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Beijing's Summer Palace, the garden of gardens

 Posted by Germain Laroche
Germain Laroche
, January 12, 2014 at 10:48:33 :: China

Cloud-Dispelling HallThe Summer Palace or Yíhé Yuán, literally translated as the Gardens of Nurtured Harmony, is much more than just a former seat of power. The sprawling 2.9 square kilometer park, three quarters of which is water, is a time capsule around which modern Beijing swirls and eddies. Protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998 under the name “Summer Palace, an Imperial Garden in Beijing” and as an official Chinese heritage attraction, the park’s time-weathered pavilions, tranquil lakes, bridges and rich history are a vital part of the national pre-communist identity; a masterpiece of Chinese landscape art that blooms in its own interpretation with each spring.

Like many political and religious complexes in China, the gardens of the Summer Palace have gone through their own transformations. On the hill on which the Sea of Wisdom Temple now stands, emperor Wányán Liàng (February 24, 1122 - December 15, 1161) of the Jin Dynasty (1115-1234) first built his palace, after moving the capital of his kingdom to what is now modern-day Beijing. The hill was suitably named Gold Mountain, until a jar filled with treasure was reportedly found on the site and the hill was given the rather prosaic name Jug Hill under the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). The Qianlong Emperor of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) gave Longevity Hill its present name in honor of his mother’s 60th birthday, and so it has stayed, balancing out one end of the park from the waters of Kunming Lake at the other.

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White Water River, Lijiang

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, February 21, 2011 at 04:46:05 :: China

Lijiang (simplified Chinese: 丽江市; traditional Chinese: 麗江市; pinyin: Lìjiāng Shì) is a prefecture-level city in the northwest of Yunnan Province, China. It has an area of 21,219 square kilometres (8,193 sq mi) and a population of 1,137,600 as of 2005.

The world famous Old Town of Lijiang is located in Lijiang City. It is a UNESCO Heritage Site.

The town has a history going back more than 800 years and was once a confluence for trade along the old tea horse road. The Lijiang old town is famous for its orderly system of waterways and bridges. The old town of Lijiang differs from other ancient Chinese cities in architecture, history and the culture of its traditional residents the Nakhi people, therefore people there are called 胖金哥 and 胖金妹 (pàng jīn gē, pàng jīn mèi, male and female respectively).

Welcome stones at the Blue Water Lake from a part of White Water River, falling down from the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Lijiang, Yunnan Province, China


25 kilometers (approx. 16 miles) north of Lijiang, about 5 kilometers (approx. 3 miles) north of the Dry Sea (Ganhai), lies the White Water River, a river formed by runoff from the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Surrounded by mountains, the river runs towards the east.

The water is extremely clean as it is filtrated and purified by gravel and stones when running, and hasn't been polluted at all. The riverbed can be seen clearly through the pellucid water. The riverbed is formed by pieces of grayish-white sedimentary rocks. Thus the river looks white, and from this it gained its name. The water in the river is so cold that even in summer, people can not bear the piercing cold when they are barefoot in it. The river water is a favorite iced drink in the summer. It is also a love river, for the maidens of the Naxi Minority use the frigid water to test the love of their pursuers. Standing beside the river, you will view the grand and charming spectacle of the snow mountain as you are drinking of the water.

4 kilometers (approx. 2 miles) away from the river, there is Black Water River. In just the same way the White Water River gained its name, the Black Water River is named because of its black riverbed. It joins with the White Water River when running to the low reaches. In the book named Dongba Jing, black and white compose the world, thus the congruity of black and white indicating the harmony in the world. Therefore, the joining of the two rivers is endowed with a special meaning of harmony and unity. For tourists, it is a symbol of being no obstacles to a safe journey.

Green of Pines jungle and blue of water nad sky making the greenery of Blue Water Lake, from the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Lijiang, Yunnan Province, China


The best time to visit here is from June to July and September to November. In the summer you can enjoy wild rhododendron flowers; while in the latter period, the beauty of autumn will add great pleasure to your visit. You can enjoy the scenery along the bank either by foot or by riding a horse.

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Dali, China

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, November 28, 2010 at 16:03:24 :: China

Located northwest of the Yunnan Province, 300 kilometers (186 miles) northwest of Kunming in China, Dali City is the economic and cultural center of the Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture. The area is surrounded by mountains on the east, west, and south, and has the Erhai Lake in its center. Here you will find 25 ethnic minorities, which have created a unique cultural heritage amidst the area's picturesque surroundings.

Cangshan Mountain and Erhai Lake are praised as Dali's leading scenic areas. Most attractions in Dali lie between these two landmarks, such as the Butterfly Spring, and the Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple. Ethnic minorities have inhabited Dali for generations, with the Bai Minority making up the majority of Dali's population (65%). The customs of the ethnic minorities bring charm to daily life in Dali. Each spring, celebrations and festivals bring the city to life. Celebrations such as the March Street Festival and Butterfly Fest provide excellent opportunities to learn about local folk customs.

The main way leading from the Lake view Tower to the Main Tower in the area of the Pond of nine dragons bathing Buddha at the Three Pagodas complex, Dali, Yunnan province, China. It's next to the Abbot compound and the Buddhism Academy.


As early as 4,000 years ago, the ancestors of the Bai people settled in the Dali area. In the Second Century AD, it was brought into the territory of the central government of Han Dynasty (206 BC-220AD). Two ethnic states, the Nanzhao State (738-937) in Tang Dynasty (618-907), and the Dali State (937-1253) in Song Dynasty (960-1279), were once established here as well. Throughout the ages, Dali remained an intermediary area linking economic and cultural communications between ancient China and other countries via India. The remains of Dali Tai He City and the Dali Ancient City bear witness to thousands of years of historic changes in Dali. Together with the Xizhou Town and the Zhoucheng Village, the ancient towns in Dali show the best of historic customs of daily life within the Bai Minority.

Present day Dali is a city that combines history with modern convenience. It is divided into two areas- the Ancient City and the New District (widely known as Xiaguan). The Ancient City is centered around the ancient city of Dali, first built in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Ancient buildings, city walls and the old city moat are the sites most frequented by visitors. The famous Foreigner Street in the Ancient City attracts visitors with its handicrafts, and local culinary delicacies. Xiaguan, located to the south of the Ancient City, home to the government of the Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture. Here hotels, public squares, and shopping centers add modernity to the otherwise historical city.

Throughout its years of development, local endeavors for advancement have been rewarded with a great rise in area living standards. Nowadays, Dali is a tourist destination replete with every convenience in transportation and public facilities, making it accessible for visitors from home and abroad.

Several historical sites worth visiting are within easy reach of the ancient city, Dali Tai He City, 7 kilometers (4 miles) south of Dali Ancient City, still shows its style as the seat of the central regime of the Nanzhao State although it was deserted after the Ming Dynasty. One kilometer (0.6 miles) north of Dali city, the Three Pagodas at the site of Chongsheng Temple are classic Buddhist pagodas of the Tang Dynasty and are regarded as the symbol of Dali.

Eighteen kilometers (11 miles) north of Dali Ancient City is Xizhou Town. This was a crucial military area in the Nanzhao State and is characterized by several Bai ethnic architectural complexes, such as the Yan's Compound ,and the Hou's Compound. Zhoucheng Village is 23 kilometers (14 miles) north of Dali Ancient City. It was once the imperial garden of Dali State. As the largest natural village of Bai in Yunnan, it is famous not only for the Butterfly Spring, but also for its perfect preservation of Bai ethnic customs. Not far from Zhoucheng Village, Butterfly Spring lies at the foot of Yunnong Peak, the northernmost peak of the Cangshan Mountains. It is always a romantic place and the spring is a symbol of love's loyalty.

