Monuments of Ancient China

Monuments of Ancient China
China has seen empires rise and fall during its 5,000 years of history and each successive culture has left monuments across the landscape. The great monuments of China continue to fascinate those who visit them with their undying beauty and grandeur, as well as for the great cultural significance they have to this modern nation.

The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall as we know it today was constructed between 476 BC and 1644 AD for the protection of the states of Yan, Zhao and Qin from marauders. The wall stretches 5,500 miles across the landscape, through desert, mountains and plains and is so vast it can be seen from space. The wall is considered a symbol of China as well as a celebrated national monument and visitor attraction and in 1987 it was designated a World Heritage Site due to its structural ingenuity and its cultural and historical significance.

The Forbidden City

In the center of Beijing stands the Forbidden City, the imperial palace of the Ming and Qing dynasties. This masterpiece of palatial architecture is the largest palace in the world, covering 183 acres and having 9,999 rooms. The striking decorative elements of the complex, such as the symbolic colors of yellow, black and red, have dazzled visitors since it was first opened to the public in 1925. Designated a World Heritage Site in 1987, the palace museum is now one of the most popular visitor attractions in China.

Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum

The Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum, most well-known for the Qin Terracotta Warriors, is currently the most visited attraction in China. Constructed over 2,000 years ago for the first emperor of China Qin Shi Huang Di, the mausoleum contains 8,000 terracotta figures, individually modeled after soldiers who fought in the army of the emperor. Employing over 720,000 conscripts in its construction, the task of building the mausoleum took only 50 years. The site was forgotten until 1974 when it was accidentally uncovered by a group of farmers digging a well near the town of Xian. Now designated a World Heritage Site, the Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum is under constant excavation.

Article Written By Michael Degnan

Michael Degnan is a Central California-based writer with a passion for all forms of human technology, from food production to the newest gadgetry. He spent three years writing tech reviews for CNET, as well as having written articles for several nonprofit organizations dealing with indigenous rights. He holds degrees in cinema studies and cultural anthropology from San Francisco State University.

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