"Loyang" redirects here. For the industrial estate in Singapore, see Loyang, Singapore.
Prefecture-level city

Top:Longmen Grottoes, Bottom left:White Horse Temple, Bottom right:Paeonia suffruticoca in Luoyang

Luoyang in Henan
Location in China

Coordinates: 34°40′11″N 112°26′32″E / 34.66972°N 112.44222°E / 34.66972; 112.44222Coordinates: 34°40′11″N 112°26′32″E / 34.66972°N 112.44222°E / 34.66972; 112.44222

Country People's Republic of China
Province Henan
 • Mayor Li Liushen
 • Prefecture-level city 15,492 km2 (5,981 sq mi)
 • Urban 554 km2 (214 sq mi)
 • Metro 474 km2 (183 sq mi)
Elevation 144 m (472 ft)
Population (2010 census)
 • Prefecture-level city 6,549,486
 • Density 420/km2 (1,100/sq mi)
 • Urban 1,925,948
 • Urban density 3,500/km2 (9,000/sq mi)
 • Metro 1,856,977
Time zone China Standard (UTC+8)
Area code(s) 379
GDP ¥30,080 per capita (2008)
Ethnicities Han, Hui, Manchu, Mongolian
County-level divisions 15
Township-level divisions unknown
License plate prefixes C

Luoyang (simplified Chinese: 洛阳; traditional Chinese: 洛陽; pinyin: Luòyáng; Postal map spelling: Loyang; IPA: [lwɔ̂jɑ̌ŋ]) is a prefecture-level city in western Henan province of Central China. It borders the provincial capital of Zhengzhou to the east, Pingdingshan to the southeast, Nanyang to the south, Sanmenxia to the west, Jiyuan to the north, and Jiaozuo to the northeast. As of the 2010 census, Luoyang had a population of 6,549,086 inhabitants, whom 1,856,877 are living in the built-up area made up of 5 urban districts (all but Jili not yet urbanized) Situated on the central plain of China, one of the cradles of the Chinese civilization, Luoyang was one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China.


The name "Luoyang" originates from the city's location on the north or sunny ("yang") side of the Luo River. Since the river flows from west to east and the sun is to the south of the river, the sun always shines on the north side of the river. Luoyang has had several names over the centuries, including "Luoyi" (洛邑) and "Luozhou (洛州)", though Luoyang has been its primary name. It has been called, during various periods, "Dongdu" (东都, meaning the Eastern Capital, during the Tang Dynasty), "Xijing" (西京, meaning the Western Capital, during the Song Dynasty), or "Jingluo" (京洛, meaning the general capital for China).


The greater Luoyang area has been sacred ground since the late Neolithic period. This area at the intersection of the Luo and Yi rivers was considered to be the geographical center of China. Because of this sacred aspect, several cities – all of which are generally referred to as "Luoyang" – have been built in this area. In 2070 BCE, the Xia Dynasty king Tai Kang moved the Xia capital to the intersection of Luo river and Yi River and named the city Zhenxun (斟鄩). In 1600 BCE, King Tang of Shang defeated Jie, the final Xia Dynasty king, and built Western Bo (西亳), a new capital on the Luo River. The ruins of Western Bo are located in Luoyang Prefecture.

In the 1136 BCE a settlement named Chengzhou (成周) was constructed by the Duke of Zhou for the remnants of the captured Shang nobility. The Duke also moved the Nine Tripod Cauldrons to Chengzhou from the Zhou Dynasty capital at Haojing. A second Western Zhou capital, Wangcheng (also: Luoyi) was built 15 km (9.3 mi) west of Chengzhou. Wangcheng became the capital of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty in 771 BCE. The Eastern Zhou Dynasty capital was moved to Chengzhou in 510 BCE. Later, the Eastern Han Dynasty capital of Luoyang would be built over Chengzhou. Modern Luoyang is built over the ruins of Wangcheng, which are still visible today at Wangcheng Park.[1]

In 25 CE, Luoyang was declared the capital of Eastern Han Dynasty on November 27 by Emperor Guangwu of Han.[2] For several centuries, Luoyang was the focal point of China. In AD 68, the White Horse Temple, the first Buddhist temple in China, was founded in Luoyang. The temple still exists, though the architecture is of later origin, mainly from the 16th century. An Shigao was one of the first monks to popularize Buddhism in Luoyang.

In 166 CE the first Roman envoy(s) sent by "the king of Da Qin [the Roman Empire], Andun (Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, r. 161-180 CE)", reached Luoyang after arriving by sea in Rinan Commandery in what is now central Vietnam.[3]

The late 2nd century saw China decline into anarchy

"The decline was accelerated by the rebellion by the Yellow Turbans, who, although defeated by the Imperial troops in 184 CE, weakened the state to the point where there was a continuing series of rebellions degenerating into civil war, culminating in the burning of the Han capital of Luoyang on 24 September 189 CE. This was followed by a state of continual unrest and wars in China until a modicum of stability returned in the 220s, but with the establishment of three separate kingdoms, rather than a unified empire."[4]

In 190 CE, Chancellor Dong Zhuo ordered his soldiers to ransack, pillage and raze the city as he retreated from the coalition set up against him by regional lords from across China. The court was subsequently moved to the more defensible western city of Chang'an. Following a period of disorder, Luoyang was restored to prominence when Emperor Wen of the Wei Dynasty declared it his capital in 220 CE. The Jin Dynasty, successor to Wei, was also established in Luoyang. When Jin was overrun by Xiongnu forces in 311 CE, it was forced to move its capital to Jiankang (modern day Nanjing), the Xiongnu warriors then sacked and nearly totally destroyed Luoyang. The same fate befell Chang'an in 316 CE.