Dali old city gate, Yunnan province, China


Additionally, in the city, you can go to visit Dali Municipal Museum. Once named Marshal Mansion, it was originally home to Du Wenxiu well known for leading the Hui ethnic minority revolt against the Qing Dynasty in 1856.

Around Dali City, there are many other interesting destinations well worth visiting. For example, Jizu Mountain in the northeast of Binchuan County, Weibao Mountain in the southeast of Weishan County and Shibao Mountain in the southwest of Jianchuan County are all scenic areas with notable religious sites. Among them, the one hundred and thirty-nine stone Buddha statues in sixteen grottoes within the Shibao Mountain Scenic Area will intrigue any visitor who is interested in Buddhist artifacts. If time is not pressing, you can also go to visit Zhoucheng County,Dali. It is famed for the tie-dyeing. Tie-dyeing is a technology of printing flower patterns on cloth. As the name suggests, the process is divided into 'tie' and 'dye'.

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(source: travelchinaguide.com)
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Ürümqi

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, July 12, 2009 at 13:43:43 :: China

Urumchi or Ürümqi (English pronunciation: /uːˈruːmtʃi/), in Chinese Pinyin spelled Wulumuqi; Uyghur: ئۈرۈمچی‎, Ürümchi; simplified Chinese: 乌鲁木齐; traditional Chinese: 烏魯木齊; pinyin: Wūlǔmùqí) is the capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China, in the northwest of the country.

Ürümqi


With an urban population of over 2.3 million people, Ürümqi, whose name means "beautiful pasture", is by far the largest city on China's vast Western interior. Since the 1990s Urumqi has become gradually developed economically and now serves as a regional transport node and commercial centre. Urumqi has a majority Han Chinese population, with the largest minorities being the Turkic ethnic groups Uyghur people and Kazakhs with Chinese ethnic group Hui people.

According to the 2000 census, Ürümqi has 2,081,834 inhabitants, with a population density of 174.53 inhabitants/km². Of these, 75.3% are Han Chinese, 15.8% are Uyghurs, 8.0% are Hui and 2.3% are Kazakhs and Kyrgyz. Ürümqi is a major industrial center within Xinjiang. Ürümqi, together with Karamay and Bayin'gholin, account for 64.5% of the total industrial output of Xinjiang. Ürümqi is also the largest consumer center in the region, recording ¥41.9 billion retail sales of consumer goods in 2008.

In 1990, Urumqi was an Uyghur city of a million people, with wide streets, shops with dead rare animals, kebab restaurants, street performances with musicians playing drums and Arabian pipes and child acrobats performing on a beds of nails, and lonely Han Chinese officials and soldiers, By 2000, it had become a city of 1.6 million people, 70 percent of whom were Han Chinese, with glass-and steel office buildings, four-star hotels, shopping malls, pool halls, Jeeps, Audis, Mercedes Benzes, Holiday Inn, Rock'n' Roll Cafe, and discos.

"Every employee I saw in my Western-style hotel was a Han," wrote Thomas Allen in National Geographic in 1996. "All the police officers I saw were Han. Even unskilled laborers were Han, lured from other provinces to work on the dozens of high rises, sprouting in Urumqi."

By the mid 2000s Urumqi had become home to 4 million people and looked like any other Chinese city. It was dominated by pale apartment buildings and a People’s Square in the center of town and had a downtown with KFCs, new 50-story buildings, and nightclubs such as “One Way,” with a door man in a plaid kilt and white knee-high boots.

Thirteen different ethnic groups, including Kazaks, Tatars, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Mongols, and several hundred thousand Uyghurs, live in and around Urumqi but they have all but lost their influence as the Chinese government makes a major oil and trade center.. Urumqi is so important to the western Chinese economy that it has been declared a port even though it is further from the sea than any other major town or city in the world (around 2,000 kilometers from the Arctic Ocean, Yellow Sea and Indian Ocean).

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Mount Kailash, Tibet

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, January 27, 2008 at 11:53:59 :: China

A great mass of black rock soaring to over 22,000 feet, Mount Kailash has the unique distinction of being the world's most venerated holy place at the same time that it is the least visited.

Le Kailash


Mount Kailash (officially: Kangrinboqê; Tibetan: Gang Rinpoche, གངས་རིན་པོ་ཆེ།; Wylie: Gangs Rin-po-che; ZWPY: Kangrinboqê; simplified Chinese: 冈仁波齐峰; traditional Chinese: 岡仁波齊峰; pinyin: Gāngrénbōqí Fēng; Hindi कैलाश पर्वत, Kailāśā Parvata) is a peak in the Gangdisê mountains which is part of the Himalayas in Tibet Autonomous Region, People's Republic of China, the source of some of the longest rivers in Asia—the Indus River, the Sutlej River, a tributary of the Indus River, and the Brahmaputra River—and is considered as a sacred place in four religions—Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Bön faith. In Hindu religion, it is considered to be the abode of Lord Shiva. The mountain lies near Lake Manasarowar and Lake Rakshastal in Tibet.

There have been no recorded attempts to climb Mount Kailash; it is considered off limits to climbers in deference to Buddhist and Hindu beliefs. It is the most significant peak in the world that has not seen any known climbing attempts.

Kailash is seen by no more than a few thousand pilgrims each year. This curious fact is explained by the mountain's remote location in far western Tibet. No planes, trains or buses journey anywhere near the region and even with rugged over-land vehicles the journey still requires weeks of difficult, often dangerous travel. The weather, always cold, can be unexpectedly treacherous and pilgrims must carry all the supplies they will need for the entire journey.

Mount Kailash


How long have people been coming to this sacred mountain?

The cosmologies and origin myths of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism refer to Kailash as the mythical Mt. Meru, the Axis Mundi, the centre and birthplace of the entire universe. The mountain was already legendary before the great Hindu epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata were written. Mt. Kailash is so deeply embedded in the myths of ancient Asia that for many it is the location of the strongest cosmic power.

Geologically Mt. Kailash was formed around 50 million years ago, whereas the Himalayas are considered to have evolved 10 million years ago.

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The Hakkas of China

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, June 10, 2007 at 07:49:28 :: China

The Hakka are a subgroup of the Han Chinese people who live predominantly in the provinces of Guangdong, Jiangxi, and Fujian in China. Their ancestors are said to have originated in the Henan and Shanxi provinces of northern China over 1,700 years ago. In a series of migrations, the Hakka settled in their present locations in southern China, and then migrated overseas to various nations throughout the world. The Hakka have had a significant influence on the course of Chinese and Overseas Chinese history: in particular, they have been a source of revolutionary and political leaders.

Earth Buildings, Fujian, China


Hakkas in Fujian

The Hakkas who settled in the mountainous region of south-western Fujian province developed a unique form of architectural building known as tu lou (土樓), literally meaning earthen structures. The tu lou are round or square and were designed as a combined large fortress and multi-apartment building complex. The structures typically had only one entrance-way, with no windows at ground level. Each floor served a different function: the first floor containing a well and livestock, the second food storage and the third and higher floors contain living spaces. Tu-lou were built to withstand attack from bandits and marauders (source: Wikipedia).

