This is the 6th in a CCTV series of films about China’s ancient capital of Luoyang, and the second one I am featuring here, after one on the White Horse Temple last week.
This episode covers the Longmen Grottoes, which contain some of the finest of China’s classical Buddhist artworks in a large mainly Tang dynasty built heritage site.
Unfortunately, as this documentary shows, many of the finest works in Buddhist history were looted during the lawless 1920s and 1930s when western dealers were buying up anything robbers could lay their hands on.
This entailed a lot of damage to the site, and many other works simply disappeared, and it says a lot for the size of the site that so many still remain in situ today.
The main attraction at the Grottoes these days is the famous Vairocana Buddha statue, which is one of the great examples of Tang dynasty art, and overlooks the river Luohe flowing in front of the grottoes.