Grottoes Fast Facts
Mogao Grottoes contain 492 caves each of which are clearly labeled
with a sign above each cave opening. Five of the larger caves are
reinforced with wooden structures.
caves contain 45,000 square meters of frescos, 2,415 painted sculptures
and over 50,000 Buddhist scriptures. The caves also contain valuable
historical documents, textiles, and other relics never seen or heard
of by archeologists. The condition of these items have been found
to be in pristine condition due to the dry desert climate. Photography
is not permitted inside the caves. Click
here to see Steven Yang's Dunhuang painting series.
Dynasty records indicate that the first cave was constructed around
366 A.D. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization (UNESCO) has listed the Mogao Grottoes on the World
Heritage List in 1987.
from Russia, France, and England have removed and looted artifacts
from the caves between 1906 and 1919. There continue to be "secret"
caves that are discovered sometimes accidentally and there is currently
an effort to unify the artifacts and information in a project database
called the International