China Travel Guide

World Heritage Sites in China

The International Convention Concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage established and adopted World Heritage List at the 17th General Conference of UNESCO in November 1972.In 1985, China Joined the International Convention Concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage. To date, there are 43 world heritage sites in China. Among them, 9 are natural heritage sites. 30 are cultural heritage sites and 4 are world mixed heritages sites. Following are several important UNESCO World Heritage Sites in China for you reference.
 
Badaling Great Wall 
 

The Great Wall was declared in World Heritage List by UNESCO in 1987. Badaling Great Wall is the first section of the Great Wall that opened to the public. First constructed in the 18th year of the Hongzhi reign period of the Ming Dynasty in 1505, it was renovated later in Jiajing and Wanli reign of the same Dynasty. With its strategic position, Badaling Section took tremendous labor and materials. The wall of Badaling is tall and solid built by square rocks, and the beacon towers stand one by one. It was a vital protective screen of Beijing city and the important military pass of Ming Dynasty in ancient times. Winding along the ridge of the mountain, Badaling Section of the Great Wall is vividly dragon like.

Recommended Tour to the Badaling Great Wall: 5 Days Beijing Experience Tour
 

 
Forbidden City

Forbidden City in Beijing, also called Imperial Palace Museum, is located in the very heart of Beijing. It remained the residence of the emperors for nearly five hundred years, from the 15th century to the early 20th century, and was the actual and symbolic seat of imperial power.
 
Popularly known as the Forbidden City, it was built in the Ming Dynasty between the 4th and the 18th years of the Yongle period (1406 - 1420 AD). Many of the buildings of the Palace have been repaired and rebuilt, but their basic form and layout remain in their original state.
 
Forbidden City can be taken as a sample of the traditional Chinese palatial architecture. In 1987, it became a World Heritage Site. Besides, it is also listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.
Related information about the Forbidden City: Map of Forbidden city

Recommended Tour to the Forbidden City: 4 Days Best of Beijing Tour


Terracotta Warriors

Terracotta Warriors in Xian, known as the eighth wonder of the world, now is a museum to display the terra-cotta warriors and horses which were made in Tang Dynasty. It is declared in World Heritage List by UNESCO in 1987.
 
From its history, Qin Terracotta Army is covered by a mysterious face. In 221 B.C., Emperor Qin Shi Huang of the Qin dynasty established the first centralized feudal dynasty in China. After his death, he was buried at the northern foot of Lishan Hill in the east of Lintong County. The tomb has been reduced to half its size after 2,000 years of water and soil erosion, but still impressive - 76 meters high and a fundamental space of 120,000 square meters.

There are four main categories of figures in this museum: chariot warriors, infantrymen, cavalrymen, and horses. There are generals, middle ranking officers, lower ranking officers, ordinary soldiers, and armored warriors. The latter can be further divided according to their headgear into warriors with a square scarf, a cylindrical bun, or a flat bun. There are kneeling warriors as well.

Recommended Xian Tour: 4 Days Best of Xian Tour


 
Wolong Panda Reserve

Giant panda, a symbolic animal of the World Foundation for Wild Animal Protection, is popular for its lovely appearance and rarity. At present, there are 18 nature reserves for pandas, 16 of which are in Sichuan Province, the home to panda. Wolong Giant Panda Nature Reserve
, as a pandas’ research center, is one of them. It is declared in World Heritage List by UNESCO in 2006
 
Located at the southwest of Wenchuan County, and first constructed in 1963, it is one of the earliest comprehensive national reserves. The place has more than 100 pandas, accounting 10% of the total number in the country. Besides, there are other rare animals and plants as well as rich water resources.
 
Recommended Chengdu Tour: 4 Days Chengdu Bifengxia Panda Tour
 


Mogao Grottoes

Mogao Grottoes are located precipice at on the east foot of the Mingsha Hill in Dunhuang. First dug in 366 A.D., Mogao Grottoes is one of three noted grottoes in China for its fabulous frescos and statues. And in December 1987 the Mogao Grottoes have been included into the Lisr of the World Cultural Heritages by the UNESCO.
 
Today, the total number of Mogao Grottoes is 492 in which there are over 2,800 sculptures and 45,000 square meters of murals. There are five grottoes with a wooden structure. The Mogao Grottoes is the largest, oldest and the best-preserved Buddhist grottoes with the richest contents in the world today.

