White horses bearing sacred texts
Commercial goods and prosperity travelled along the Silk Road, but it also facilitated an exchange of ideology and culture, especially religion. Luoyang has been called the capital of Buddhism in China as there is no other city in the country where it is more embedded, but it is also known as one of the four great holy cities in the world, together with Jerusalem, Mecca and Athens.
Buddhism took root in Luoyang and spread into China under the influence of the White Horse Temple, the first Buddhist monastery in the country. It was here that the sutras were first translated into Chinese, and there are so many such firsts linked to this temple that it is known as the true ancestor of Chinese Buddhism.
The White Horse Temple is located about 12 kilometres from the eastern