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Home History and Culture Ancient Capitals of China (Luoyang)
Ancient Capitals of China (Luoyang)
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Luoyang (luò yáng 洛阳) lies in the west of Hennan Province (hé nán shěng 河南省). Situated in the central plain, it is known as “the Gravity Center of China” and “the Hinterland of Nine Divisions (a poetic name for China)”. Named due to the location on the north side of the Luohe River (luò hé 洛河), Luoyang is one of the most important places of origin of the Huaxia civilization (huá xià wén míng 华夏文明).

Starting from the Xia Dynasty (xià cháo 夏朝), the first imperial dynasty in China, Luoyang severed as the capital for thirteen dynasties. It was the earliest capital city with the longest time of being capital in China’s history. During the Sui (suí cháo 隋朝) and Tang (táng cháo 唐朝) dynasties, with a population of more than one million, Luoyang was at that time the most prosperous city in the world.

There are number of cultural relics and historical sites in Luoyang. Arrayed along the Luohe River, the capital relics of the Xia, the Shang (shāng 商), the Zhou (zhōu 周), the Han (hàn 汉) and Wei (wèi 魏), the Sui and Tang Dynasties present a rare scene in the world, known as "the Five Capitals Assembling in Luoyang City”. Moreover, there are the Museum of Ancient Tombs (gǔ mù bó wù guǎn 古墓博物馆), the Park of Peonies (mǔ dān yuán 牡丹园) of the Royal City (wáng chéng guǎng chǎng 王城广场), etc. 

Nowadays Luoyang is a new industrial base in China, famous for its tractors, mineral machines and bearing industry. Besides, it is also well developed in such fields as steel processing, textiles and refining petroleum. Luoyang is also a transportation center of Longhai railway (lǒng hǎi tiě lù 陇海铁路), Jiaoliu railway (jiāo liǔ tiě lù 焦柳铁路) and other railways.

The Longmen Grottoes (lóng mén shí kū 龙门石窟), together with the Dunhuang Grottoes (dūn huáng shí kū 敦煌石窟) in Gangsu Province (gān sù shěng 甘肃省) and the Yungang Grottoes (yún gāng shí kū 云冈石窟) at Datong (dà tóng 大同) in Shanxi Province (shān xī shěng 山西省), are known as the three major treasure-houses of Buddhist grotto are in ancient China. In 494 AD, Emperor Xiaowen (xiào wén dì 孝文帝) of the Northern Wei Dynasty (běi wèi 北魏) moved his capital to Luoyang and started the construction of the Longmen Grottoes. It boasts a huge collection of more than 100000 Buddhist status and 2300 niches.

Baima TempleThe Baima (White Horse) Temple
The Baima (White Horse) Temple (bái mǎ sì 白马寺) was the first officially built Buddhist shrine since Buddhism was introduced into China. It is reputed as the “the Origin of Buddhism” in China.









The Longmen Grottoes



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