About Datong

Repair of Wuhua Caves will not affect visitors

( chinadaily.com.cn )

update: 2012-09-07

The Five Magnificent Caves ("Wuhua" Caves in Chinese) at Yungang Grottoes in Datong city, Shanxi province are currently under maintenance. The maintenance will not affect tourists visiting other grottoes.

Dating back to the Northern Wei Dynasty (AD 386-534), the Yungang Grottoes were built alongside mountains and extend 1,000 meters east to west. There are 45 main grottoes out of 252 large and small grotto niches.

With 51,000 stone carved statues, the Yungang Grottoes are one of the largest ancient grotto groups in China. Unfortunately, after many years of corrosion from wind, sand and water, the Yungang Grottoes have suffered severe efflorescence and water damage.

The repair work is divided into two parts. The first part serves to reinforce the rock mass. The second part builds protective cave eaves and installs intelligent management protection facilities within the caves.

The Wuhua Caves are the most magnificent part of the Yungang Grottoes. Due to rain and wind corrosion, problems like hollowing and fracture began to appear. This also causes severe threats to the safety of the grottoes and tourists.

Once completed, the project will effectively prevent direct rainfall on the walls of grottoes and control the small environment inside the caves, offering better protection to the stone sculptures.

The whole project is expected to complete in 2013.

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