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||The largest and most impressive assortment of Chinese art from the late Northern Wei and Tang Dynasties (316-907) are found within the grottoes and niches of Longmen. Entirely devoted to the Buddhist religion, these works characterize the high point of Chinese stone carving. --WHMNet paraphrase from the description at WHC Site, where additional information is available. For 360 degree imaging of this site, click here.
||The Longmen Grottoes (ch. 龍門石窟; lit. Dragon's Gate Grottoes) or Longmen Caves are located 12 km south of present day Luoyang in Henan province, China. The grottoes, which overwhelmingly depict Buddhist subjects, are densely dotted along the two mountains: Xiangshan (to the east) and Longmenshan (to the west). The Yi River flows northward between them. For this reason, the area used to be called Yique (The Gate of the Yi River). From north to south, the distance covered by grottoes is about one km. Along with the Mogao Caves and Yungang Grottoes, the Longmen Grottoes are one of the three most famous ancient sculptural sites in China. During the Warring States Period, the general Bai Qi of Qin (state) once defeated the allied forces of Han (state) and Wei (state) at the site. Construction of the grottoes themselves began in AD 493. The area was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in November 2000. According to the inscription the Longmen Grottoes are an illustration of "...the perfection of a long-established art form which was to play a highly significant role in the cultural evolution of this region of Asia. --Wikipedia. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. For 360 degree imaging of this site, click here.
||1. UNESCO World Heritage Center, Site Page.