Hakka Earth Building, building style in southern China unique to the Hakka people, Yongding county (永定县) in Fujian Province (福建), China (中國)


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The Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, April 28, 2007 at 04:34:12 :: China

Lhasa, sometimes spelled Llasa, is the traditional capital of Tibet and the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China.

The city is the traditional seat of the Dalai Lama and in Tibetan Buddhism is regarded as the holiest centre in Tibet.

The Potala Palace in Lhasa, museum of China, was the chief residence of the Dalai Lama, Tibet


The Potala Palace located in Lhasa, was the chief residence of the Dalai Lama until the 14th Dalai Lama fled to Dharamsala, India after a failed uprising in 1959. Today the Potala Palace is a state museum of China. It is a popular tourist attraction and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The White Palace, Potala Palace, Tibet


The White Palace is the part of the Potala Palace that makes up the living quarters of the Dalai Lama. The first White Palace was built during the lifetime of the fifth Dalai Lama in the 1650s then was extended to its size today by the thirteenth Dalai Lama in the early twentieth century (source Wikipedia).

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Visit China

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, April 30, 2006 at 12:17:20 :: China

Good news!

One of Landolia team members is in China now and will soon upload lots of photos like this one.

Great Wall of China


If you have nice photos of the World too, don't hesitate. Submit them on Landolia!

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China photos

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, April 08, 2006 at 10:44:10 :: China

Good news!

One of Landolia team members is in China now and will soon upload lots of photos like this one.

Marble Boat, Summer Palace, Beijing


If you have nice photos of the World too, don't hesitate. Submit them on Landolia!
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In The News

Dazu Rock Carvings, China

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, May 27, 2007 at 10:17:26

Three Deities: Sakyamuni, Samantabhadra, Manjusri and 88 Buddhas (Song Dynasty)The Dazu Rock Carvings (Chinese: 大足石刻) contains all the cliffside carvings in Dazu County (大足县), located 271 kilometres (168 miles) from Chengdu (成都) on its west and 167 kilometres (103 miles) from Chongqing (重庆) on its east, it has a population of over 880,000 and an area of about 1,400 square kilometres. Dazu County features more than 40 sites of stone carvings with over 50,000 statues of Buddha, dating from the 9th to the 13th century, completed from the late Tang Dynasty to the Song Dynasty, depicting and influenced by Buddhist, Confucian and Taoist beliefs. The collection is composed of the rock carvings in Beishan, Baodingshan, Nanshan, Shimenshan as well as Shizhuanshan.

Statues on the stone mountainBeishan Rock Carving:
Construction began on the Beishan Hill, 2 kilometres away from the northwest of Dazu County, in the late Tang Dynasty and lasted for more than 250 years, with some 300 niches containing some 10000 statues of Buddha being carved including the graceful statue of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, crowned as "The Oriental Venus".

Baodingshan Rock Carving:
It is located 15 kilometres to the northeast of longgang Town, seat of Dazu country. Baodingshan of Dazu Rock Carving has 13 scenic spots (Among them Xiaofowan, Daota, Longtoushan, Shushishan, Huang po, Gaoguanyin, Guangdashan or Yanwan), totaling nearly 10000 cliffside figures. Baodingshan Rock Carvings include those at Dafowan and Xiaofowan centering on the Saint Longevity Monastery.

Nanshan Rock Carving:
Standing at the southeast of Dazu County, the Taoism doctrine is the main theme in this part. Taoist gods' figures are carved vividly .The cave of Sanqing demonstrates the Taoist gods' ranking in the Song Dynasty (960-1279). Therefore, tourists will be impressed by these colourful clay creations.

Sakyamuni in Nirvana (popularly known as the Reclining Buddha, Song Dynasty)Shizhuanshan Rock Carving:
It is 25 kilometres far from the southwest of Dazu County. Shizhuanshan Rock Carvings are representatives of spots of tripartite arrangement of Buddhist Taoist and Confucianism statues rarely seen in grottoes as the niche of Confucius and the niche of Lao Tzu.

Shimenshan Rock Carving:
20 kilometres from the eastern part of Dazu County, Shimenshan Rock Carvings are integrations of Buddhist and Taoist statues. The statues of the God of Farsighting, standing on the left side of the entrance to "Niche 2", housing the Jade Emperor for instance, has eyes as big as a pair of bronze hells as if they could see as far as a thousand km, while the statue of the God of Farhearing, standing on the right side of the entrance has an ugly look and two open ears as if he were listening carefully. Both of the statues have strong muscles and exposed arteries and veins carved in an exaggerated way.

The carvings were listed as a World Heritage Site in 1999, citing "...their aesthetic quality, their rich diversity of subject matter, both secular and religious, and the light that they shed on everyday life in China during this period. They provide outstanding evidence of the harmonious synthesis of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism."

Chinese province, part 1 - China

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 21, 2007 at 01:34:15

Huating Temple from Western Hills, ChinaChina (Traditional Chinese: 中國; Simplified Chinese: 中国) is one of the world's oldest civilizations. People's Republic of China (Traditional Chinese: 中華人民共和國; Simplified Chinese: 中华人民共和国) administers 22 provinces and its capital is Beijing (北京).

Landolia gives you the opportunity to discover this huge country. This week, our interest goes to two provinces: Yunnan (云南省) and Hebei (河北省) from where Landolia's members submitted a lot of photos.

Alien-countryside-like, Shilin Stone Forest, ChinaYunnan is located in the far southwestern corner of China. Its capital is Kunming (昆明). From there you can visit Shilin (120 km from Kunming) and its spectacular stone forest (石林). In Yiliang, on the way to Shilin, you can visit the Yanquan temple with its big Buddha which was carved in the walls of the mountain.

Near Kunming stands the Western Hill, Xi Shan. On the way to the summit (beautiful view on Kunming and the Dianchi Lake (滇池)), you can visit the Dragon Gate spot and a few temples such as Huating temple and Taihua temple. You will also see the Tomb of Nie Er (Traditional Chinese: 聶耳; Simplified Chinese: 聂耳).

Traditional dance, Jino village, Xishuangbanna in Yunnan province, ChinaXishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture or Sipsongpanna is an autonomous prefecture in southern Yunnan Province. The capital city is Jinghong (景洪), limited to the south by Hengduan Shan Mountain Range (横断山脉). If you stop by Jinghong, we recommend you to visit the Botanical medical garden and the Tropical plants and flowers garden.

Xishuangbanna region is inhabited by Ethnic groups. Among them you will find the Dai people (傣族), the Han Chinese (漢族 or 漢人), the Hani people (哈尼族), the Yi people (彝族), the Lahu people (拉祜族), the Blang (布朗族), the Jino (基诺族), the Yao people (瑶族), the Miao people (苗), the Bai (白族), the Hui people (回族), the Va people (佤族), the Zhuang (壯族) and others.

