Dunhuang's history of over two thousand years, it has always served as
a critical gateway leading to the west due to its unique geographical
location at the juncture of Gansu, Qinghai and Xinjiang.
As a result, several emperors throughout
Chinese history have made improvements these western fortifications.
However, Dunhuang was also a regional
cultural center of sorts. The Mogao
Grottoes, also known as the Dunhuang Grottoes or the
"Thousand Buddha Grottoes", is located on the western cliffs
of the Singing Sands Mountains.
Being one of the four most well-known
grottoes, it is one of the most complete collections of Buddhist
frescoes and sculpture from a period ranging over ten dynasties.