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Luoyang is a prefecture-level city in western Henan province, People's Republic of China. It borders the provincial capital of Zhengzhou to the east, Pingdingshan to the southeast, Nanyang to the south, Sanmenxia to the west, Jiyuan to the north, and Jiaozuo to the northeast.

Situated on the central plain of China, one of the cradles of the Chinese civilization, Luoyang was one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China.

In 2070BC, the Xia Dynasty king Tai Kang moved the capital to the intersection of Luo river and Yi river and named the city Zhen Xun.16 Century BC King Tang of Shang defeat Jie, the last king of Xia Danasty and made their Capital Xihao, which located in Shi Xiang Gou of Yanshi County of Luoyang City.The original city was constructed by the Duke of Zhou in the 11th century BC as a settlement for the remnants of the captured Shang nobility and was named Chengzhou. It became the capital of the Zhou Dynasty in 770 BC.

The city was destroyed in a civil war in 510 BC and rebuilt the next year at the request of the king.In AD 25, Luoyang became the capital of Eastern Han Dynasty. For several centuries, Luoyang was the center of gravity of China. In AD 68, the White Horse Temple, the first Buddhist temple in China, was founded in Luoyang. The temple still exists, though the architecture is of later origin, mainly from the 16th century. An Shihkao was one of the first monks to popularize Buddhism in Luoyang.In AD 190, Chancellor Dong Zhuo ordered his soldiers to ransack, pillage and raze the city as he retreated from the coalition set up against him by regional lords from across China. The court was subsequently moved to the more defensible western city of Chang'an.

Following a period of disorder, Luoyang was restored to prominence when Emperor Wen of the Wei Dynasty declared it his capital in AD 220.The Jin Dynasty, successor to Wei, was also established in Luoyang. When Jin was overrun by invaders and forced to move its capital to Jiankang (modern day Nanjing), Luoyang was nearly totally destroyed.In AD 493 the Northern Wei Dynasty moved its capital from Datong to Luoyang and started the construction of the rock-cut Longmen Grottoes.

More than 30,000 Buddhist statues from the time of this dynasty have been found in the caves.
Many of these sculptures were two-faced. The Empress Dowager Wenming tomb was built here. The Longmen Grottoes were listed by UNESCO in the list of World Heritage Sites in November

2000. White Horse Temple is located 12km east of the modern town. Guanlin is a series of temples that have been built in honor of a hero of the Three Kingdoms period, Guan Yu, close to the grottoes to the south of the city. China's only tombs museum, the Luoyang Ancient Tombs Museum is situated north of the modern town. Luoyang Museum is in the center of town.

Luoyang is also famous for the Water Banquet Shui Xi, which consists of 8 cold and 16 warm dishes cooked in various broths, gravies or juices, hence its name.
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July 2006

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