Famous Buildings in China

Famous Buildings in China would like to introduce those Famous Architectures in China. Some of them are grand building complexes built hundreds of years ago, some of them are incredible skyscraper flourishing in recent years. All of them are sharing one thing in common, they are the crystallization of human wisdom. Come with TopChinaTravel, to witness those majestic architectures.

famous chinese buildings you should know locations & brief introductions

Defensive Wall

Great Wall of China, Beijing

As one of the Seven Wonders of the world, the Great Wall of China is definitely an outstanding representative of those famous buildings in China.

It is the top ranked tourist destination of China, which is a spectacular defensive structure built to keep intruders from entering the mainland. The construction of the Great Wall began in the 5th century BC and the whole project lasted for centuries, through different dynasties. And finally, this grand construction, stretches from Jiayuguan Pass in the west, to Shanhaiguan Pass in the east, with a total length of 8851.8 km that traverses Liaoning, Hebei, Tianjin, Beijing, Inner Mongolian and Shanxi, Shaanxi, Ningxia, Gansu, etc. 9 provinces and municipalities.

The steady stone fortification was inscribed into the list of the World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1987. Badaling, Mutianyu and Simatai sections within Beijing area are the most famous ones.


► Recommended Tours: Great Wall of China Tours

Famous Buildings in China - Great Wall of China

Xian City Wall, Xian, Shaanxi Province

Xian City Wall or Xian Fortifications was one of the largest ancient military defensive systems that protected this city Xian from invasion during the ancient times. Today, the first landmark visitors will encounter in Xian is the ancient City Wall, which stretches round the old city. This wall therefore, represents one of the oldest and best preserved Chinese city walls and attracts people from all over the world. 

The South Gate and North Gate are the two main entrances to the inner city. The city itself is neatly arranged along the city wall. This impressive structure is just a precursor to the remarkable discoveries awaiting visitors to Xian.


► Recommended Xian Tours coveing City Wall: Xian Package Tours

Famous Buildings in China - Xian City Wall

Imperial Palace

Forbidden City, Beijing

Forbidden City, also known as the Imperial Palace Museum, is a magnificent building complex located in the very heart of Beijing. As the symbol of imperial power, which was built in Yongle Period, Ming Dynasty (1406 - 1420 A.D.), it is the largest and well-preserved wooden building complex of the world. These were laid out very precisely in accordance with a feudal code of architectural hierarchy which designated specific features for reflecting the paramount authority and status of the emperor.

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.

forbidden city
► Recommended Beijing Tours : Beijing Tours
 

Religious Construction

Potala Palace, Lhasa, Tibet

Potala Palace is a majestic building complex that built against the Red Hill. Until 1959, it was the chief residence of the Dalai Lama, the political and religious center of the whole Tibet region. Originally built by King Songtsen Gampo in the seventh century, the awe-inspiring Potala Palace, perched high above much of Lhasa, is the landmark of the city.

Potala Palace is a spectacular castle-like building complex that used to be the unification centre of political and religious of Tibet. Covered an area of over 360, 000 square meters, mainly comprised by the White Palace, the administrative building, and the Red Palace, religious building, Potala Palace is famous for its grand buildings, complicated constructions, devotional atmosphere and splendid artworks. Creative designing, gorgeous decoration and conservative religious atmosphere, are earning it a place on UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site list.
potala palace

► Recommended Tibet Tours : Tibet Tours

Temple of Heaven, Beijing

Located at Chongwen District, Temple of Heaven also known as the Altar of Heaven, was first constructed in 1420 of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) as the venue for the Ming and Qing emperors to offer sacrifices to the Heaven and pray for harvest. It is considered the Taoism Temple.

It is the existing largest sacrificing temple in China, which covers and area of 2.7 million square meters, and consists of three main groups of constructions, namely the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, Imperial Vault of Heaven and Circular Mound Altar. Renowned for its precise outlay, unique architectural structures and decorations, this building was recorded as one World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 1998. 
temle of heaven

► Recommended Beijing Tours : Beijing Tours

Hanging Temple, Datong, Shanxi Province

Hanging Temple, Chinese: 悬空寺 pinyin: xuán kōng sì,  built during Northern Wei Dynasty (386-557), it has a history of more than 1,500 years. It was once listed on 《Times》among the top ten most unstable architectures in the world. Hanging temple locates on a cliff of Mt. Hengshan in Hunyuan County, Datong, Shanxi Province, China. It has been the most famous scenic spot in Mt. Hengshan area since it was spotted.
 

Hanging temple was built by only one man, a monk called Liao Ran. He built the temple into a cliff 75 meters (246 feet) above the ground).The whole temple was supported by a serious of deep-rooted pillars structures with its 40 rooms connected by a serious of wooden corridors and bridges. It's also famous for being the only temple in the world that represents a combination of Chinese Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. And because of its unique location, this temple has survived from floods and many types of erosion. The whole structure is in its top condition after regular repairs during dynasties.
 

