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Overview

Capital of more than a dozen dynasties, Luoyang emerged after ten centuries of slow decline with only a few pieces of its royal legacy intact. Its most stunning attraction, Longmen Caves, lies ten miles south. Starting in 494 A.D., when Luoyang served as the Northern Wei Dynasty's capital, a procession of artists decorated over 2,000 cave temples with stone inscriptions and upwards of 100,000 Buddhist statues during a 200-year period. Longmen ranks with the Buddhist grottoes at Dunhuang, Dazu, and Datong as China's finest repositories of ancient Buddhist art. Luoyang itself is an industrial city of six million. The eastern side of town is ...

Capital of more than a dozen dynasties, Luoyang emerged after ten centuries of slow decline with only a few pieces of its royal legacy intact. Its most stunning attraction, Longmen Caves, lies ten miles south. Starting in 494 A.D., when Luoyang served as the Northern Wei Dynasty's capital, a procession of artists decorated over 2,000 cave temples with stone inscriptions and upwards of 100,000 Buddhist statues during a 200-year period. Longmen ranks with the Buddhist grottoes at Dunhuang, Dazu, and Datong as China's finest repositories of ancient Buddhist art. Luoyang itself is an industrial city of six million. The eastern side of town is often referred to as Old Town and features winding lanes, small shops and segments of the original earthen city walls. Main attractions are Wangcheng Park, which hosts a peony festival in April; a city museum with jades, bronzes and statues from the Stone Age to the Tang Dynasty; and the Museum of Ancient Tombs, with several dozen preserved burial chambers spanning dynasties from the Han to the Song. Ten miles east, White Horse Temple (Baima Si), dating back nearly 2,000 years, claims to have been China's first Buddhist complex.

J.D. Brown
About the Expert

J.D. Brown is a contributor to Frommer's China and Frommer's Beijing, coauthor of Frommer's China: The 50 Most Memorable Trips, Berlitz Shanghai, Berlitz Singapore, and other books.

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J.D. Brown for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Henan Province, 522 Miles South of Beijing
  • Language: Mandarin
  • Currency: Chinese Yuan
  • Research: Wikitravel | Luoyang

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Between simmering hot, dusty summers and cold, icy winters, spring and autumn stand out as mild and pleasant.