33-year-old dream come true for the Queen

Queen Sonja Buddha ChinaLaughing Buddha statue, China. Photo: Pixabay.com

A 33-year-old dream come true for the Norwegian Queen

Ever since Queen Sonja first heard about the Mogao Caves in 1985, she dreamt of going there. This weekend the dream came true.


– It is truly fascinating, an enthusiastic Norwegian Queen exclaims after looking around in some of the 492 caves in Dunhuang, China – which altogether contain 45,000 square metres of murals and 2,000 sculptures.

The caves were excavated and decorated over a period of 1,000 years, from year 366 AD onwards.

Her Majesty the Queen herself read herself up on the unique art collection and willingly shared her knowledge when she met with the Norwegian press after the tour.

– There was a monk, who at the time, came to the top of a mountain in the area and had a vision of one thousand Buddhas. He thought it was a sign that he should settle here, meditate and find a way to worship. He was the first to excavate here. That is just fascinating. Many others have continued his work for hundreds of years, Her Majesty says.

World heritage site

The Mogao caves are on UNESCO’s list of world heritage sites and may quite likely house the world’s largest collection of Buddhist art.

– Each and every cave is a masterpiece, the Queen exclaims.

Being an artist herself, she is both impressed with how the cave artists have presented the times and the massive size of many of the murals and buddhas in the caves.

– There are some truly great artists who have been at work here, the Majesty concludes.


© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today