UNESCO World Heritage Sites In China

The Great Wall of China, a popular tourist destination in China.
The Great Wall of China, a popular tourist destination in China.

China, officially known as the People’s Republic of China, is a country in East Asia with an area coverage of approximately 3.7 million square miles. China’s coastline along the Pacific Ocean is 9,000 miles long and is bounded by four seas, namely the Bohai, Yellow, East China, and South China seas. It is the world’s second largest state by land area and the most populated state. It is one of the cradles of civilization with its history, beginning with an ancient civilization that flourished in the fertile basin of the Yellow River. China has been recorded as having the second largest economy in the world with different phases of boom and recession in a span of several years. Some of the following heritage sites have been recorded as contributing to this economy.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites In China

Ancient City of Ping Yao

The Ancient City of Ping Yao is located at Pingyao County in central Shanxi province, founded in the 14th century. The city was established during the period of King Xuan of Zhou and was used mainly for military purposes and acted as the capital city for the relatives of the emperor. The walls of the city were built to resist invaders. UNESCO included the city as a World Heritage site in the year 1997 as it is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a traditional Han Chinese city. It clearly indicates and brings out the evolution that has taken place in the architectural designs and town planning in Imperial China over five centuries.

China Danxia

China Danxia, also known as Danxia landform of China, is the name of a unique type of landscape formed from Redstone. It is characterized by steep red cliffs and other spectacular erosional landforms caused by endogenous forces like uplift and exogenous forces such as erosion. It is located in an approximately 1056 mile arc from Guizhou Province in the west to Zhejiang province in the east. It was inscribed on the World Heritage List in August 2010. The inscribed site is a serial property with six parts found in the sub-tropical zone of South-Eastern China. These parts are Chishui, Longhushan, Taining, Langshan, Danxiashan, and Jianglangshan.

The Grand Canal

The Grand Canal, officially known as the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, is the longest canal in the world and a famous tourist attraction destination in China. Its total length is 1,104 miles and at the mountain, its greatest height is reached at 138 feet. Higher elevations can be reached easily by ships after the invention of a pound lock in the 10th century. The safety and functioning of the canal were threatened when the nearby Yellow River flooded causing massive disaster and prolonged economic hardship. Despite all that, it has furthered domestic and faster growing industrial markets in most of China’s urban centers. It is one of the greatest UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country.

The Great Wall of China

This wall is a series of fortifications made of stone, brick, tamped earth, and wood built along an east to west line across China’s northern borders to protect Chinese states against invasions and raids from nomadic groups of Eurasian Steppe. The defensive characteristics of this wall have been enhanced over the years through various ways such as the construction of watchtowers. In the 7th century, several walls were built, but they were late joined to form a much stronger wall which is referred to as the Great Wall. The Great Wall was inscribed in the 1987 and has served several purposes such as allowing the imposition of duties on goods transported along Silk Road, regulation and encouragement of trade, and control of immigration and emigration.

The Mogao Caves

Thousand Buddha Grottoes is another name for The Mogao Caves. They form a system consisting of 492 temples located South-east of the Centre of Dunhuang. It is an oasis strategically located at the crossroads of trade as well as religious, cultural, and intellectual influences on the Silk Road, Gansu province. Construction of these caves is presumed to have begun in the 4th century, and they contain wall paintings and estimated 1000 years of Buddhist art. The Mogao Caves was inscribed in 1987 by UNESCO and listed as a World’s Heritage Site.

Other Heritage Sites In China

China has one of the highest numbers of heritage sites in the world. Apart from those discussed in the article, others include the South China Karst inscribed in 2007, the Historic Center of Macao inscribed in 2005, Xanadu in 2012, and the most recent is the Zuojiang Huashan Rock Art Cultural Landscape inscribed in 2016.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites In China

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the People's Republic of China Year of Inscription; Type
Ancient Building Complex in the Wudang Mountains 1994; Cultural
Ancient City of Ping Yao 1997; Cultural
Ancient Villages in Southern Anhui – Xidi and Hongcun 2000; Cultural
Capital Cities and Tombs of the Ancient Koguryo Kingdom 2004; Cultural
Chengde Mountain Resort and Outlying Temples 1994; Cultural
Chengjiang Fossil Site 2012; Natural
China Danxia 2010; Natural
Classical Gardens of Suzhou 1997; Cultural
Cultural Landscape of Honghe Hani Rice Terraces 2013; Cultural
Dazu Rock Carvings 1999; Cultural
Forbidden City and Imperial Palaces of the Ming and Qing Dynasties in Beijing and Shenyang 1987; Cultural
Fujian Tulou 2008; Cultural
Grand Canal 2014; Cultural
Great Wall of China 1987; Cultural
Historic Center of Macao 2005; Cultural
Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace, Lhasa 1994; Cultural
Historic Monuments of Dengfeng in “The Center of Heaven and Earth” 2010; Cultural
Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area 1992; Natural
Hubei Shennongjia 2016; Natural
Imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties 2000; Cultural
Jiuzhaigou Valley Scenic and Historic Interest Area 1992; Natural
Kaiping Diaolou and Villages 2007; Cultural
Longmen Grottoes 2000; Cultural
Lushan National Park 1996; Cultural
Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor 1987; Cultural
Mogao Caves 1987; Cultural
Mount Emei Scenic Area (including Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Area) 1996; Mixed
Mount Huangshan 1990; Mixed
Mount Qingcheng and the Dujiangyan Irrigation System 2000; Cultural
Mount Sanqingshan National Park 2008; Natural
Mount Taishan 1987; Mixed
Mount Wutai 2009; Cultural
Mount Wuyi 1999; Mixed
Old Town of Lijiang 1997; Cultural
Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian 1987; Cultural
Routes Network of Chang'an-Tianshan Corridor on the Silk Roads 2014; Cultural
Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries of Wolong, Mount Siguniang, and the Jiajin Mountains 2006; Natural
South China Karst 2007; Natural
Summer Palace Imperial Garden in Beijing 1998; Cultural
Temple and Cemetery of Confucius and the Kong Family Mansion in Qufu 1994; Cultural
Temple of Heaven Imperial Sacrificial Altar in Beijing 1998; Cultural
Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas 2003; Natural
Tusi Sites 2015; Cultural
West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou 2011; Cultural
Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area 1992; Natural
Xanadu 2012; Cultural
Xinjiang Tianshan 2013; Natural
Yin Xu 2006; Cultural
Yungang Grottoes 2001; Cultural
Zuojiang Huashan Rock Art Cultural Landscape 2016; Cultural

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