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UNESCO Cultural World Heritage Sites

A Listing of Ancient Places Being Preserved in China


"To be included on the World Heritage List, sites must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria," states the UNESCO World Heritage Site. "What makes the concept of World Heritage exceptional is its universal application. World Heritage sites belong to all the peoples of the world, irrespective of the territory on which they are located." Places designated as World Heritage Sites make up some of the most interesting and well-preserved places to visit in China.

Ancient Building Complex in the Wudang Mountains

Getty Images / China Photos
One of the most important Taoist temple complexes in China. Also the birthplace of Wudangquan style of martial arts.

Ancient City of Pingyao

© 2008 Sara Naumann, licensed to About.com.
The old part of the city hasn't changed since Ming times. The city wall is still intact.

Ancient Villages in Southern Anhui

Photo by Subok Yang. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Hongcun and Xidi are villages that have existed since Ming times and have roughly stayed the same. Set in the foothills of Huangshan Mountains, they are famous for the preservation of the local Huizhou Architecture.

Capital Cities and Tombs of the Ancient Koguryo Kingdom

Classical Gardens of Suzhou

© 2008 Sara Naumann, licensed to About.com.
Suzhou has some of the best-preserved classical gardens in China.

Dazu Rock Carvings

Fujian Tulou

Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace, Lhasa

© 2006 Megan Inman & Lincoln Schroth, licensed to About.com, Inc.
The historic seat of the Dalai Lama, now partially open to tourists.

Imperial Palaces of the Ming and Qing Dynasties in Beijing (Forbidden City)

© 2005 Sara Naumann, licensed to About.com.
Ancient seat of emperors since Ming Times.
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