The Lingxiao Pagoda (Lingxiao Ta), built in 860 during the Tang Dynasty, also known as the Wooden Pagoda, is a wood-and-brick construction, which was formerly part of Tianning Monastery, Zhengding, ChinaHebei (河北) is a northern province of the People's Republic of China. Shijiazhuang (Simplified Chinese: 石家庄; Traditional Chinese: 石家莊) is the major city and a good base to visit the surrounding. One of the most beautiful cities of the region, 20 km from Shijiazhuang, is Zhengding (正定) and its four famous pagodas: the Chengling Pagoda (Chengling Ta), built from gray bricks, formerly part of the Linji Temple; the Lingxiao Pagoda (Lingxiao Ta), also known as the Wooden Pagoda, wood-and-brick construction, which was formerly part of Tianning Monastery; the Xumi Pagoda (Xumi Ta), named for the mythical Mount Sumeru, also known as Summer Pagoda, part of Kaiyuan Monastery; the Hua Pagoda (Hua Ta, Flower Pagoda), four-storey brick building, part of Guanghui Monastery.

You can also visit the Bailin Temple and the Anji Bridge (or Zhaozhou Bridge) in Zhaoxian, 40 km from Shijiazhuang.

Travel to China

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, April 24, 2006 at 13:37:58

One of our team members is back from China with wonderful pictures. Visit the main attractions and monuments of China through pictures of Beijing, Shanghai and Xian...

Photo of the week: the Great Wall of China

China - Great Wall - Great Wall of China

UNESCO World Heritage

China, Xinjiang Tianshan

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, October 19, 2013 at 09:34:22

Location China
Coordinates N41 58 6 E80 21 15
Property 606,833 ha
Date of Inscription 2013

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1414 )

Xinjiang Tianshan comprises four components—Tomur, Kalajun-Kuerdening, Bayinbukuke and Bogda— that total 606,833 hectares. They are part of the Tianshan mountain system of Central Asia, one of the largest mountain ranges in the world. Xinjiang Tianshan presents unique physical geographic features and scenically beautiful areas including spectacular snow and snowy mountains glacier-capped peaks, undisturbed forests and meadows, clear rivers and lakes and red bed canyons. These landscapes contrast with the vast adjacent desert landscapes, creating a striking visual contrast between hot and cold environments, dry and wet, desolate and luxuriant. The landforms and ecosystems of the site have been preserved since the Pliocene epoch and present an outstanding example of ongoing biological and ecological evolutionary processes. The site also extends into the Taklimakan Desert, one of the world’s largest and highest deserts, known for its large dune forms and great dust storms. Xinjiang Tianshan is moreover an important habitat for endemic and relic flora species, some rare and endangered.

Photos from Landolia

Tianchi lake, Xinjiang Tianshan

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China, Cultural Landscape of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, October 19, 2013 at 09:27:00

Location China
Coordinates N23 5 35.8 E102 46 47.93
Property 16,603 ha
Date of Inscription 2013

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1111 )

The Cultural Landscape of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces, China covers 16,603-hectares in Southern Yunnan. It is marked by spectacular terraces that cascade down the slopes of the towering Ailao Mountains to the banks of the Hong River. Over the past 1,300 years, the Hani people have developed a complex system of channels to bring water from the forested mountaintops to the terraces. They have also created an integrated farming system that involves buffalos, cattle, ducks, fish and eel and supports the production of red rice, the area’s primary crop. The inhabitants worship the sun, moon, mountains, rivers, forests and other natural phenomena including fire. They live in 82 villages situated between the mountaintop forests and the terraces. The villages feature traditional thatched “mushroom” houses. The resilient land management system of the rice terraces demonstrates extraordinary harmony between people and their environment, both visually and ecologically, based on exceptional and long-standing social and religious structures.

Photos from Landolia

Honghe Hani Rice Terraces

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China, West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, October 19, 2013 at 06:59:37

Location China
Coordinates N30 14 15 E120 8 27
Property 3,323 ha
Date of Inscription 2011

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1334 )

The West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou, comprising the West Lake and the hills surrounding its three sides, has inspired famous poets, scholars and artists since the 9th century. It comprises numerous temples, pagodas, pavilions, gardens and ornamental trees, as well as causeways and artificial islands. These additions have been made to improve the landscape west of the city of Hangzhou to the south of the Yangtze river. The West Lake has influenced garden design in the rest of China as well as Japan and Korea over the centuries and bears an exceptional testimony to the cultural tradition of improving landscapes to create a series of vistas reflecting an idealised fusion between humans and nature.

Photos from Landolia

Bridges, West lake Leifeng Pagoda, West lake

More photos and localization on interactive Google Map


China, Historic Monuments of Dengfeng in "The Centre of Heaven and Earth"

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, October 19, 2013 at 06:48:46

Location China
Coordinates N34 27 31.49 E113 4 3.79
Property 825 ha
Date of Inscription 2010

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1305 )

Mount Songshang is considered to be the central sacred mountain of China. At the foot of this 1500 metre high mountain, close to the city of Dengfeng in Henan province and spread over a 40 square-kilometre circle, stand eight clusters of buildings and sites, including three Han Que gates - remains of the oldest religious edifices in China -, temples, the Zhougong Sundial Platform and the Dengfeng Observatory. Constructed over the course of nine dynasties, these buildings are reflections of different ways of perceiving the centre of heaven and earth and the power of the mountain as a centre for religious devotion. The historical monuments of Dengfeng include some of the best examples of ancient Chinese buildings devoted to ritual, science, technology and education.

Photos from Landolia

Gaocheng Astronomical Observatory, Dengfeng

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China, China Danxia

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, October 19, 2013 at 06:40:23

Location China
Coordinates N28 25 19 E106 2 33
Property 82,151 ha
Date of Inscription 2010

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1335 )

China Danxia is the name given in China to landscapes developed on continental red terrigenous sedimentary beds influenced by endogenous forces (including uplift) and exogenous forces (including weathering and erosion). The inscribed site comprises six areas found in the sub-tropical zone of south-west China. They are characterized by spectacular red cliffs and a range of erosional landforms, including dramatic natural pillars, towers, ravines, valleys and waterfalls. These rugged landscapes have helped to conserve sub-tropical broad-leaved evergreen forests, and host many species of flora and fauna, about 400 of which are considered rare or threatened.

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Mount Danxia, China Danxia Mount Jianglang, China Danxia

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China, Mount Wutai

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, October 19, 2013 at 06:30:29

Location China
Coordinates N39 1 50 E113 33 48
Property 18,415 ha
Date of Inscription 2009

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1279 )

With its five flat peaks, Mount Wutai is a sacred Buddhist mountain. The cultural landscape is home to forty-one monasteries and includes the East Main Hall of Foguang Temple, the highest surviving timber building of the Tang dynasty, with life-size clay sculptures. It also features the Ming dynasty Shuxiang Temple with a huge complex of 500 statues representing Buddhist stories woven into three-dimensional pictures of mountains and water. Overall, the buildings on the site catalogue the way in which Buddhist architecture developed and influenced palace building in China for over a millennium. Mount Wutai, literally, 'the five terrace mountain', is the highest in Northern China and is remarkable for its morphology of precipitous slopes with five open treeless peaks. Temples have been built on this site from the 1st century AD to the early 20th century.

Photos from Landolia

Great White Pagoda, Mount Wutai Buddhist temples, Mount Wutai

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China, Mount Sanqingshan National Park

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, October 17, 2013 at 10:47:19

Location China
Coordinates N28 54 57 E118 3 52
Property 22,950 ha
Date of Inscription 2008

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1292 )

Mount Sanqingshan National Park, a 22,950 ha property located in the west of the Huyaiyu mountain range in the northeast of Jiangxi Province (in the east of central China) has been inscribed for its exceptional scenic quality, marked by the concentration of fantastically shaped pillars and peaks: 48 granite peaks and 89 granite pillars, many of which resemble human or animal silhouettes. The natural beauty of the 1,817 metre high Mount Huaiyu is further enhanced by the juxtaposition of granite features with the vegetation and particular meteorological conditions which make for an ever-changing and arresting landscape with bright halos on clouds and white rainbows. The area is subject to a combination of subtropical monsoonal and maritime influences and forms an island of temperate forest above the surrounding subtropical landscape. It also features forests and numerous waterfalls, some of them 60 metres in height, lakes and springs.

