5 Best Historical Sights To See In China

08.October 2013

Our Journey

China has a mysterious and profound history spanning more than 5,000 years and is one of the few ancient empires that has survived from the glorious past. Most of us are aware of the magnificent manmade creations that were built during China’s most celebrated dynasties, but which ones are worth the visit? Here’s a list of five of the most historical significant sites to see in China.

The Forbidden City

Located in Beijing, the Forbidden City is crucial to the understanding the culture and history of previous rulers and dynasties in China. Constructed between the years of 1406 to 1420, its eminent red walls played home to the Ming and Qing emperors for nearly 500 years. When the Qing dynasty fell in 1911, the last emperor, Puyi, was allowed to remain in the inner court until he was expelled in 1924. It was then taken over by a committee who opened what now is the Palace Museum to the public in 1925. The interior is rich with treasures, galleries of artwork, countless halls and rooms and the exterior is a true architectural accomplishment.

Terracotta Warriors

You could compare going to China and not seeing this great wonder of the world to going to Egypt and not seeing the pyramids. The story behind these man made soldiers is fascinating as it is the final resting place for Emperor Qin Shi Huang. While the details are exhaustive, Huang employed the labour of over 700,000 rookies to build an army that would protect his burial site in the afterlife. Historical facts estimate that it took thirty-eight years to build between 247 BC and 208 BC. The emperor died before the completion in 210 BC. Over the years, the site was covered over until it was discovered again by farmers digging a well in 1974. It is a truly memorable and sacred place that should be part of any trip to China.

The Great Wall Of China

Coming in at a whopping 21,196 km’s, the Great Wall is one of the largest construction projects ever completed. It was originally built of stone, wood, grass and earth by Emperor Win Shihuang over 2,000 years ago and the purpose was to strengthen his newly born authority and resist cavalry of warrior tribes from the north. It has had major construction by other dynasties throughout the years, but the Great Wall we see today is that of what was upgraded by the Ming Dynasty (1346 – 1644.) Funnily enough, it is also called ‘Wan Li Chang Cheng,’ which when translated into an English description, simply means ‘very, very long wall.’ The Great Wall Of China was first opened to tourists in 1957 and is visited by millions annually. The immediate area that is open to tourists, Badaling Great Wall, has seen significant development since its opening including hotels, restaurants and a cable car.

Suzhou Garden

The Classical Gardens of Suzhou combine art, nature and ideas to create collections of great beauty and peaceful harmony. Each dynasty has played a part in creating these gardens dating back to 6 BC and by the time of the Ming and Qing Dynasty, there were over 200 garden spaces. The idea behind the gardens enables one to feel the charm of mountains, forest and spring without going out of the noisy surrounding of the town.

Potala Palace

If you are fascinated by Tibetan culture, then the Potala Palace is one not to miss. The palace has been the winter home of the Dalai Lama since the 7th century and symbolizes Tibetan Buddhism and its central role in the traditional administration of Tibet. Enclosed with soaring walls, gate and turrets built of rammed earth and stone, the Potala Palace rises from the exquisite Red Mountain like a geyser.

If you’re travelling to China these holidays and are not sure how to schedule in all of what China has to offer, check out these great tips at My Adventure Store.

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