagoda is located in Dinh To, Thuan Thanh, Bac Ninh. But Thap pagoda is a quite ancient pagoda and now considered as one of Vietnam popular destinations in spirit life of people. The pagoda was built under Tran Thanh Tong dynasty. At that time, Huyen Quang monk was a nun in this pagoda. He had the stone tower of 9 floors built with the lotus shape.
Differently with other Vietnam pagodas and temples, the architecture of But Thap pagoda is mainly the combination between “Noi Cong Ngoai Quoc” shape and “Tam” shape. “Noi Cong Ngoai Quoc” shape looks like letter “I” inside a squre and “Tam” shape like three horizontal parallel lines. All the buildings face the South, traditional architecture of the Vietnamese. The pagoda is balanced in the center area but very natural in the surrounding area. The center area includes eight houses which are set in an axis which are three gates entrance, bell tower, fore sanctuary, upper sanctuary, Tich Thien Am palace, middle house, Mother of goddess palace, and back house.
There are two lines of stele house in the two sides and it runs along the length of the pagoda. At the left side and at the back of the lobby, there is a five-room house which is known as the house of patriarch and used for the worshipping place of the Buddhist priest Chuyet Chuyet, Minh Hanh. There are towers besides which are the tombs of the nun. The architecture of But Thap is also deeply marked by Chinese which are typically the stone bridge and Bao Nghiem tower.
In the corridor around the upper palace, there are many carving pictures of wood and stone. There are totally 51 carving pictures with many different topics with the generalization in the material, style and it is generalized in terms of time. The carving patterns are lively with the artistry characteristic with the topics of trees, flowers, birds, animals.
But Thap is one of the few pagodas which keeps the unique architecture.