Longmen Grottoes, Luoyang, Henan (龙门石窟,洛阳市,河南省)

Longmen Grottoes are located in the south of Luoyang City. They are between Mount Xiang and Mount Longmen and face Yi River.Longmen Grottoes,Yungang Caves and Mogao Caves are regarded as the three most famous treasure houses of stone inscriptions in China.The grottoes were started around the year 494 when Emperor Xiaowen of the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534 A.D.) moved the capital to Luoyang.The work on these sites continued for another 400 years until the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127 A.D.).The first caves of Longmen were excavated in 494,the 12th year of the Northern Wei Dynasty Xiaowen Emperor’s reign.The grottoes extend for some 1,000 meters (about 1,094 yards) from north to south.They contain over 2,300 holes and niches,2,800 steles,40 stupas,1,300 caves and 97,000 sculptured figures that have survived the test of time.Most of these works date from the Northern Wei Dynasty and the flourishing age of the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.).Lots of historical materials concerning art, music, religion, calligraphy, medicine, costume and architecture are stored in the Longmen Grottoes.

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