Silk Road Tour - Photos by Robin Su, Dunhuang, Gansu Province, China
It is in the southeast of Dunhuang city 25 km.In 1987 it was listed as the world cultural heritage by UNESCO.The first grotto was built 366 AD.Up to now 735 caves still exsit,which is 1700 meters along the cliff from north to south.The murals cover an area of 45,000 square meters, so it got a reputation name, the mural gallery. There are also more than 2400 colourful sculptures of Buddha,Bodhisattva,Arhat ,heavenly king and Flying Apsaras ,the biggest of which is 35.5 meters high. Among all of grottos along the ancient silk road , it has the longest history over 16oo years ,and it can be best preserved.Especially when the hidden library cave(No.17) was dicovered in 1900. Meanwhile about 50,000 pieces of relics were found ,more and more people get to know this area and it is becoming more famous . During the Buddhism festival, a lot of local people will be here to worship the Buddha.
The picture is called nine-storied building by local people, which is a typical constructure around here. It is 45 meters high. At beginning around 7 century it is only two stories. Until to nineteen twenties to nineteen thirties it was finished to nine stories. Behind the nine storied building it is the biggest Buddha statue here,which is 35.5 meters high and built in peak of Tang dynasty around 7 century.