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Shaanxi

Shaanxi is west of Beijing. It is called the "Coal Sea" because of its rich coal mines. It was one of the cultural centers in ancient times. 200 Paleolithic and 500 Neolithic sites have been unearthed, plus 500 tombs and other ancient ruins.

The capital city, Taiyuan, is at the center and was founded in the Western Zhou (1066-771 BCE). It is well-known for the Jinci Temple, an old and charming wooden structure. You can find lithesome and elegant female statues in the temple, which are rare in China.

Another city, Datong, once the capital of Northern Wei, is famous for the Yungang Grottoes, which is believed to be the best-preserved, the largest and the oldest sandstone carvings in China. There are 53 caves with 51,000 carvings of Buddha, angels, birds and animals. The largest one is 17 meters high. Huayan Monastery is the second largest temple in China. Sakyamuni Wooden Pagoda at Fogong Temple, built in 1056, is the tallest ancient wood frame structure in China. On Wu-tai Mountain, 200 km away, are about 50 temples form the 5th century. The mountain is one of the 4 famous Buddhist mountains. Hengshan Mountain is famous for its temple in mid-air.

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Site Created: September 16, 1998; Updated: September 23, 2007.