Silk Road Trade & Travel Encyclopedia

Interesting Facts & Trivia

32 - QUESTION: In what city was an ancient collection of manuscripts found in a walled-up library cave during the early 1900's?

Answer:  Dunhuang.

The Silk Road forked near Dunhuang, an oasis amid the Gobi Desert, in the Chinese province of Gansu. Trader's temples to good fortune were constructed at this strategic location near Dunhuang, at the Mogao Caves. According to historical records, Buddhist monks first began work on the caves of Mogao in 366 CE. The sanctuaries in Mogao are famous for their statues, manuscripts, and wall paintings, spanning 1,000 years of Buddhist art, and are also an example of a traditional monastic settlement. The well known westward journey of the Han imperial emissary, Zhang Qian, is also depicted in the Mogao Caves.

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