Photos from Landolia

Cable car, Mount Sanqingshan National Park Snake rock, Mount Sanqingshan National Park

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China, Fujian Tulou

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, October 17, 2013 at 10:38:32

Location China
Coordinates N25 1 23 E117 41 9
Property 153 ha
Date of Inscription 2008

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1113 )

Fujian Tulou is a property of 46 buildings constructed between the 15th and 20th centuries over 120 km in south-west of Fujian province, inland from the Taiwan Strait. Set amongst rice, tea and tobacco fields the Tulou are earthen houses. Several storeys high, they are built along an inward-looking, circular or square floor plan as housing for up to 800 people each. They were built for defence purposes around a central open courtyard with only one entrance and windows to the outside only above the first floor. Housing a whole clan, the houses functioned as village units and were known as “a little kingdom for the family” or “bustling small city.” They feature tall fortified mud walls capped by tiled roofs with wide over-hanging eaves. The most elaborate structures date back to the 17th and 18th centuries. The buildings were divided vertically between families with each disposing of two or three rooms on each floor. In contrast with their plain exterior, the inside of the tulou were built for comfort and were often highly decorated. They are inscribed as exceptional examples of a building tradition and function exemplifying a particular type of communal living and defensive organization, and, in terms of their harmonious relationship with their environment, an outstanding example of human settlement.

Photos from Landolia

Tianluokeng tulou cluster, Fujian Tulou Zhenchenglou, Fujian Tulou

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China, South China Karst

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, October 17, 2013 at 10:29:03

Location China
Coordinates N25 13 15 E107 58 30
Property 47,588 ha
Date of Inscription 2007

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1248 )

The South China Karst region extends over a surface of half a million km2 lying mainly in Yunnan, Guizhou and Guangxi provinces. It represents one of the world’s most spectacular examples of humid tropical to subtropical karst landscapes. The stone forests of Shilin are considered superlative natural phenomena and a world reference with a wider range of pinnacle shapes than other karst landscapes with pinnacles, and a higher diversity of shapes and changing colours. The cone and tower karsts of Libo, also considered the world reference site for these types of karst, form a distinctive and beautiful landscape. Wulong Karst has been inscribed for its giant dolines (sinkholes), natural bridges and caves.

Photos from Landolia

Shilin Karst, South China Karst Three Natural Bridges, South China Karst

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China, Kaiping Diaolou and Villages

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, October 17, 2013 at 10:20:24

Location Guangdong Province, China
Coordinates N22 17 7.87 E112 33 57.1
Property 372 ha
Date of Inscription 2007

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1112 )

Kaiping Diaolou and Villages feature the Diaolou, multi-storeyed defensive village houses in Kaiping, which display a complex and flamboyant fusion of Chinese and Western structural and decorative forms. They reflect the significant role of émigré Kaiping people in the development of several countries in South Asia, Australasia and North America, during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. There are four groups of Diaolou and twenty of the most symbolic ones are inscribed on the List. These buildings take three forms: communal towers built by several families and used as temporary refuge, residential towers built by individual rich families and used as fortified residences, and watch towers. Built of stone, pise , brick or concrete, these buildings represent a complex and confident fusion between Chinese and Western architectural styles. Retaining a harmonious relationship with the surrounding landscape, the Diaolou testify to the final flowering of local building traditions that started in the Ming period in response to local banditry.

Photos from Landolia

Ruishi Diaolou, Kaiping

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China, Yin Xu

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, October 17, 2013 at 10:11:43

Location Henan Province, China
Coordinates N36 7 36 E114 18 50
Property 414 ha
Date of Inscription 2006

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1114 )

The archaeological site of Yin Xu, close to Anyang City, some 500 km south of Beijing, is an ancient capital city of the late Shang Dynasty (1300 - 1046 BC). It testifies to the golden age of early Chinese culture, crafts and sciences, a time of great prosperity of the Chinese Bronze Age. A number of royal tombs and palaces, prototypes of later Chinese architecture, have been unearthed on the site, including the Palace and Royal Ancestral Shrines Area, with more than 80 house foundations, and the only tomb of a member of the royal family of the Shang Dynasty to have remained intact, the Tomb of Fu Hao. The large number and superb craftsmanship of the burial accessories found there bear testimony to the advanced level of Shang crafts industry. Inscriptions on oracle bones found in Yin Xu bear invaluable testimony to the development of one of the world’s oldest writing systems, ancient beliefs and social systems.

Photos from Landolia

Entrance to the Yin Ruins, Yin Xu

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China, Historic Centre of Macao

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, October 16, 2013 at 12:33:59

Location Macao Special Administrative Region, China
Coordinates N22 11 28.651 E113 32 11.26
Property 16 ha
Date of Inscription 2005

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1110 )

Macao, a lucrative port of strategic importance in the development of international trade, was under Portuguese administration from the mid-16th century until 1999, when it came under Chinese sovereignty. With its historic street, residential, religious and public Portuguese and Chinese buildings, the historic centre of Macao provides a unique testimony to the meeting of aesthetic, cultural, architectural and technological influences from East and West. The site also contains a fortress and a lighthouse, the oldest in China. It bears witness to one of the earliest and longest-lasting encounters between China and the West, based on the vibrancy of international trade.

Photos from Landolia

Ruins of St. Paul's, Historic Centre of Macau St. Dominic's Church, Historic Centre of Macau Cathedral of the Nativity of Our Lady, Historic Centre of Macau

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China, Capital Cities and Tombs of the Ancient Koguryo Kingdom

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, October 16, 2013 at 12:17:44

Location Huanren County, Liaoning Province and Ji'an, Jilin Province, China
Coordinates N41 9 25 E126 11 14
Property 4,165 ha
Date of Inscription 2004

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1135 )

The site includes archaeological remains of three cities and 40 tombs: Wunu Mountain City, Guonei City and Wandu Mountain City, 14 tombs are imperial, 26 of nobles. All belong to the Koguryo culture, named after the dynasty that ruled over parts of northern China and the northern half of the Korean Peninsula from 277 BC to AD 668. Wunu Mountain City is only partly excavated. Guonei City, within the modern city of Ji’an, played the role of a ‘supporting capital’ after the main Koguryo capital moved to Pyongyang. Wandu Mountain City, one of the capitals of the Koguryo Kingdom, contains many vestiges including a large palace and 37 tombs. Some of the tombs show great ingenuity in their elaborate ceilings, designed to roof wide spaces without columns and carry the heavy load of a stone or earth tumulus (mound), which was placed above them.

