Mogao Caves

Opening Hours: 08:00 – 18:00 (4.1-10.31); 09:00 – 17:30 (11.1-3.31)

Tickets: Peak Season (4.1-11.30): ¥238-¥50 / Off Season (12.1-3.31): ¥140-¥40

The Mogao Caves, also known as the Thousand Buddha Caves or Mogao Grottoes, represent a magnificent testament to China’s rich cultural and artistic heritage. Located near Dunhuang, Gansu Province, this ancient complex comprises 735 caves adorned with exquisite murals and sculptures, making it one of the world’s foremost repositories of Buddhist art.

Spanning over 45,000 square meters of murals and featuring 2,415 colored sculptures of various sizes, the Mogao Caves offer a comprehensive panorama of Buddhist artistry spanning 1,600 years and multiple dynasties. Each dynasty contributed its own unique caves, providing a chronicle of Chinese art’s evolution from one era to the next.

A watershed moment in the history of the Mogao Caves occurred in 1900 with the discovery of the so-called “Library Cave,” which yielded an astonishing collection of over 50,000 manuscripts and relics. Although these treasures were dispersed worldwide, many have found their way into the collections of museums and libraries in Beijing, London, Paris, St. Petersburg, and Japan.

In recognition of its unparalleled historical and artistic significance, UNESCO designated the Mogao Caves as a World Heritage Site in 1987. UNESCO’s declaration underscores the caves’ unmatched value as a historical record, offering vivid insights into medieval politics, economics, culture, religion, and daily life in western China. Through its intricate artworks and historical artifacts, the Mogao Caves continue to captivate visitors and scholars alike, offering a window into China’s rich past and enduring spiritual legacy.


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