Mount Maiji Grottoes
Mount Maiji Grottoes were first built more than 1,500 years ago in Later Qin of Sixteen States (384-417) and were reconstructed during Northern Wei (386-534) and Western Wei (535-556) dynasties and Northern Zhou Dynasty (557-581) and the successive dynasties until Qing Dynasty (1616-1911). Maiji Mountain is 142 meters high and looks like a wheat stack. Hence it is called Mount Maiji (Maiji means wheat stack).
The mountain contains the east and west cliffs, where Buddhist idea and sutra content are expressed through clay statues and frescoes. There remain 194 grottoes, with 7,200 pieces of clay statues and stone carvings and more than 1,300 sq meters of frescoes. Most of the Mount Maiji Grottoes are connected together by zigzagging jutting plank roads, where the tourists can go to appreciate the grottoes.
The statues in Mount Maiji Grottoes fall into four categories: relief, medallion, sticking, and wall modeling. Some of the statues are as high as 15 meters, and some are only 20 cm high. In a word, the statues in Mount Maiji Grottoes display the history of the development of clay statues in China.
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