Photos from Landolia

Tomb of the General, Capital Cities and Tombs of the Ancient Koguryo Kingdom

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China, Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, October 16, 2013 at 12:05:38

Location Lijiang Prefecture, Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture and Nujiang Lisu Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province, China
Coordinates N27 53 42 E98 24 23
Date of Inscription 2003

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1083 )

Consisting of eight geographical clusters of protected areas within the boundaries of the Three Parallel Rivers National Park, in the mountainous north-west of Yunnan Province, the 1.7 million hectare site features sections of the upper reaches of three of the great rivers of Asia: the Yangtze (Jinsha), Mekong and Salween run roughly parallel, north to south, through steep gorges which, in places, are 3,000 m deep and are bordered by glaciated peaks more than 6,000 m high. The site is an epicentre of Chinese biodiversity. It is also one of the richest temperate regions of the world in terms of biodiversity.

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Terraces, Three Parallel Rivers

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China, Yungang Grottoes

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, October 16, 2013 at 11:56:34

Location Datong City, Shanxi Province, China
Coordinates N40 6 34.992 E113 7 19.992
Property 349 ha
Date of Inscription 2001

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1039 )

The Yungang Grottoes, in Datong city, Shanxi Province, with their 252 caves and 51,000 statues, represent the outstanding achievement of Buddhist cave art in China in the 5th and 6th centuries. The Five Caves created by Tan Yao, with their strict unity of layout and design, constitute a classical masterpiece of the first peak of Chinese Buddhist art.

Photos from Landolia

Statue, Yungang Caves Buddhist temple, Yungang Caves

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China, Longmen Grottoes

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, October 16, 2013 at 11:46:16

Location Luoyang City, Henan Province, China
Coordinates N34 28 0 E112 28 0
Property 331 ha
Date of Inscription 2000

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1003 )

The grottoes and niches of Longmen contain the largest and most impressive collection of Chinese art of the late Northern Wei and Tang Dynasties (316-907). These works, entirely devoted to the Buddhist religion, represent the high point of Chinese stone carving.

Photos from Landolia

Longmen Grottoes Big Vairocana, Longmen Grottoes

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China, Imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, October 16, 2013 at 11:30:12

Location Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province (Xiaoling Tomb); Changping District, Beijing (Ming Tombs), China
Coordinates N41 42 26 E124 47 38
Property 3,435 ha
Date of Inscription 2000

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1004 )

It represents the addition of three Imperial Tombs of the Qing Dynasty in Liaoning to the Ming tombs inscribed in 2000 and 2003. The Three Imperial Tombs of the Qing Dynasty in Liaoning Province include the Yongling Tomb, the Fuling Tomb, and the Zhaoling Tomb, all built in the 17th century. Constructed for the founding emperors of the Qing Dynasty and their ancestors, the tombs follow the precepts of traditional Chinese geomancy and fengshui theory. They feature rich decoration of stone statues and carvings and tiles with dragon motifs, illustrating the development of the funerary architecture of the Qing Dynasty. The three tomb complexes, and their numerous edifices, combine traditions inherited from previous dynasties and new features of Manchu civilization.

Photos from Landolia

Changling tomb's Ling'en Gate, Imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum, Imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties

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China, Temple of Heaven: an Imperial Sacrificial Altar in Beijing

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, October 16, 2013 at 11:15:09

Location Tiantan Park, Beijing, China
Coordinates N39 50 44 E116 26 41
Property 215 ha
Date of Inscription 1998

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/881 )

The Temple of Heaven, founded in the first half of the 15th century, is a dignified complex of fine cult buildings set in gardens and surrounded by historic pine woods. In its overall layout and that of its individual buildings, it symbolizes the relationship between earth and heaven – the human world and God's world – which stands at the heart of Chinese cosmogony, and also the special role played by the emperors within that relationship.

Photos from Landolia

Imperial Vault of Heaven, Temple of Heaven Circular Mound, Temple of Heaven

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China, Summer Palace, an Imperial Garden in Beijing

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, October 16, 2013 at 10:46:21

Location 10 km northwest of Beijing, China
Coordinates N39 54 38 E116 8 28
Property 297 ha
Date of Inscription 1998

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/880 )

The Summer Palace in Beijing – first built in 1750, largely destroyed in the war of 1860 and restored on its original foundations in 1886 – is a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design. The natural landscape of hills and open water is combined with artificial features such as pavilions, halls, palaces, temples and bridges to form a harmonious ensemble of outstanding aesthetic value.

Photos from Landolia

Seventeen-arch bridge, Summer Palace Marble Boat, Summer Palace Garden of Harmonious Interests, Summer Palace

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China, Classical Gardens of Suzhou

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, October 16, 2013 at 09:25:06

Location Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province, China
Coordinates N31 19 0 E120 27 0
Property 12 ha
Date of Inscription 1997

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/813 )

Classical Chinese garden design, which seeks to recreate natural landscapes in miniature, is nowhere better illustrated than in the nine gardens in the historic city of Suzhou. They are generally acknowledged to be masterpieces of the genre. Dating from the 11th-19th century, the gardens reflect the profound metaphysical importance of natural beauty in Chinese culture in their meticulous design.

Photos from Landolia

Lion Grove Garden, Classical Gardens of Suzhou Couple's Retreat Garden, Classical Gardens of Suzhou

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China, Ancient City of Ping Yao

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, October 16, 2013 at 09:10:50

Location Ping Yao County, Shan Xi Province, China
Coordinates N37 12 5.004 E112 9 15.984
Property 246 ha
Date of Inscription 1997

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/812 )

Ping Yao is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a traditional Han Chinese city, founded in the 14th century. Its urban fabric shows the evolution of architectural styles and town planning in Imperial China over five centuries. Of special interest are the imposing buildings associated with banking, for which Ping Yao was the major centre for the whole of China in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

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Market Tower, Pingyao Pingyao, China

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China, Mountain Resort and its Outlying Temples, Chengde

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, October 16, 2013 at 08:59:23

Location Chengde City, Hebei Province, China
Coordinates N40 59 12.984 E117 56 17.988
Date of Inscription 1994

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/703 )

The Mountain Resort (the Qing dynasty's summer palace), in Hebei Province, was built between 1703 and 1792. It is a vast complex of palaces and administrative and ceremonial buildings. Temples of various architectural styles and imperial gardens blend harmoniously into a landscape of lakes, pastureland and forests. In addition to its aesthetic interest, the Mountain Resort is a rare historic vestige of the final development of feudal society in China.

Photos from Landolia

Xumi Fushou Temple, Chengde Mountain Resort Pagoda, Chengde Mountain Resort

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China, Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace, Lhasa

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, October 16, 2013 at 08:47:45

Location Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region, China
Coordinates N29 39 28.512 E91 7 1.812
Property 61 ha
Date of Inscription 1994

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/707 )

The Potala Palace, winter palace of the Dalai Lama since the 7th century, symbolizes Tibetan Buddhism and its central role in the traditional administration of Tibet. The complex, comprising the White and Red Palaces with their ancillary buildings, is built on Red Mountain in the centre of Lhasa Valley, at an altitude of 3,700m. Also founded in the 7th century, the Jokhang Temple Monastery is an exceptional Buddhist religious complex. Norbulingka, the Dalai Lama's former summer palace, constructed in the 18th century, is a masterpiece of Tibetan art. The beauty and originality of the architecture of these three sites, their rich ornamentation and harmonious integration in a striking landscape, add to their historic and religious interest.

