Looking a little stranded without the temple it once protected from evil spirits, the Nine Dragon Screen still manages to impress on its own. The largest and oldest glazed screen in China today, this 600-year-old wonder, built for the Ming Dynasty's first Emperor, is a masterful example of Chinese fire-glazed tile work. Made from a total of 426 glazed tiles, the construction measures 45.5 meters in length and is over two meters tall. Cavorting in poses that look at once playful and menacing, the nine sinuous dragons..
Yet another ancient architectural marvel to add to Datong's already impressive list, the Wooden Pagoda's masterful wooden construction houses huge statues and frescoes. Built during the Liao Dynasty in 1056, this amazing structure stands over 67 meters tall and was built without a single nail. The octagonal structure has survived the worst weather and seven earthquakes where no others could, all thanks to an ingenious system where 54 seperate kinds of interlocking brackets join together a variety of mortises and..
If there is one sight that you should not miss while coming through Datong, it is the Yungang Caves. This masterpiece of early Chinese Buddhist cave art was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001. The story behind the grottoes is an interesting one and begins in the Wei Dynasty. The first two Wei emperors, Tuoba Gui and Tuoba Si, were both Buddhists. However, the third emperor, Tuoba Tao, known as "Taiwu," was a Taoist, as was his Prime Minister Cui Hao and Hao’s teacher, Taoist monk Kou..
One of China's Five Sacred Mountains (Wu Yue), Heng Shan has been reverently scaled by emperors since Qin Shi Huang, the first ruler to unify China, set the precedent. Located between the Hebei Plain and the Great Wall, Heng Shan's strategic position led to it's being the scene of many an epic battle, but it's better known as a religious center, something it's been for over 2,000 years. As such, the mountain's many faces are host to temples, including the amazing Daoist Hanging Temple, along with numerous ancient sites including..