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Mysteries of the Mogao Caves

2 x 52, 1 x 97 (on request) HD 4K
Broadcaster:  DR,  Tencent

The Mogao Caves, a UN World Heritage site equal in importance to the Pyramids of Egypt, are full of countless mysteries and treasures which are still being uncovered today.


The caves, near China's ancient city of Dun Huang, are filled with an extraordinary collection of Buddhist art as well as The Dun Huang Manuscripts - the greatest treasure trove of ancient writings ever discovered, with over 50,000 texts in a variety of languages. But how and why were these caves, which contain influences across several Silk Road cultures, created? And who were the people, recorded in Dun Huang's manuscripts, who shaped the ancient city's turbulent history?


For the first time ever, this docudrama reveals the incredible history of ancient Dun Huang, a frontier fortress which controlled access to the lucrative Silk Road – a trading route stretching from China all the way to Rome. We reveal how key generals, warlords, Buddhist monks, and Empress Wu Zetian propelled Dun Huang from a desert oasis into a vital trading stronghold and an important global centre for Buddhism and religious art.


We discover how the city's first Xiong Nu leader Juqu Mengxun took inspiration from India to create the first Mogao Caves, and how China's only Empress Wu Zetian expanded them and created incredible feminine Buddha statues in a bid to increase her power and secure her legacy. And how the Dun Huang Manuscripts lay hidden in a sealed Mogao Cave for over 1,000 years, before being discovered by a Taoist Priest in 1900, and subsequently exploited by a British explorer, Aurel Stein.


Featuring stunning dramatic recreations and international expert interviews, the series is directed by the Emmy Award-winning director of The Men Who Made America, Ruán Magan.


Winner, Best Documentary Series, China: Asian Academy Creative Awards

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