One of the major reasons why people love to visit China is its culture and history which China had preserved very well. There are many historic sites in China which are worth visiting. A survey has shown that there are total 509 scenic sites in China out of which 238 sites have been ranked the top most beautiful & historic destinations.
Obviously, it is not possible to visit all the historic sites in China in a single trip. Therefore this article covers the ‘Top 10 Chinese Historic Sites’ in China which a tourist must visit to make their trip worthwhile. These sites include both museums and historic building & temples which will amuse the tourists. Let's take a look at these sites in the discussion below.
The Great Wall of China
One of the most popular, spectacular and best-known tourist attraction historic places in China is the ‘Great Wall of China’ situated outside Beijing at an hour distance. The wall is the world’s longest wall and it is included in the 7 wonders of the world. This wall stretches from China’s western frontier to its eastern coast which is about 5,000 km (3,100 miles) long. Its most preserves, integrated and restored sections are present near Beijing.
The wall is an iconic symbol of China’s ancient & architectural defense to prevent the ‘Mongol Invasions’. One of the sections of the Great Wall is ‘Mutianyu’ which has the most tourist traffic in summers. The tourists can enjoy a cable car ride which is both harrowing & thrilling and passes by the gorges area.
The Forbidden City
This historic place is situated in Beijing known as the ‘Forbidden City - Imperial Palace.’ This city or palace was built for the Emperors of China and the ordinary people were forbidden to enter it. The forbidden city of China is an extravagant and spectacular demonstration of the ancient architecture of Chinese culture.
There are around 8,000 rooms which have golden roofs. The rooms are painted in red & yellow colors with elegant designs. This place was a palace of the Ming & Qing Dynasties and 24 Emperors had lived there. Forbidden City has been listed as one of the 5 most important palaces of the world and it is a true depiction of China's history and culture.
The Temple of Heaven
The Temple of Heaven is situated in a southeastern part of central Beijing. This place is known as the Temple of Heaven because it is a complex of religious buildings where the Dynasties of the Ming & Qing used to do the Heaven Worship Ceremony. The temple covers an area of about 2,700,000 square meters. The design and architect of this temple have been preserved to give an insight of the religious practices of the ancient Chinese civilizations.
The temple of heaven has two different sized complexes which are enclosed by a long wall. The northern part of the temple is semicircular and lies within the wall which is a symbol of heaven. While the southern part of the temple is a square, a symbol for earth. Further, the temple is divided into the inner & outer part by two encircling walls.
Xi’an City Wall
The most prominent landmarks of Xi’an city which anyone can witness when he/she enters the city is the ‘City Wall of Xi’an’. This wall was built by the Emperor of the Ming Dynasty to fortify the city. This city wall of Xi’an is one of the ancient largest walls used for military defense systems.
The wall was further extended by the Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang. Today the city wall of Xi’an is 40 feet (12 meters) tall, 40 to 46 feet (12-14 meters) wide and 50 to 60 feet (15 to18 meters) thick at the bottom. The wall covers an area of around 8.5 miles (13.7 kilometers), and there are total 98 ramparts built at every 120 meters. The Ramparts has sentry buildings for the soldiers to protect the wall from the enemies.
The City Wall has four gates named as ‘Changle - Eternal Joy’ the east gate, ‘Anding - Harmony & Peace’ the west gate, ‘Yongning - Eternal Peace’ the south gate and ‘Anyuan - Forever Harmony’ the north gate. The Yongning gate is one the most beautifully decorated gates.
Situated in Beijing, the Summer Palace is a masterpiece of the Chinese landscapes. The summer palace is an ensemble of lakes, gardens, and palaces of astonishing designs. This place was built in 1750, which was destroyed in 1860’s war and then it was restored to its original design in 1886.
It has a natural landscape of hills & open water which is brilliantly combined with the artificial architectures including pavilions, halls, temples, palaces, and bridges. The significant feature of the summer palace is its exclusive designed gardens which demonstrate the art and culture of ancient Chinese civilizations.
The Potala Palace
A great giant palace, the Potala Palace which consists of many houses, chapels, towers is the landmark as well as the symbol of Tibet. The palace is known to be the only highest palace and the most beautiful architectural building in the world. The complex has been built on the Red Mountains of Lhasa Valley and contains Red & White Palaces. The palaces are a splendid depiction of art, history, and culture of China and hence are a great tourist attraction.
The Mogao Grottoes
Mogao Caves of Mogao Grottoes is a spectacular representation of the Buddhist art which is about 1000 years old. This historic place is situated in along the Silk Route and is a well known for its crossroads for trade, cultural, religious and intellectual influences.
There are around 492 cells and cave sanctuaries in Mogao Caves. Inside these caves and cells, the tourists will find statues and paintings of ancient Buddhism. Mogao Grottoes is an evidence of Buddhist art revolution.
Dujiangyan City is a country level subdivision of the City Chengdu. The Dujiangyan city is also known as the ‘Land of Abundance’ because of its outstanding and finely designed irrigation systems which are about 2000 years old. In addition to its irrigation systems, Dujiangyan is popular because of its summer resorts and Panda Base which is a home for the cute giant panda. The tourist can participate in the Panda Volunteer Program and spend a day with the Giant panda there.
The Suzhou City is famous for its 9 Gardens which recreated on the Classical Chinese Garden Designs and symbol for natural landscape of China. These 9 gardens are one of the finest and most sleek embodiments of the Chinese “Mountain & Water” gardens. These gardens are the true reflection of the profound Chinese metaphysical natural beauty. The garden master of each Chinese dynasty has wisely used the meticulous designs to decorate these gardens.
The Terracotta Army Museum is a dramatic exhibition of army sculptures of the emperor of China ‘Qin Shi Huang.’ This exhibition highlights and reveals the secrets of the armies which guarded the Tomb of China’s first emperor. In this museum, the funerary art has been used to create the army statues with clay. There are three pits in the museums where the warriors are displayed and the other highlighted feature is the Exhibition of Bronze Chariots.
These are the few places which a tourist/traveler must visit during their trip to China.
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