Longmen Caves

This is a photo of the Longmen Caves in Luoyang City, Henan Province, China. Longmen Caves(Dragon Door Grottoes), are situated in Central China, 17 km southwest to Luoyang, the ancient imperial capital of 9 dynasties in Chinese history. These grottoes were created during the 5th-7th centuries, and most of the figures and the grottoes were financed by the nobility of that time. There are more than 1300 grottoes and 700 niches, containing 40 pagodas, 2780 inscriptions and more than 100,000 statues and images. Many of the most beautiful sculptures were stolen or beheaded in the beginning of the 20th century and can now be found in various museums in the western world. But like the Dunhuang Cave Murals in the far north (at the end of the Silk Road), the Longmen Grottoes give a good impression of Buddhist art, and show the various styles of the northern Wei-dynasty(A.D.386-A.D.534) and the Tang-dynasty(A.D.618-A.D.907). The largest of these statues is 17 meters tall, and the tiniest less than 2 cm.

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