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24/05/2013

Beautiful towers in China

Bell Tower, Xian

Located in the center of Xian (a destination where you can start your Silk Road travel) and built in 1384, the Bell Tower is the symbol of the city. The tower base is square and covers an area of 1,377 square meters. It is 8.6 meters high and 35.5 meters wide and built completely with green bricks.

The tower was built completely with green bricks. The big iron Jinglong Bell on the tower was made in Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and it weighs 2,500 kilograms. It has indicated the time for the city for more than 400 years.

Drum Tower, Xi'an

Located in the northwest of the Bell Tower, the Drum Tower is also the symbol of the city along with the Bell Tower. Erected in 1380 during the early Ming Dynasty, it offers an incredible view of the city.

The tower got its name from the huge drum located within the building. In contrast to the Bell Tower, where bell rung at dawn, drum was rung at sunset at the Drum Tower.

On the Drum Tower's first floor, lies a hall with many large drums. Each is decorated with intrinsic and beautiful Chinese writing, which symbolizes good fortune. The impressive arrays are only on display and visitors are not allowed to touch. But there is an extra drum near the front entrance where visitors can pose for pictures for a small fee.

Yellow Crane Tower, Wuhan

Standing on Sheshan (Snake Hill), at the bank of Yangtze River (Yangtze River cruises) in Wuhan, Hubei Province, the Yellow Crane Tower is considered one of the Four Great Towers of China. Tourists can obtain a fine view of the Yangtze River from the top of it. It has the appearance of an ancient tower but was built with modern materials and includes an elevator. Displays are presented at each level. To the east on the hill, a large temple bell may be struck by tourists for a small fee.

Legend: There are at least two legends related to the tower. In the first, an immortal named Wang Zi'an rode off on a yellow crane from Snake Hill. A tower was later built in commemoration to it. In the second, after becoming an Immortal, Fei Wenyi would ride a yellow crane and often stop on Snake Hill to have a rest.

Penglai Pavilion, Penglai

Built in 1061, Penglai Pavilion is a famous tower in Penglai, Shandong Province. It is seated on the cliff of Danya Mountain close to the sea in the north of Penglai. Noted as one of the Four Great Towers of China, it is the resting place of the Eight Immortals according to the legend and famous for its occasional mirages. The dividing line between the Yellow Sea and Bohai Sea is also marked and clearly visible from the area.

Tengwang Pavilion, Nanchang

Located in the northwest of the city of Nanchang, Jiangxi Province (a tourist province always included in China tour packages ) and on the east bank of the Gan River, Tengwang Pavilion (The Pavilion of Prince Teng) is one of the Four Great Towers of China. It has been destroyed and rebuilt many times over its history. The present building was rebuilt in 1989 on the original site.

Completed in 1989, the present pavilion is a landmark of Nanchang. It was built with reinforced concrete structure, but decorated in faux-Song Dynasty (960–1279) style. It is 57.5 meters tall and has nine floors. The building has a total floor area of 13,000 square meters.

Admission Fee: 50 yuan Opening Hours: 7:00 am to 8:00 pm (Apr. 1 to Oct. 7); 8:00 am to 5:30 pm (Oct. 8 to Mar. 31) Transport: take bus No.2, 7, 8, 26 or 302 and get off at Tengwangge Station.

Guanque Tower, Yongji

Endowed with location advantages and scenic beauty, Guanque (Stork Magpie) Tower is located in Yongji city, Shanxi Province which is an optional tourist destination for popular China tours. It occupies a land area of 1,700 mu, and has a total of six layers.

Literatis in Tang (618-907) and Song (960–1279) dynasties enjoyed the scenery and left many enduring poems, including Wang Zhihuan's "Landing Guanque Lou" Poetry. For thousand years, it inspired the revitalization of the Chinese ambition for the far-reaching implications.

Grand View Tower, Kunming

Located at the Grand View Park in Kunming which is most popular and most visit tourist destination for your China vacation deals and built in 1883, the present square, three-storied Grand View Tower was a highlight in the park. It offers great views of the Dian Lake. It is also inscribed with a 180 character poem describing the beauty and history of the area. This poem is the longest of its kind in Chinese literature. The construction of the tower is a typical well-preserved wooden pagoda.

09:03 Publié dans Voyage | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)

23/05/2013

Terracotta Warrior Pits and Earthenware Kilns of the Han Dynasty on Mount Weishan

Location: Zhangqiu City in Jinan, East China's Shandong Province

Period: Han Dynasty (206 BC- AD220)

Excavation period: November 23, 2002 to early 2003

A joint team of researchers from the Shandong Provincial Cultural Relics Archeological Research Institute, Jinan City Archeological Research Institute and Zhangqiu City Museum, led by Wang Shougong

Findings

In an amazing archaeological discovery last year, three terracotta army pits were unearthed in a Han Dynasty (206BC-AD220) tomb complex on Mount Weishan in Zhangqiu City, Shandong Province where you can also find some famous tourist attractions of China tourism.