Recommended China Tour to Dunhuang: 14 Days Silk Road Discovery




List of World Heritage Sites in China
Heritage Sites
Category
Time in the List
Location
Features
Recommended Tour
Imperial Palaces of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, including theForbidden City and Mukden Palace
World Cultural Site
 
Landmark of China
World Cultural Site
1987
Landmark of China
 
World Cultural Site
1987
Xian, Shaanxi province
 Landmark of China
World Cultural Site
1987
Dunhuang , Gansu province
·                                  
 
World Cultural and Natural Site (Mixed)
 1987
Jinnan, Shandong Province
 The most important famous landscape of China
World Cultural Site
 1987
 
 
World Cultural and Natural Site (Mixed)
 1990
 Anhui province
imposing peaks ,forests of stone pillars and evergreen sturdy pines
World Natural Site
 1992
JiuzhaigouCounty, Sichuan Province
colorful ponds, snowy mountains, deep valleys, and dense forest
World Natural Site
 1992
Jiuzhaigou County, Sichuan Province
 
 
World Natural Site
 1992
Zhangjiajie, Hunan Province
 
Ancient Building Complex in the Wudang Mountain
World Cultural Site
1994
Hubei Province
 the most famous Taoist holy site in China
Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace
, including the Jokhang Temple and Norbulingka
World Cultural Site
 1994, 2000, 2001
 Potala Palce:landmark of the city.
Jokhang Temple: spiritual center of Tibet Norbulingka: the largest garden in Tibet
Chengde Mountain Resort and its Outlying Temples:Puning Temple,
 
World Cultural Site
 1994
Chengde, Hebei Province
 China's largest existing imperial garden
 
World Cultural Site
 1994
Qufu,Shandong Province
 
Mount EmeiScenic Area, including Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Area
World Cultural and Natural Site (Mixed
 1996
Leshan, Sichuan Province
 
 Leshan Giant Buddha The tallest stone Buddha statue in the world
 Recommended Tour: 6 Days Sichuan Essence Tour
World Cultural Site
 1996
 Jiangxi Province
 
 
 
 World Cultural Site
1997 
Shanxi Province
 
World Cultural Site
 1997, 2000
Suzhou, Jiangsu Province
 
 
World Cultural Site
 1997
Lijiang,Yunnan Province
 
 
 
World Cultural Site
 1998
 The existing largest, best-preserved imperial garden in China and a fine example of imperial gardening art.
 
World Cultural Site
 1998
 
 
World Cultural Site
 1999
 
World Cultural and Natural Site (Mixed)
 1999
 
Ancient Villages in Southern Anhui - Xidi Village and Hongcun Village
 
World Cultural Site
 2000
Huangshan, Anhui Province
 
Imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, including the Ming Tombs
 
 
World Cultural Site
2000, 2003, 2004
 
 
World Cultural Site
 2000
Luoyang, Henan province
 one of the three most famous ancient sculptural sites in China
 
World Cultural Site
 2000
Chengdu, Sichuan Province
 
 
 
World Cultural Site
 2001
Datong, Shanxi Province
 
Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas
World Natural Site
 2003
Yunnan Province
 
 
 
Capital Cities and Tombs of the Ancient Koguryo Kingdom
World Cultural Site
 2004
Jilin province
 
 
Historic Centre of Macau
World Cultural Site
2005
 
 
World Cultural Site
 2006
Kaifeng, Henan Province
 
Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries, including Wolong Panda Reserve, Bifengxia Panda Base
World Natural Site
 2006
Sichuan Province
 
Kaiping Diaolou and Villages
World Cultural Site
 2007
Guangdong Province
 
 
World Natural Site
 2007
Yunnan, Guizhou provinces and Chongqing municipality
 
 
Fujian Tulou includingHakka Tulou in YongdingHakka Tulou in Nanjing
 
 
World Cultural Site
 2008
Fujian Province
 
Sanqingshan
World Natural Site
 2008
Jiangxi Province
 
 
 
World Cultural Site
 2009
Taiyuan, Shanxi  Province
 
Historic Monuments of Dengfeng in “The Centre of Heaven and Earth"
World Cultural Site
 2010
Dengfeng, Henan Province
 
 
China Danxia
World Natural Site
 2010
Hunan, Guangdong, Fujian, Jiangxi, Zhejiang, and Guizhou provinces
 
 
West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou
World Cultural Site
 2011
 
Site of Xanadu
World Cultural Site
 2012
 
 
Chengjiang Fossil Site
World Natural Site
 2012
Yunnan Province
 
 

 
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