In 493 CE the Northern Wei Dynasty moved its capital from Datong to Luoyang and started the construction of the rock-cut Longmen Grottoes. More than 30,000 Buddhist statues from the time of this dynasty have been found in the caves. Many of these sculptures were two-faced. The Yongning Temple (永宁寺), which had a pagoda nine stories high, was also built in Luoyang.

During the Tang Dynasty, Luoyang was Dongdu (東都), the "Eastern Capital", and at its height had a population of around one million, second only to Chang'an, which, at the time, was the largest city in the world.[5] During the short-lived Five Dynasties, Luoyang was the capital of the Later Liang (only for a few years before the court moved to Kaifeng) and Later Tang.

During the North Song Dynasty, Luoyang was the 'Western Capital' and birthplace of Zhao Kuangyin, the founder of Song Dynasty. It served as a prominent culture center, housing some of the most important philosophers.

Administrative divisions

The prefecture-level city of Luoyang administers 6 districts, 1 county-level city and 9counties.


Located o the middle reaches of the Yellow River, Luoyang is surrounded by mountains and rivers. Within Luoyang, mountains comprise 45.51% of the total area, hills comprise 40.73 and plains only comprise 13.8%.[6] With 6,549,486 inhabitants at the 2010 census whom 1,856,977 in the built-up area (5 out of 6 urban districts), it's the third built up area of Henan region.


Climate data for Luoyang
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 6.1
Average low °C (°F) −3.9
Precipitation mm (inches) 7.6
Source: National Meteorological Centre


The Longmen Grottoes were listed by UNESCO in the list of World Heritage Sites in November 2000. White Horse Temple is located 12 km (7.5 mi) east of the modern town. Guanlin is a series of temples that were built in honor of Guan Yu, a hero of the Three Kingdoms period, close to the grottoes to the south of the city. China's only tombs museum, the Luoyang Ancient Tombs Museum opened to the public in 1987 and is situated north of the modern town. Founded in 1958, the Luoyang Museum features ancient relics dating back to the Xia, Shang and Zhou Dynasties. The total number of exhibits on display is 1700.[7]

Luoyang is also famous for the Water Banquet Shui Xi, which consists of 8 cold and 16 warm dishes cooked in various broths, gravies or juices, hence its name.

Luoyang has a reputation as a cultivation centre for the peony, the city flower of Luoyang.

An ancient Chinese musical piece, Spring in Luoyang, was adopted by Korea during the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392), and is still performed in its Koreanized (Dangak) version, called Nakyangchun (hangul: 낙양춘; hanja: ). The American composer Lou Harrison also created an arrangement of this work.

The Gaocheng Astronomical Observatory (also known as the Dengfeng Observatory or "The Tower of Chou Kong") stands 80 km (50 mi) south-east of Luoyang. It is a tower constructed during the Yuan Dynasty in 1276 by Guo Shoujing as a giant gnomon for the 'Measurement of the Sun's Shadow'. Used for establishing the Summer and Winter Solstices, this astronomical instrument is described in detail by Joseph Needham in his seminal work Science and Civilisation in China.

Asteroid (239200) 2006 MD13 was named after Luoyang.


Luoyang residents typically speak a variety of Zhongyuan Mandarin. Although Luoyang dialect served as a prestigious form of spoken Chinese until the Ming Dynasty, it differs greatly from Beijing-based Modern Standard Chinese.

Luoyang peony

Luoyang peony is the most famous peony in China, and enjoys the honor of "King of the Flower Kingdom" and "Luoyang Peony Ranking the First under Heaven". There have been peonies planted in Luoyang since the Sui Dynasty and then became popular from Tang Dynasty. Luoyang government holds an annual peony fair festival from April 15 to 25 every year.[8]

Colleges and universities

  • Luoyang Institute of Science and Technology (洛阳理工学院)
  • Henan University of Science and Technology (河南科技大学)
  • Luoyang Normal College (洛阳师范学院)
  • Luoyang PLA College of Foreign Languages (解放军洛阳外语学院), now known as PLAUFL (PLA University of Foreign language)

Famous residents

  • Lao Zi (Lao Tzu: dates uncertain), founder of Daoism.
  • Kuei Ku-tzu, Inaugurator of Numerology and Geomancer. Elocutionist.
  • Xuan Zang,Tripitaka Master Hsuan-Tsang of Tang Dynasty
  • Liu Yuxi, poet
  • Zhao Kuangyin, Founder of Song Danasty
  • Gao Hong, pipa player
  • Ma Jinfeng, Henan Opera (豫剧) player
  • Gao Yufeng, Orthopedics expert
  • Du Wei, footballer

Sister cities

See also



  • Abramson, Marc S. (2008). Ethnic Identity in Tang China. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia. ISBN 978-0-8122-4052-8.
  • Cotterell, Arthur (2008). The Imperial Capitals of China: An Inside View of the Celestial Empire. Pimlico, London. ISBN 978-1-84595-010-1.
  • Hill, John E. (2009) Through the Jade Gate to Rome: A Study of the Silk Routes during the Later Han Dynasty, 1st to 2nd Centuries CE. BookSurge, Charleston, South Carolina. ISBN 978-1-4392-2134-1.
  • Yang Hsüan-chih (1984): A Record of Buddhist Monasteries in Lo-Yang. The Lo-yang ch'ieh-lan chi translated by Yi-t'ung Wang. Princeton University Press. Princeton, New Jersey. ISBN 0-691-05403-7

Further reading

  • Jenner, W. J. Memories of Loyang (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1981).

External links

  • Government website of Luoyang
Preceded by
Capital of China
771 BC–256 BC
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Capital of China
Succeeded by