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Top 10 World Heritage in China II

6. The Forbidden City

The Forbidden City (Palace Museum, must-see for last minute China travel deals), a World Heritage site since 1987, imparts a sense of grandeur and wealth, an aura of pomp and majesty that has passed down the ages. This secret city was closed off from the world for 500 years but now its 720,000 square meters of courtyards, pavilions, great halls, gardens and nearly 10,000 rooms are open to all and it has become one of the most popular historical sites in the world.

7.The Great Wall

From the 7th century B.C. through to the 17th century, the Chinese spent more than 2,000 years building the Great Wall, which stretched about 200,000 kilometers in total. However, most parts of the Great Wall have disappeared, except for the Ming Dynasty Great Wall. As one of the seven wonders of the medieval world and the only human artifact visible from out space, it was listed as World Heritage by UNESCO in 1987. Winding up and down across deserts, grasslands, mountains and plateaus, the Ming Dynasty Great Wall measures only 8,851.8 kilometers now, from east to west, and has been destroyed by erosion and human development in the surrounding regions. The Great Wall (must-see for China best tours) has been included on the list of 100 endangered sites by the World Monuments Fund.

8. The Capital Cities and Tombs of the Ancient Koguryo Kingdom

The Capital Cities and Tombs of the Ancient Koguryo Kingdom is a World Heritage Site located in Ji’an City, Jilin Province. The site contains archaeological remains of three cities (Wunv Mountain City, Guonei City, and Wandu Mountain City), and 40 identified tombs of Koguryo imperial and noble families.

Koguryo was an influential border ethnic group in northeast China during the Western Han Dynasty (202BC-9AD) and Tang Dynasty (618-907). Built on Wandu Mountain, Wandu Mountain City was one of the typical mountain cities in the early and medium stage of the Koguryo Kingdom. Wandu Mountain City and Guonei City formed the capital of the kingdom, which was a rare sight in ancient history.

Wunv Mountain City is only partly excavated. The remains of the stone city walls of Guonei City are still solid and magnificent. Wandu Mountain City contains many vestiges including a large palace, a watch platform, houses, gates and ponds.

Among the 40 identified tombs of Koguryo Kingdom, 14 are imperial and 26 of nobles. The tombs feature exquisite wall paintings from over 1,000 years ago, but they are still vivid and colorful.

9. The Imperial Palace in Shenyang

The Imperial Palace in Shenyang Located in the center of Shenyang, Liaoning Province, Shenyang Imperial Palace, also known as the Mukden Palace, is the former imperial palace of the early Qing Dynasty of China. It was built in 1625 and the first three Qing emperors lived there from 1625 to 1644. In 2004, it was listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site to be an extension of the Forbidden City in Beijing and make contribution to China tourism.

10. The Yungang Grottoes

Located at the southern foot of Wuzhou Mountain 16 kilometers west of Datong, Shanxi Province, the Yungang Grottoes (one of four great grottoes, other three are Longmen, Maijishan and Mogao, the must-see for Silk Road tour) were built against the mountain and extend about 1 kilometer from east to west. The construction of the caves was started under the auspices of the noted monk Tan Yao in 453 and took 50 years to complete. The 53 grottoes include 1,000 niches with about 51,000 statues – a treasure-trove of cave art that combines traditional Chinese art forms with foreign influence, particularly Greek and Indian.

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