Luoyang was once the ancient capital of China and the seat of many dynasties including the Eastern Han, Sui, Tang and Song dynasties. As a result, there is no shortage of Luoyang historic sites.
The most famous of these is the Longmen Grottoes; a collection of thousands of statues of the Buddha carved into a mountainside along the Li River. Longmen is UNESCO World Heritage site and attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year.
Luoyang was the birthplace of Chinese Buddhism and White Horse Temple is where it all started.
Top Luoyang Historic Sites
The UNESCO World Heritgae Site of Longmen Grottoes is a collection of thousands of Buddha statues carved into a rock face. The statues range in size from a few centimetres up to a staggering 17 metres.
Longmen is easily reachable from central Luoyang and makes an excellent day out. Included in the ticket price is entrance to the nearby temple and gardens.
White Horse Temple
White Horse Temple is the birthplace of Buddhism in China. It was here that emisarries returning from India with a white horse brought back scriptures and became a centre for Buddhist learning.
In addition to the Chinese temples, later additions include Thai, Burmese and Indian temples constructed on the site. One of the most impressive of Luoyang’s attractions!
Luoyang Old Town
Luoyang’s old town comprises a section of the old defensive wall and one main street filled with arts, crafts and street food.
The cobbled and narrow road winds its way to the ancient bell tower and a reconstructed “old town” which although kitsch, is still quite pleasant.
Ancient Art and Tomb Museum
Luoyang Ancient art and Tomb Museum houses a collection of ancient Chinese wall art and frescoes as well as a series of underground tombs including the grave of Emperor Xuanwen (499 – 515).
The tombs contain many burial relics, carvings, utensils and more. There is a courtyard with some interesting animal statues and also a nice garden within the grounds of the museum.
Horse and Chariot Museum
Although small, the Horse and Chariot Museum is an interesting place to see the archaeological remains of long-buried horses and their chariots.
There is one room with displays and another with a large open excavation pit. Situated very close to other Luoyang attractions such as the Sui and Tang Dynasty Museum and Wangcheng Park.