Photos from Landolia

Potala Palace White Palace, Potala Palace

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China, Ancient Building Complex in the Wudang Mountains

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, October 16, 2013 at 08:36:07

Location Danjiangkou City, Hubei Province, China
Coordinates N32 28 0.012 E111 0 0
Date of Inscription 1994

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/705 )

The palaces and temples which form the nucleus of this group of secular and religious buildings exemplify the architectural and artistic achievements of China's Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. Situated in the scenic valleys and on the slopes of the Wudang mountains in Hubei Province, the site, which was built as an organized complex during the Ming dynasty (14th–17th centuries), contains Taoist buildings from as early as the 7th century. It represents the highest standards of Chinese art and architecture over a period of nearly 1,000 years.

Photos from Landolia

Gate of Yuan Wu, Ancient Building Complex in the Wudang Mountains Taoist monastery, Ancient Building Complex in the Wudang Mountains

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China, Mount Taishan

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, October 16, 2013 at 08:26:07

Location Spanning the cities of Tai’an and Jinan in central Shandong Province with the main peak in the city of Tai’an, China
Coordinates N36 16 0.012 E117 5 60
Property 25,000 ha
Date of Inscription 1987

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/437 )

The sacred Mount Tai ('shan' means 'mountain') was the object of an imperial cult for nearly 2,000 years, and the artistic masterpieces found there are in perfect harmony with the natural landscape. It has always been a source of inspiration for Chinese artists and scholars and symbolizes ancient Chinese civilizations and beliefs.

Photos from Landolia

Temple complex, Mount Taishan Immortal Bridge, Mount Taishan

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China, Mogao Caves

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, October 16, 2013 at 08:15:12

Location Dunhuang County, Gansu Province. At the eastern foot of Mount Mingsha, 25 kilometres southeast of the County seat, China
Coordinates N40 7 59.988 E94 49 0.012
Date of Inscription 1987

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/440 )

Situated at a strategic point along the Silk Route, at the crossroads of trade as well as religious, cultural and intellectual influences, the 492 cells and cave sanctuaries in Mogao are famous for their statues and wall paintings, spanning 1,000 years of Buddhist art.

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Mogao Caves

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China, Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, October 16, 2013 at 08:03:17

Location Lintong County, Shaanxi Province, China
Coordinates N34 22 60 E109 5 60
Date of Inscription 1987

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/441 )

No doubt thousands of statues still remain to be unearthed at this archaeological site, which was not discovered until 1974. Qin (d. 210 B.C.), the first unifier of China, is buried, surrounded by the famous terracotta warriors, at the centre of a complex designed to mirror the urban plan of the capital, Xianyan. The small figures are all different; with their horses, chariots and weapons, they are masterpieces of realism and also of great historical interest.

Photos from Landolia

Terracotta warriors, Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor Museum of Qin Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses

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China, Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, July 02, 2012 at 05:45:33

Location The Wulingyuan District of the City of Dayong, Hunan Province, China
Coordinates N29 19 59.988 E110 30 0
Property 26,400 ha
Date of Inscription 1992

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/640 )

A spectacular area stretching over more than 26,000 ha in China's Hunan Province, the site is dominated by more than 3,000 narrow sandstone pillars and peaks, many over 200 m high. Between the peaks lie ravines and gorges with streams, pools and waterfalls, some 40 caves, and two large natural bridges. In addition to the striking beauty of the landscape, the region is also noted for the fact that it is home to a number of endangered plant and animal species.

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Pillars, Wulingyuan

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China, Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, June 09, 2012 at 17:55:09

Location Fangshanxian County, Beijing Municipality, China
Coordinates N39 43 60 E115 55 0
Date of Inscription 1987

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/449 )

Scientific work at the site, which lies 42 km south-west of Beijing, is still underway. So far, it has led to the discovery of the remains of Sinanthropus pekinensis, who lived in the Middle Pleistocene, along with various objects, and remains of Homo sapiens sapiens dating as far back as 18,000–11,000 B.C. The site is not only an exceptional reminder of the prehistorical human societies of the Asian continent, but also illustrates the process of evolution.

Photos from Landolia

Zhoukoudian

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China, Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries - Wolong, Mt Siguniang and Jiajin Mountains

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, June 09, 2012 at 13:41:58

Location Sichuan Province, China
Coordinates N30 49 60 E103 0 0
Property 924,500 ha
Date of Inscription 2006

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1213 )

Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries, home to more than 30% of the world's pandas which are classed as highly endangered, covers 924,500 ha with seven nature reserves and nine scenic parks in the Qionglai and Jiajin Mountains. The sanctuaries constitute the largest remaining contiguous habitat of the giant panda, a relict from the paleo-tropic forests of the Tertiary Era. It is also the species' most important site for captive breeding. The sanctuaries are home to other globally endangered animals such as the red panda, the snow leopard and clouded leopard. They are among the botanically richest sites of any region in the world outside the tropical rainforests, with between 5,000 and 6,000 species of flora in over 1,000 genera.

Photos from Landolia

Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries

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China, Temple and Cemetery of Confucius and the Kong Family Mansion in Qufu

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, June 09, 2012 at 13:15:13

Location Qufu City, Shandong Province, China
Coordinates N35 36 42.012 E116 58 30
Date of Inscription 1994

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/704 )

The temple, cemetery and family mansion of Confucius, the great philosopher, politician and educator of the 6th–5th centuries B.C., are located at Qufu, in Shandong Province. Built to commemorate him in 478 B.C., the temple has been destroyed and reconstructed over the centuries; today it comprises more than 100 buildings. The cemetery contains Confucius' tomb and the remains of more than 100,000 of his descendants. The small house of the Kong family developed into a gigantic aristocratic residence, of which 152 buildings remain. The Qufu complex of monuments has retained its outstanding artistic and historic character due to the devotion of successive Chinese emperors over more than 2,000 years.

Photos from Landolia

Dacheng Hall, Temple of Confucius

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China, Mount Wuyi

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, June 09, 2012 at 12:57:18

Location Wuyishan City, Fujian Province, China
Coordinates N27 43 0.012 E117 40 59.988
Property 99,975 ha
Date of Inscription 1999

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/911 )

Mount Wuyi is the most outstanding area for biodiversity conservation in south-east China and a refuge for a large number of ancient, relict species, many of them endemic to China. The serene beauty of the dramatic gorges of the Nine Bend River, with its numerous temples and monasteries, many now in ruins, provided the setting for the development and spread of neo-Confucianism, which has been influential in the cultures of East Asia since the 11th century. In the 1st century B.C. a large administrative capital was built at nearby Chengcun by the Han dynasty rulers. Its massive walls enclose an archaeological site of great significance.

Photos from Landolia

River of Nine Bends, Mount Wuyi

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China, Lushan National Park

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, June 09, 2012 at 12:19:16

Location Jiujiang City, Jiangxi Province, China
Coordinates N29 25 60 E115 52 0
Date of Inscription 1996

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/778 )

Mount Lushan, in Jiangxi, is one of the spiritual centres of Chinese civilization. Buddhist and Taoist temples, along with landmarks of Confucianism, where the most eminent masters taught, blend effortlessly into a strikingly beautiful landscape which has inspired countless artists who developed the aesthetic approach to nature found in Chinese culture.

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Mount Lu, Lushan National Park

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China, Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic and Historic Interest Area

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, June 09, 2012 at 11:48:00

Location Nanping County, Sichuan Province, China
Coordinates N33 4 59.988 E103 55 0.012
Property 72,000 ha
Date of Inscription 1992

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/637 )

Stretching over 72,000 ha in the northern part of Sichuan Province, the jagged Jiuzhaigou valley reaches a height of more than 4,800 m, thus comprising a series of diverse forest ecosystems. Its superb landscapes are particularly interesting for their series of narrow conic karst land forms and spectacular waterfalls. Some 140 bird species also inhabit the valley, as well as a number of endangered plant and animal species, including the giant panda and the Sichuan takin.

