In December 1987the Mogao Grottoes have been included into the Lisr of the World Cultural Heritages by the UNESCO.
1)By tourist bus for 30 minutes.
Today, the total number of Mogao Grottoes is 492 in which there are over 2,800 sculptures and 45,000 square meters of murals. There are five grottoes with a wooden structure. The Mogao Grottoes is the largest, oldest and the best-preserved Buddhist grottoes with the richest contents in the world today.
The construction of the Mogao Grottoes began in the period of the Sixteen Kingdoms (about 366 A.D.), and the endeavor continued through the later dynasties, including the North Dynasty, Sui, Tang, Five Dynasties, Western Xia and Yuan. Today, the grand dimension of the site is shown by 735 caves, with murals covering 45,000 square meters and colored clay statues 2,415 square meters. It is the largest and richest extant treasure house of Buddhist art in the world.
In modern times, the Cave of Buddhist Scriptures was accidentally discovered and the Mogao Grottoes re-attracts attention from all over the world. Tragically, a large amount of rare scriptures were stolen. A new branch of international studies, the Dunhuang Studies, has come into being for the research on scriptures of this cave and Dunhuang's art.
The painted clay figures and the murals in Mogao Caves came into being at the same time. The ensuing thousand years witnessed their recreation, perfection as well as absorption of the merits of western ancient arts from India, Greece, Iran etc on the national basis. It has become a brilliant pearl in the Chinese art treasure troves.
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