The excavation team uncovered three attendant pits, over 30 mausoleums and three kilns harvesting a large number of color-painted terracotta chariots, horses and soldiers. All the soldiers and horses were made out of moulds.

The No 1 pit is 9.7 meters long and 1.9 meters wide, and contains 173 painted terracotta soldiers, 56 horses, four chariots and more than 90 shields. Following the burial customs of nobles of the Han Dynasty, the soldiers and chariots were arranged in an outing formation, with the cavalry in the lead, followed by chariots and the infantry. There are 30 lifelike terracotta cavalrymen arranged in six rows. The riders have a dignified disposition, and the crimson-painted horses, are very sturdy looking. The three chariots in the middle are among the biggest ceramic chariots from the Han Dynasty unearthed in China. Eighty foot soldiers are positioned behind, wielding spears and shields. Although slightly smaller than the cavalrymen in front, the foot soldiers also sport a commanding presence. Scattered around the soldiers are instruments used by the honor guards.

In the No 2 pit were 11 huge wooden trunks -- four of which contained terracotta chariots, horses and figurines. Surprisingly, most of the painted soldiers in this particular pit are female. With their bodies painted pink and collars and wristbands painted a deep red, each female soldier has a different expression. So you can consider it for your China vacation deals

The terracotta soldiers were made in the three kilns unearthed around the pits, according to archeologists.

Significance

The site's layout provides a vivid portrait of the typical aristocratic formation of cavalrymen, chariots, foot soldiers and horses in the Han Dynasty when going to war. Previously, such evidence has only been detailed in books or Han paintings and stone sculptures.

The discovery has been marked as China's "third-largest pit of terracotta warriors and horses'' and the first well-preserved terracotta warrior pit ever found in Shandong. In terms of scale, structure, and significance, the Terracotta Army of the Weishan Tomb Complex is comparable to the Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shihuang (221-206BC) and the tombs in Xianyang, which are both located in Shaanxi Province whose Xian is the must-see for Silk Road travel.

09:39 Publié dans Voyage | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)

22/05/2013

Top historical streets in China

For hundreds of years, China's ancient streets have recorded the country's history and culture against a backdrop of change and development. The streets have retained the layout, architecture, and even the lifestyles of ancient times.

The following are the top historical streets in China which contain the most vivid and richest memories.

Barkhor Street in Lhasa

Located in the old area of Lhasa City (a destination for China travel deals), Tibet, Barkhor Street is a well-preserved circular street area surrounding Jokhang Temple. Its religious and cultural flavor means that it is a popular destination for both pilgrims and locals. The area is also a business center.


With a history of over 1,300 years, the street was built and developed in concert with Jokhang Temple. Jokhang Temple was built in 647 by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo (617 - 650), and it quickly attracted thousands of Buddhist pilgrims. The large number of pilgrims gradually wore a path, which was the origin of Barkhor Street. To this day, many pilgrims can be seen there holding prayer wheels and walking clockwise around the temple from dawn to dusk.

Composed of 35 major or small streets, the street has a circumference of roughly 1,000 meters. It is paved with hand-polished stone boards, and traditional Tibetan buildings stand on both sides, giving a traditional flavor of Lhasa. Despite its relative narrowness, the street accommodates thousands of tourists every day and has become a symbol of Lhasa.

Numerous shops stand on both sides of the street and thousands of vendors can be found on every corner, selling religious articles, traditional Tibetan clothes, Tibetan knives, 'Thangka' (Tibetan scroll painting) and other souvenirs.

Qilou Old Street in Haikou

Located in Haikou, Hainan Province which is a famous tourist destination for popular China tours, Qilou Old Street features a stylish fusion of European and Asian architecture, as well as Indian and Arabic influences.

Qilou, or Chinese arcade houses form the city's most exotic landscapes, and they can principally be found on Bo'ai Street, Zhongshan Street, Xinhua North Street, Deshengsha Street and Jiefang Street.


With its origins dating back around 2,000 years to ancient Greece, arcade architecture was introduced to Haikou by overseas Chinese merchants from 1820-1840.

Standing between two and four stories in height, a Qilou has its ground floor set back halfway into the building so that it can be used as a storefront to take shelter from rain and sunlight. The upper floors serve as the living quarters, and extend over the pavement supported by columns. The exquisite carvings and decorations on the handrails, door frames and window frames are in the Baroque style.

In total, there are more than 200 Qilou buildings in the street, including 39 by Zhongshan Street. The oldest building, Sipai Building, dates back some 600 years to the Southern Song Dynasty.

