Datong is a ‘small’ Chinese city of 3 million people with a big coal mining industry and a reputation as one of China’s most polluted cities.
16 km west of Datong, carved into sandstone cliffs, the Yungang Caves are famous for their 252 grottoes with over 51,000 Buddha statues from the 5th century AD. The caves received a UNESCO World Heritage site designation in 2001.
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Hanging Temple (Xuankong Si) and Wooden Pagoda (Ying Xian Mu Ta)
The Hanging Temple, built inn the 5-th century, restored around 1900 AD, is supported by sturdy timber that extend deep into the mountain. It consists of 40 rooms connected by covered walkways and it is dedicated to 3 religions, Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism all worshiped within the temple.
The Wooden Pagoda, built in 1056 is the China’s oldest surviving wooden pagoda. It has a very complex wood bracket supporting system, without using any nails.