eternal dunhuang

Dunhuang’s grottoes have astounded visitors for nearly 17 centuries. Remarkably preserved in the desert environment of the Silk Road, they remain an inspiration to all who journey there.

Buddhist culture, brought to China by monks and pilgrims, was enshrined at Dunhuang by merchants, officials and aristocrats who commissioned decorated caves in a nearby cliff, known as Mogaoku or “peerless caves.” 492 remain.

The Dunhuang Academy, keeper of this World Heritage Site, has launched an ambitious program to preserve and display the sumptuous wall paintings and sculptures—a treasure house of art at the crossroads of east and west—for future generations.

Cave 158 (High Tang, 712–781 AD) The 15.6 meter recumbent Buddha, serene in death with anguished disciples and mourners, is an iconic image of Mogaoku.