► Recommended Datong Tours : Datong Tours

hanging temple, datong, china

Sakyamuni Pagoda Fogong Temple, Shanxi Province

The Sakyamuni Pagoda of Fogong Temple is located in Ying County, Shanxi province, China, it is also called Yingxian Muta, literally means “Ying County Timber Pagoda”.  Been built in 1056 Liao Dynasty, it is the oldest existent fully wooden pagoda still standing in China today. With the total height of 67.13 meters, Yingxian Muta is the highest wooden pagoda in China and also the world highest wooden pagoda recorded holder in Guinness world records.
 

There are two tooth relics of the Sakyamuni have been enshrined and worshiped in this Buddha pagoda over thousand years and this fully wooden pagoda has survived several large earthquakes throughout the centuries. Together with the world famous Leaning Tower of Pisa and Eiffel Tower, it is recognized among the three most amazing towers in the world.

sakyamuni pagoda of fogong temple, shanxi province china

Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, Xian, Shaanxi Province

Giant Wild Goose Pagoda ,Chinese:大雁 pinyin: Dàyàn tǎ, is located in the south of Xian city. Together with Bell Tower and Xian fortification Walls, they are the landmarks and must-see sites in Xian city. Built in 652 during Tang dynasty, this Buddhist pagoda was mainly for translating sutras brought from Indian by a famous Chinese Buddhist monk called Xuanzang. It was five floors in the first place when it was fresh built, then after several rebuilt and redecorations, now it has seven floors as people see it with a total height of 64.517metres (211.2ft).

wild goose pagoda

► Recommended Xian Tours : Xian Tours

Three Pagodas, Dali, Yunnan Province

The Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple(Chinese: 崇圣寺三塔 pinyin: chóng Shèng sì ci sān tǎ) are located in near Dali ancient town, Yunnan province, southwest China. They are 1.5 km northwest to Dali town to be specific. You could get there by 10 minutes walking from the north gate of Dali ancient town. Facing Mt. Cangshan in the west and Erhai Lake in the east, the Three Pagodas are one of those must-sees in Yunnan province. They were built during the Kingdom of Nanzhao in the 9th and 10th centuries.


The main pagoda also called Qian xun Ta(千寻塔), is 69.13vmetres(227ft) high with 16 stories, and the other two smaller pagodas are 42.17 metres (138ft) with 10 stories. They are all made of brick and covered with white mud. Many of the bricks they had discovered during a redecoration were sculptured with Buddhist sutras. They are landmarks of Dali City and have been a national treasure meriting preservation in China since 1961.
 

► Recommended Yunnan Tours : Yunnan Tours

three pagodas in dali

Modern Constructions

Birds's Nest, Beijing

Bird's Nest is a nickname of the Beijing National Stadium located in the Olympic Green, 4th Ring of Beijing. It is one of the most dramatic stadiums to host the 2008 Summer Olympics. It was designed by submission from the Swiss architecture firm, appeared like a ovalsteel beams weaved nest-like building, hence the name.

Beijing National Stadium hosted the spectacular Opening and Closing Ceremonies, athletic events, and football final of the 2008 Summer Olympics, from 8 August to 24 August 2008. The stadium also hosted the Opening and Closing ceremonies and athletic events of the 2008 Summer Paralympics from 6 September to 17 September 2008. The stadium will continue to host sporting events, such as football, afterwards. It will become the most important public space in Beijing."
bird nest beijing

Water Cube, Beijing

Officially known as the Beijing National Aquatics Center, Water Cube is one of the most creative venues to host the 2008 Summer Olympics. Located opposite to the Bird's Nest, it enjoys a totally different appearance as its external viw was inspired by the natural formation of soap bubbles.

The innovative design concept successfully addressed four key concerns for the Beijing games; namely economic, social, environmental and natural resources issues. Central to the design philosophy is the core objective of water conservation. Water in Northern China is a valuable commodity, and the outer membrane has self-cleaning and water collection properties.
water cube in beijing

Shanghai Tower

The Shanghai Tower (Chinese: 上海中心大厦  pinyin: Shànghǎi Zhōng xīn Dà shà) is a megatall skyscraper in Lujiazui, Pudong, Shanghai , it is a 632 metres (2,073 ft) tall tower with 128 stories .Its underground parking lot is capable to hold 2000 vehicles. The tower was Designed by international design firm Gensler and owned by the Shanghai local government, it is the tallest of the world's first triple-adjacent super-tall buildings in Pudong, surpassing the Jin Mao Tower and the Shanghai World Financial Centre who stand near by it. It was started to build in 2008 and finished in March 12th 2016. At present, Shanghai Tower is the tallest architecture in the Shanghai skyline viewing from the Bund.
 

