Joanna took us to Sui and Tang Luoyang City National Heritage Park on Sunday. The park has two impressive structures that are replicas of important places during the Tang Dynasty. Ming Tang (the Hall of Enlightenment) was used for religious ceremonies and Tian Tang (the Heavenly Hall) was used for official government meetings. The original buildings were destroyed by fire in 695 AD and the new replicas were rebuilt just in 2015 over the remnants of the ancient palaces. Luoyang was China’s imperial capital during the Sui and Tang Dynasties (581AD-907AD) and the Tang Dynasty is known as a golden age in Chinese history for culture, arts, politics and military strength. It is regarded as a time of great international prosperity, opulence and wealth for China. The Tang Dynasty is also known to be the only time in Chinese history that there was a woman Emperor. Empress Wu came to power when her Emperor husband died in 683AD, first maintaining her control through her sons and then proclaiming herself Empress in 690AD. She remained in power until 705AD.
I really enjoyed visiting this site not only for its splendor but also for the different, 说不上来的东西 (Je ne sais quoi) feeling the palaces had. Perhaps it was because they were still new, or for their beauty, or for the female history, or for the nine circular stories we walked through as we spiraled down through the temple. Or maybe it was because of the performance showcasing the Empress, which was truly mesmerizing. Regardless to the reason, when we were presented with the opportunity, Leah and I could not pass up the chance to feel the beauty in the clothes for ourselves, which made this visit even more memorable.