Subscribe to free Email Newsletter

  Library>Travel in China>Protected Sites>Class Ⅲ>Sites
Luoyang City of Sui and Tang Dynasties


Luoyang City of the Sui and Tang Dynasties is located in Luoyang City and its outskirts in Henan Province.

First built in 605 during the Sui Dynasty (581-618), Luoyang City was the eastern capital of the Sui and Tang (618-907) Dynasties where royals from the two dynasties -- particularly Empress Wu Zetian -- stayed for over 40 years. The eastern capital was inferior only to Chang'an City. It was completely destroyed during the warring period of the Song (960-1279) and Jin (1115-1234) Dynasties. Archaeological excavations were carried out from 1959.

The city consisted of the outer city, imperial city and palace. The outer city wall was made of rammed earth and had a perimeter of 28 kilometers; the base was about 15 to 20 meters wide. The square-shaped city's east wall is 7,312 meters long; the south wall, 7,290 meters; the west wall, 6,776 meters; and north wall, 6,138 meters. Sewers located underneath the city walls had eight city gates on all four sides. The city was divided into many residential districts according to streets, which made the city look like a chessboard. According to records, there were 103 lanes distributed inside the city, 64 of which were unearthed. Surrounded by walls on four sides, each lane was square-shaped with each side measuring about 500 to 580 meters in length. Also built inside the city were three famous markets. The south market was the most prosperous, with three streets stretching vertically and horizontally. The market also had three gates on each side that allowed traffic to flow smoothly.

The palace was located in the northeast corner of Luoyang City. Its east wall was about 1,275 meters long; south wall, 1,710 meters; west wall, 1,270 meters; and north wall 1,400 meters, with a base of 15 to 16 meters in width. Built in the southeast corner of the palace was a separate city named East Palace, which spread across 330 meters from east to west and 1,000 meters, south to north. A Hanjia Storehouse was built to the north of the East Palace. The storehouse was 725 meters long and 615 meters wide, covering an area of over 430,000 square meters. It included a large number of grain cellars -- 259 of which have been unearthed. The No 160 grain cellar once stored 500,000 jin (1 jin=500 grams) of grain that had already been carbonized. The Hanjia Storehouse was a large-scale barn operated by the government.

The imperial city built around the palace in the east, south and north sides, was the place of court offices and mansions for the royal family. Its wall was 1,670 meters long, with a base of 14 to 16 meters wide. The city had gates on all four sides and each gate had three gateways; the center gate was only used by emperors and the two sideways were designated for the rest of the people.

In the east of Luoyang City was an imperial garden built in 605 during the Sui Dynasty. The garden had a perimeter of 200 li (1 li=0.5 km) with artificial hills and lakes interlaced with pavilions and palaces. The emperor handled governmental affairs at Shangyang Palace, which was separated into the east and west palaces by water with a bridge connecting them.

The city held an important position in the developing history of Chinese cities for its typical layout, which was imitated by Japan and Korea at the time.

Email to Friends