Historically, the street has housed consulates, churches post offices, banks and chambers of commerce belonging to 13 different countries. Today, it remains Haikou's business center whilst also giving visitors a taste of traditional Haikou life.

Zhaode Ancient Street in Qingzhou

Zhaode Ancient Street is located in the old town of Qingzhou, the heart of Shandong Province. The Hui ethnic group inhabits the area and gives it a distinct cultural feel. So the street should be contained in your China tour packages.

Qingzhou's location makes it a natural transport hub, with a history of 2,200 years. During the Yuan Dynasty, about 700 years ago, a mass migration of Hui merchants arrived and settled in Qingzhou. The area where they formed their own distinct community was known as Zhaode Ancient Street.


Named after Zhaode Pagoda, Zhaode Street consists of a number of ancient streets, which are all connected, forming a "five-kilometer" street. The street, with its many shops, workshops, merchants and visitors, was extremely prosperous during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Today, the street retains its original layout, and some of the old buildings still stand. The old shops, with their black tiles, antiquated window frames, old-style wood doors, pillars and beams are a graphic illustration of the street's long and rich history.

Badaguan (Eight Passes) in Qingdao

Lying between TaiPing and HuiQuan Cape, Badaguan Scenic Area faces the rippling tides of TaiPing Bay to the south and the sands of Bathing Beach No. 3 to the east. Scattered among the coastal flora and fauna, along with many varieties of trees such as peaches, crab-apples, pine trees and ginkgoes, are more than 200 villas of exotic styles. Also known as, the World Architecture Museum, Badaguan due to the large numbers of European villas that criss-cross this scenic area is sometimes referred to as "little Switzerland."

This scenic area was once a place where people from more than twenty countries, such as Germany, the United States of America, Russia, Britain, France, Denmark, Greece, Spain, Switzerland, Japan and etc., constructed buildings in each of their unique national styles.

After the People's Liberation in 1949, the government repaired the entire area and its buildings, symbolizing Badaguan's significance as one of the most important sanitaria in China. Many leaders of the Chinese Communist Party and foreign friends of China have stayed in Badaguan for rehabilitation or simply, for pleasure.

Badaguan Scenic Area, built in 1931, covers 67 acres consisting of ten roads that are each lined with distinct species of trees and flowers. Badaguan, also known as China's "World Architecture Museum," is home to more than 200 European style villas built in the early 1900's.

Eight of the roads are named after the 8 strategic passes of the famous Great Wall (a must-see for top 10 China tours) in China: Jiayuguan, Juyongguan, Wushengguan, Ningwuguan, Shanhaiguan, Shaoguan, Zhengyangguan, & Zijingguan -- giving the area its name "Badaguan" which translates to "Eight Passes."

The flowers bloom in different seasons which give this area its other beautiful name, "Hua Jie", which means a "flowery area". Each street is lined with its own distinct species of tree giving the area an annual spectacular Autumn show of colors.

Bus stop (WuShengGuan): #26, #31, #202, #206, #223, #225, #228, #316, #321, #604, #801.

Three Lanes and Seven Alleys in Fuzhou

Located in the downtown area of Fuzhou, Fujian Province, the Three Lanes and Seven Alleys (Sanfang-Qixiang) is a street district with a cluster of ancient residential buildings and is the largest well-preserved historical heritage site in China, covering an area of 40 hectares.

Divided by Southern Street as the central axis, the original three lanes were in the west and the seven alleys are in the east. The layout dates back to the Tang (618-907) and Song (960-1279) dynasties, almost 1,000 years ago. The street is unique as the only existing street district in China bearing this pattern. Running from north to south, the lanes refer to Wenru Lane, Yijin Lane, and Guanglu Lane, and the alleys refer to Huang Alley, Gong Alley, Yangqiao Alley, Langguan Alley, Ta Alley, Anmin Alley, and Jipi Alley.


The lanes and alleys were home to hundreds of houses built by built by wealthy people in the Ming and Qing dynasties, and 159 buildings remain well-preserved to this day. AS a result, the district has been nicknamed "an architecture museum of the Ming and Qing dynasties." The houses were built with ancient, huge bricks and decorated with seashells, which were easy to get because of Fuzhou's coastal location. The ornaments, wood carvings and stone carvings all testify to the buildings' past glories. .

The area has been home to many famous people, including politicians, military leaders, writers and poets. Some of their descendants still live there now, keeping the living style of their ancestors. Jiqi Alley, Yangqiao Alley and Guanglu Lane have now been reconstructed into driveways, and only two lanes and five alleys remain.

All the above-mentioned make contribution to China tourism.

08:58 Publié dans Voyage | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)