Luoyang, located along the southern banks of the middle reaches of the Yellow River, is one of the seven ancient capitals of China, served sooner or later as the capital city with a history of 1592 years and for 13 different dynasties (the Xia, the Shang, the Eastern Zhou, the Eastern Han, the Cao Wei, the Western Jin, the Northern Wei, the Sui and the Tang, etc.); considered the miniature of the ancient Chinese history.
In addition to many places of interest, Luoyang takes pride in its peonies. Every April, the city's Peony Show attracts numerous visitors from home and abroad. Luoyang is also famous for its three-colored glazed pottery, bronze ware, and palace lanterns.
Tourist highlights in Luoyang follow as:
About eight miles south of Luoyang on the Yi River, at a spot where high cliffs on either side form a pass, is a caved area once known as the "Gate of Yi River", which later became known as Longmen, or the “Dragon Gate.” Craftsmen began work on Buddhist grottoes in 494 when an emperor of the Northern Wei moved the capital from what is now known as Datong (Shanxi Province) to Luoyang. The artistry is therefore an extension from Datong. The work at Longmen proceeded through seven dynasties, and in more than 1,300 caves, there are 40 small pagodas, and almost 100,000 Buddha statues ranging in size from one inch to 57 feet. These caves and the stone sculptures they contain rank with the caves at Yungang and Dunhuang as the great remaining masterpieces of Buddhist culture in China.
Shaolin Temple, in the region of Song Mountain, Dengfeng City, Henan Province, is reputed to be 'the Number One Temple under Heaven'. The temple is the cradle of the Chinese Zen Buddhism and the Shaolin Martial Arts such as Shaolin Cudgel. One can see wild flowers and pines on the mountain. With birds singing and a brook spattering, a beautiful scene full of life and vitality is revealed to the visitors.
White Horse Temple (Baimasi)
Located about twenty kilometers west of Luoyang and having a history of 1,900 years, this temple was the first Buddhist monastery ever built in China and is still inhabited by monks. During the Easter Han Dynasty (A.D. 25 -220), the emperor dispatched monks to India to obtain Buddhist scriptures; these were brought back to China on a white horse, in memory of which a monastery was built near Luoyang.
The Luoyang Museum
The Luoyang Museum is located at the north side of Mid Zhongzhou Road, built in 1985. It is a comprehensive history museum combined with collection, preservation, scientific research and exhibition. It displays various kinds of precious cultural relics, many of which are the essence of the state treasure house of cultural relics, from over 500,000 years ago to the Sui & Tang period.
Luoyang Ancient Tomb Museum
The Luoyang Ancient Tomb Museum is located on top of Mangshan Hill to the north of Luoyang City. It is a museum of ancient tomb forms of different dynasties. Its floor area is 8,200 square meters. It has collected and restored 25 typical tombs from the Western Han Dynasty to the Northern Song Dynasty. Therefore, it is the only ancient tomb museum in China.
(China.org.cn October 24, 2007)