Photos from Landolia

Mirror Lake, Jiuzhaigou Valley Reflection, Jiuzhaigou Valley

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China, Mount Huangshan

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, June 09, 2012 at 11:35:58

Location China
Coordinates N30 10 0.012 E118 10 59.988
Property 15,400 ha
Date of Inscription 1990

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/547 )

Huangshan, known as 'the loveliest mountain of China', was acclaimed through art and literature during a good part of Chinese history (e.g. the Shanshui 'mountain and water' style of the mid-16th century). Today it holds the same fascination for visitors, poets, painters and photographers who come on pilgrimage to the site, which is renowned for its magnificent scenery made up of many granite peaks and rocks emerging out of a sea of clouds.

Photos from Landolia

Scenery, Mount Huangshan Steps along the cliff, Mount Huangshan

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China, Ancient Villages in Southern Anhui - Xidi and Hongcun

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, June 09, 2012 at 11:03:34

Location Yi county, Huangshan city, Anhui Province, China
Coordinates N29 54 16 E117 59 15
Property 52 ha
Date of Inscription 2000

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1002 )

The two traditional villages of Xidi and Hongcun preserve to a remarkable extent the appearance of non-urban settlements of a type that largely disappeared or was transformed during the last century. Their street plan, their architecture and decoration, and the integration of houses with comprehensive water systems are unique surviving examples.

Photos from Landolia

Hui Style village, Hongcun Moon Pool, Hongcun Street, Xidi

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China, Mount Qingcheng and the Dujiangyan Irrigation System

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, June 09, 2012 at 10:43:40

Location Dujiangyan City, Sichuan Province, China
Coordinates N31 0 6.012 E103 36 19.008
Date of Inscription 2000

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1001 )

Construction of the Dujiangyan irrigation system began in the 3rd century B.C. This system still controls the waters of the Minjiang River and distributes it to the fertile farmland of the Chengdu plains. Mount Qingcheng was the birthplace of Taoism, which is celebrated in a series of ancient temples.

Photos from Landolia

Dujiangyan Irrigation System

More photos and localization on interactive Google Map


China, Dazu Rock Carvings

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, June 09, 2012 at 10:22:15

Location Dazu County, Chongqing Municipality, China
Coordinates N29 42 3.996 E105 42 18
Property 20 ha
Date of Inscription 1999

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/912 )

The steep hillsides of the Dazu area contain an exceptional series of rock carvings dating from the 9th to the 13th century. They are remarkable for their aesthetic quality, their rich diversity of subject matter, both secular and religious, and the light that they shed on everyday life in China during this period. They provide outstanding evidence of the harmonious synthesis of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism.

Photos from Landolia

Mount Baoding, Dazu Rock Carvings Religious sculptures, Dazu Rock Carvings

More photos and localization on interactive Google Map


China, Old Town of Lijiang

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, April 04, 2010 at 15:45:38

Location Lijiang's old town (including the Dayan old town, Basha housing cluster and Shuhe housing cluster), China
Coordinates N26 52 E100 14
Date of Inscription 1997

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/811 )

The Old Town of Lijiang, which is perfectly adapted to the uneven topography of this key commercial and strategic site, has retained a historic townscape of high quality and authenticity. Its architecture is noteworthy for the blending of elements from several cultures that have come together over many centuries. Lijiang also possesses an ancient water-supply system of great complexity and ingenuity that still functions effectively today.

Photos from Landolia

Street, Street in Lijiang Lijiang street Water wheel, Old Town of Lijiang
Lijiang channel Lijiang view  

More photos and localization on interactive Google Map


China, Mount Emei Scenic Area, including Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Area

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, April 04, 2010 at 15:26:55

Location Eimeishan City, Sichuan Province, China
Coordinates N29 32 41.64 E103 46 9.3
Property 15,400 ha
Date of Inscription 1996

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/779 )

The first Buddhist temple in China was built here in Sichuan Province in the 1st century A.D. in the beautiful surroundings of the summit Mount Emei. The addition of other temples turned the site into one of Buddhism's holiest sites. Over the centuries, the cultural treasures grew in number. The most remarkable is the Giant Buddha of Leshan, carved out of a hillside in the 8th century and looking down on the confluence of three rivers. At 71 m high, it is the largest Buddha in the world. Mount Emei is also notable for its exceptionally diverse vegetation, ranging from subtropical to subalpine pine forests. Some of the trees there are more than 1,000 years old.

Photos from Landolia

Leshan Giant Buddha, Mount Emei

More photos and localization on interactive Google Map


China, Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, April 04, 2010 at 15:09:28

Location Songpan County, Sichuan Province, China
Coordinates N32 45 15.012 E103 49 19.992
Property 60,000 ha
Date of Inscription 1992

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/638 )

Situated in the north-west of Sichaun Province, the Huanglong valley is made up of snow-capped peaks and the easternmost of all the Chinese glaciers. In addition to its mountain landscape, diverse forest ecosystems can be found, as well as spectacular limestone formations, waterfalls and hot springs. The area also has a population of endangered animals, including the giant panda and the Sichuan golden snub-nosed monkey.

Photos from Landolia

Limestone pools, Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area Yellow River, Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area Limestone pools, Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area

More photos and localization on interactive Google Map


China, Imperial Palaces of the Ming and Qing Dynasties in Beijing and Shenyang

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, April 04, 2010 at 14:52:10

Location Beijing and Shenyang, China
Coordinates N39 54 58.8 E116 23 27.2
Property 13 ha
Date of Inscription 1987

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/439 )

Seat of supreme power for over five centuries (1416-1911), the Forbidden City in Beijing, with its landscaped gardens and many buildings (whose nearly 10,000 rooms contain furniture and works of art), constitutes a priceless testimony to Chinese civilization during the Ming and Qing dynasties. The Imperial Palace of the Qing Dynasty in Shenyang consists of 114 buildings constructed between 1625–26 and 1783. It contains an important library and testifies to the foundation of the last dynasty that ruled China, before it expanded its power to the centre of the country and moved the capital to Beijing. This palace then became auxiliary to the Imperial Palace in Beijing. This remarkable architectural edifice offers important historical testimony to the history of the Qing Dynasty and to the cultural traditions of the Manchu and other tribes in the north of China.

Photos from Landolia

Beijing Forbidden City Forbidden City, Beijing Dazheng Hall, Mukden Palace

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China, The Great Wall

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, May 09, 2009 at 06:26:05

Location China
Coordinates Liaoning, Jilin, Hebei, Beijing, Tianjin, Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, Shaanxi, Ningxia, Gansu, Xinjiang, Shandong, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Sichuan, Qinghai provinces, municipalities and autonomous Regions - N40 25 E116 05
Type Cultural
Date of Inscription 1987

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/438 )

In c. 220 B.C., under Qin Shi Huang, sections of earlier fortifications were joined together to form a united defence system against invasions from the north. Construction continued up to the Ming dynasty (1368–1644), when the Great Wall became the world's largest military structure. Its historic and strategic importance is matched only by its architectural significance.

Photos from Landolia

Great Wall of China Great Wall of China

More photos and localization on interactive Google Map



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