► Recommended Shanghai Tours : Shanghai Tours
shanghai tower& shanghai jinmao tower& shanghai finacial centre

Shanghai World Finacial Centre

Shanghai World Financial Center  (Chinese:上海环球金融中心 pinyin: shàng hǎi huán qiú jīn róng zhōng xīn) is the landmark located in Pudong District, Shanghai. This building is a mixed-use skyscraper, consisting of offices, hotels, conference rooms, observation decks, and ground-floor shopping malls. It towers 492 meters (1614ft) in height, which made it the 3rd tallest building of the world. Comprised 101 floors above ground and 3 floors underground, the building's most distinctive architectural feature is the aperture at the building peak, which has a trapezoidal shape resembling a bottle opener.

The building has three sightseeing decks. The lowest one is located on the 94th floor, with a height of 423 meters, the second one which named "Observatory Bridge", is 439 meters high, on the 97th floor, while the highest one is situated on the 100th floor with 474 meters height.
Famous Buildings in China - Shanghai World Financial Center

Shanghai Jinmao Tower

Shanghai Jinmao Tower, Chinese name:上海金茂大厦 Chinese pinyin: Jīn mào Dà shà, started to build in 1994 and fished in 1999, was once the tallest skyscraper of mainland China with the total height of 420.5metres (1378ft).Now it is the forth tallest building in Shanghai surpassed by Shanghai Tower(632m), Shanghai World Financial Tower(492m) and Shanghai Oriental TV Tower(468m).( Till 2018). Together with those towers standing at the most expensive area of Lujiazui, Pudong district, Shanghai, Jinmao tower takes a part in forming the most picturesque skyline of Shanghai. It has 88 stories (93 if counting the floors in the spire) containing shopping mall, the Grand Hyatt Shanghai hotel and offices ocuppied mostly by world top 500 enterprises.

Shanghai Jinmao Tower

Canton Tower, Guangzhou

The Guangzhou Tower or Canton Tower, (Chinese Name: 广州塔 Chinese Pinyin: guǎng zhōu tǎ, is located near Chigang Pagoda in Haizhu District Guangzhou China. Together with its 146 meters high wire pole, Canton Tower is 604 metres (1,982 ft) tall.  This multi-purpose tower was finished in October 2010. It offers a platform for the public to have a bird's view of Guangzhou City. People can get the observation floors on floor 107 and 108.And there are top-end revolving restaurant at 422.8 metres height, prompt drop entertainment equipments at 455-485 meters height, 4D, 3D cinema rooms and business conference rooms etc. The tower briefly held the title of tallest tower in the world before being surpassed by the Tokyo Skytree.

► Recommended Guangzhou Tours : Guangzhou Tours
canton tower

Hong Kong International Commerce Centre

Hong Kong International Commerce Centre, with a height of 484 meters, is currently the world's fourth tallest building by height, world's second tallest building by floors, as well as the tallest building in Hong Kong and the 4th tallest construction in China. As the final phase of Union , it is a missed-use 118-floor skyscraper designed by well-known Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF). The sightseeing platform is set up in the 100th floor, from where, tourists can enjoy a bird-view of great Victoria Harbor.
 

► Recommended Hong Kong Tours : Hong Kong Tours

Famous Buildings in China - Hong Kong International Commerce Centre

Three Gorges Dam

Three Gorges Dam , siting at the upper reaches of Yangtze River, is by far the largest hydroelectric project in the world, which located 27 miles upstream from Yichang City proper, at Sandouping Town. The project was designed to be built in three phases and came to an completion in year 2009.

It is 2,335-meter long, 185-meter high, 18-meter wide on the top and 130-meter wide at the bottom. The dam raises the river to a level of 175 meters above sea level, creating a 600km long reservoir with storage capacity of 39.9 billion cubic meters extending from the dam site all the way to Chongqing. It is the largest water conservancy project ever undertaken. 
Famous Buildings in China - Three Gorges Dam

► Recommended Yangtze River Cruise Tours : Yangtze River Packages
 

These are the most famous buildings/architectures in China. Some of them have long history, but some of them are new with unique modern look.

Recommended China Tours

16 Days China Highlight Tour

16 Days China Highlight Tour

Beijing, Xian, Chengdu, Guilin, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Shanghai

From $2147

9 Days Chinese New Year Tour

9 Days Chinese New Year Tour

Beijing, Xian, Shanghai

From on request

18 Days Best of China and Vietnam Tour

18 Days Best of China and Vietnam Tour

Shanghai, Beijing, Xi'an, Guilin, Hanoi, Halong Bay, Ho Chi Minh, Mekong Delta

From on request