Discovering Ancient History in Luoyang

With an incredible history that spans over 4000 years, this beautiful city is full of ancient gems that were constructed and developed during kingdoms that have long been turned to dust. Serving as the capital city for many different dynasties, Luoyang has some of the most well-preserved history in China and dates back to times before Christ is said to have walked the earth.

Luoyang

So where can you go to see some of the beautiful history of Luoyang?

White Horse Temple

Standing proud for over 1,900 years, this ancient temple is home to some incredible architecture that has been preserved for our enjoyment. Known as one of the first Buddhist temples in China, its story dates back to the Eastern Han Dynasty, when the emperor sent two men to learn about Buddhism, and when they returned they brought with them two monks with a white horse. To thank Buddhists, the emperor built the White Horse Temple, and here it stands to this day.

It is a wonderfully peaceful area, with delicate architecture and beautiful surroundings. Visit the different halls, and see how this ancient temple is still in use to this day.

Entrance is 50 yuan. Leave the Luoyang station on bus line 56 and you will arrive at the beautiful temple in one hour.

Longmen Grottoes

Standing as a fantastic collection of Chinese art and sculptures, the grottoes are a tribute to a creative ancient culture that is now ancient history. The beautiful area is now known as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is made up of over 2000 caves filled with over 100,000 statues and carvings. That’s impressive, isn’t it?

Dedicated to the Buddhist religion, the oldest of these carvings and inscriptions (located in the West Hill area) have been in place since the Wei and Tang Dynasties. The work took over 100 years to finish, and now it is a truly impressive site.

longmen-grottoes

From the Luoyang railway station, take bus K81 to the last stop. Entrance to the East and West Hill areas and the nearby temple and garden is a total of 120 yuan.

Museums

What better way to explore ancient history than in a museum? Luoyang’s fascinating museums make for an interesting day delving into what our predecessors left behind for us.

Luoyang Musem

This fascinating collection of ancient porcelain and bronzes is housed in a building which actually has a beautiful and futuristic appeal to it, while still keeping its ancient Chinese charm. Here, you’ll find beautiful artifacts that date back to the Western Jin Dynasty. You’ll find examples of the beautiful tri-colored pottery that is well known from the Tang Dynasty, as well as lovely artifacts from Beijing’s Forbidden City.

You can get to the museum by taking the number 77 bus and getting off at the Luoyang Museum Station.

Luoyang Ancient Tombs Museum

Featuring plenty of well-preserved tombs, you’ll truly take a step back in time when visiting this museum. Here, you’ll find history spanning more than 3000 years, and over 20 tomb sites that have been unearthed around China or reconstructed. The beautiful decorations of the tombs are an insight into the culture of the ancient Chinese, and how sacred these burial places truly were. You’ll learn about funeral rituals through the different periods, and be witness to the gorgeous frescos that were created inside the tombs.

Another great bonus for this museum is that the entrance is free. Located near the Luoyang Airport, it is perfect for those who have a layover in Luoyang.

When to Visit Luoyang

If you are interested in mild temperatures and beautiful flowers, then we recommend visiting in the month of April, when the peony fair is held. Autumn is also a good time to visit, as the weather is not as humid and there are fewer tourists. Just beware of the holidays at the beginning of February and October, when many Chinese tourists will be visiting.

Luoyang

If ancient history is your cup of tea, then Luoyang has plenty to keep you occupied. This well-rounded city is the perfect place to explore during a plane layover or to spend a few days immersing yourself in history. Either way, we are sure you will thoroughly enjoy!

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Cez Krol

Travel blogger at eTramping
Cez lives in China like a local for the past 4 years. Apart from speaking the language, he loves to discover more about this unique country of extreme contrasts. He shares his China experiences here at Sublime China and on his blog eTramping, so go and check out what's out there for you in China.
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