The cradle of Chinese civilisation
Located in Henan Province, Luoyang sits on the Yellow River and is surrounded by mountains and plains. It is the cradle of Chinese civilisation, having been the capital city of 13 dynasties from the Xia Dynasty onwards. Chinese culture and religion have a close relationship with the Luoyang, as many Chinese legends such as Nvwa Patching the Sky, are said to have happened here. This is where Taoism originated and also where the governments first Buddhist temple was set up. Many innovations used the world over, such as the seismograph, armillary sphere, paper making, printing and the compass all originated here. Home to the Longmen Grottoes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and close to the famous Shaolin Temple, it is one of central China's most popular destinations.
Here we have selected a few of the sights and experiences that you really should see on a visit to Luoyang.
The Longmen Grottoes
The Longmen Grottoes, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are one of China’s handful of surviving masterpieces of Buddhist rock carving. Stone masons from the Northern Wei dynasty started carving them after the capital relocated here from Datong in 494. Over the next two centuries, more than 100,000 images and statues of Buddha and his disciples emerged from over a kilometre of limestone cliff wall along the Yī River.
The White Horse Temple
Although the original structure has been replaced, this active monastery on the outskirts of Luoyang is seen as China’s first surviving Buddhist temple, originally dating from the 1st century AD. When two Han dynasty court emissaries went in search of Buddhist scriptures, they met two Indian monks in Afghanistan; the monks returned to Luoyang on white horses carrying Buddhist statues. The impressed emperor built the temple for the monks!
Luoyang Old Town
Luoyang Old Town was once a political, cultural, and economic centre of the country. Today, Luoyang Old Town is a vibrant area filled with street food streets, small shops, and historic buildings.
A selection of our tours to Luoyang