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|Sunday, July 29, 2001, updated at 10:59(GMT+8)|
Second Yungang Grottoes Tourism Festival OpensThe Second China Yungang Tourism Festival opened Saturday in Datong, home of the famous Yungang Grottoes in north China's Shanxi Province.
The 20-day festival is aimed at enhancing Datong's status as a major cultural center, according to organizers.
An exhibition and academic seminars on the grottoes will be held, along with various tourism activities. In addition, sightseeing tours from Datong to nearby scenic and cultural spots will be available.
Datong is an ancient town with a rich culture, and was the capital of the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534) for 97 years.
It is famous for the Yungang Grottoes, one of the four largest groups of grottoes in China, and the Nine Dragon Wall, built in 1392. The tourism festival is centered on the grottoes.
Sixteen kilometers west of Datong, the Yungang Grottoes were hewn out of the side of a cliff in a honeycomb pattern 1,500 years ago, forming grottoes that stretch for one kilometer.
More than 50 grottoes and some 51,000 Buddhist statues still exist, with the largest 17 meters high and the smallest, two centimeters.
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