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Day 10 (13.12.2007)

Like the city of xian (former name: Changan) Luoyang is also an old imperial city and during several dynasties it was the capital of China. Luoyang was founded around 1200 BC. Since 770 BC Luoyang was the capital of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty (770 BC - 256 BC). During the Eastern Han Dynasty (25 AD - 220 AD) Luoyang was also the capital of China. The first Buddhist temple in China was built in Luoyang in 68 AD. In 494 the Northern Wei Dynasty (386 - 534) moved its capital from Datong to Luoyang. Luoyang was also the capital of China during the Sui Dynasty (581 - 618). On this day I joined a group and we went to the Shaolin Monastery, which is located about 50 km southeast of Luoyang, near the mountain Song Shan. On the way to the Shaolin Monastery we visited the birthplace of the Buddhist monk Xuanzang. In 629 he left Changan, the capital of the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907), and over Central Asia he traveled to India. In 645 he came back to China and he brought many Buddhist writings with him. He translated them from Sanskrit into Chinese. Afterwards we drove to the Shaolin Monastery. The Shaolin Monastery was built in 495, during the Northern Wei Dynasty. The Shaolin Monastery is world-famous for Kung Fu, a kind of martial arts. First we watched a show of the Shaolin monks which was very interesting. Later we visited the different halls of the Shaolin Monastery. On the way one always sees groups of young Chinese who practise martial arts. Finally we went to the Pagoda Forest. There are over 200 pagodas built of stone. They are burial places of abbots and monks of the Shaolin Monastery. Afterwards we went back to Luoyang.

The Bell Tower in the Shaolin Monastery
The Bell Tower in the Shaolin Monastery

The Pagoda Forest in the Shaolin Monastery
The Pagoda Forest in the Shaolin Monastery

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Last Update: 30.01.2009