National Archaeological Parks

Han-Wei Ancient Luoyang City National Archaeological Site Park Print
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Han-Wei Ancient Luoyang City National Archaeological Site Park

Location: Jincu village, Pingle town, Mengjin county, Luoyang city, Henan province

An aerial view of the Han-Wei Ancient Luoyang City site [Photos/IC]

Han-Wei ancient Luoyang city holds the record for time elapsed as a capital in ancient China and another one for largest size. It is still preserved today in good condition.

Located 15 kilometers to the east of modern Luoyang in Central China's Henan province, the history of the Han-Wei ancient Luoyang city can be traced to the Western Zhou Dynasty (c. 11th century-771 BC). In the year 25, upon ascending the throne, Emperor Guangwu (r. 25-47) designated it the capital of his empire -- the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220). The city continued to serve as capital through three dynasties to follow, namely the Kingdom of Wei (220-265), the Western Jin (265-316), and the Northern Wei (386-534), spanning some 500 years before it gradually fell into ruins in war.

Therefore the site is named after the major historical period to which it dates, although archaeological sites of earlier dynasties have been discovered in its vicinity.

Except for the southern wall of the inner city submerged by the Luohe River, the three remaining walls are around 3,700 to 4,290 meters long, and were all made by rammed of earth boards. Palace walls, palace halls, governmental offices and imperial gardens were built in the city. Occupying an area of more than 900 thousand square meters, the imperial city of the Northern Wei was centered at the Taiji Hall.

Foundations of ancient structures are well protected at the site park.

Other crucial sites of the city include the inner city, the walls of the outer city, the imperial city, a market, temples, the Imperial College, tombs and an observatory dating to different periods of times ranging from the 11th century BC to the 6th century.

This archaeological site park stretches across a vast area of nearly 67 hectares. Apart from the major ruin sites aforementioned, it also encompasses several facilities displaying the protection of the remains, including that of the city's principal gate and hall, the central axis, and the northeastern section of the inner city wall. A museum was also built in the park to further interpret the historical significance of the ruins.


Last Updated: Jul 20, 2021

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