Access point for the incredible Lóngmén Grottoes outside town, Luòyáng (洛阳) was one of China’s true dynastic citadels. The city was the prosperous capital of 13 dynasties, until the Northern Song dynasty shifted its capital east along the Yellow River to Kāifēng in the 10th century. The mighty Sui- and Tang-dynasty walls formed an imposing rectangle north and south of the Luò River, while worshippers flocked to 1300 Buddhist temples through the city.
Luòyáng was once the very centre of the Chinese universe and the eastern capital of the resplendent Tang dynasty. Tragically, little remains of this glorious past: the heart of the magnificent Sui dynasty palace complex was centred on the point where today’s Zhongzhou Zhonglu and Dingding Lu intersect in a frenzy of traffic.