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Longmen Grottoes, located 13 kilometers away from Luoyang in the south, are a treasure house for ancient Buddhist cave art. It with Mogao Caves and Yungang Grottoes has all together composed “Three Great Grottoes” in China.
The construction of Longmen Grottoes started around the year 493 during the reign of Emperor Xiaowen and continued through the successive six dynasties, including Tang and Song, for a span of over 400 years. Altogether there are over 2,100 caves and niches, over 100,000 statues of Buddha, Bodhisattvas and Arhats, as well as 3,600 inscribed stone tablets and 43 stone stupas. The most typical caves among them include Guyang Cave, Binyang Cave, the Lotus Cave, Qianxi Temple, Wanfo Cave, Fengxian Temple as well as Kanjing Temple.
Longmen Grottoes are home to the largest and most impressive collection of the plastic arts of China from the late period of Northern Wei Dynasty to Tang Dynasty, which provide rich information for the research on religion, painting, calligraphy, music, costumes, medicine, architecture and foreign relations during this period.
Longmen Grottoes were approved by the 24th UN Heritage Commission to be on the List of World Cultural Heritage in 2000.