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Henan province is considered the cradle of Chinese civilization due to its location on the Yellow River. This rich historic heritage has endowed Henan with numerous historic treasures, from primitive dwellings to earliest wheel thrown pottery. The remains of some of the earliest human settlements have been unearthed here, including the over 7000-year-old Peiligang Culture Site, the 6000-year-old Yangshao Culture Remains and the 5000-year-old Dahe Culture Remains. All these cultural remains have profound significance in the history of Chinese civilization.
Longmen Grottoes, Luoyang, Henan
Xiangguo Temple, Kaifeng, Henan
Luoyang City has been the capital of nine dynasties since the time of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty (770BC-221BC). There are many historical sites to be viewed in Luoyang as well as the opportunity to purchase replicas of the famed Tang three-glaze horses. Luoyang's Longmen Grottoes, famous for its grand treasure trove of Chinese Buddhist statues, are located 12km (7 miles) south of Luoyang. First sculpted and chiseled around 493 AD when the capital of the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534) was moved from Datong City to Luoyang, the grottoes of Luoyang house an awe-inspiring collection of sculpted Buddha and other religious subjects.
Kaifeng, one of the ancient capitals, also boasts the following buildings worthy of a visit: Iron Pagoda (Tie Ta) of the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127), Dragon Pavilion (Long Ting) - site of imperial palace of the Song and Jin dynasties - and the 1400-year-old Xiangguo Temple which is one of the most famous Buddhist temples in China. Also on view in Kaifeng are ruins of the Shang Dynasty, an important part of human cultural and historic heritage. The Shang Dynasty Ruins, also known as the 'Yin Ruins', are famous because of the unique style of the large palace and its grand mausoleums, in which emperors of the Shang Dynasty are buried. The bronze vessels of the Shang Dynasty, which were both finely decorated and popularly used by the citizens of the Shang Dynasty, are well-known at home and abroad.