7 of the Most Important Historical Sites in China ...


There are so many historical sites in China that it's hard to choose which to visit first when you get the chance to go to the Middle Kingdom. China used to be the “Forbidden Nation,” in which the world had to look at through the glass darkly. Well, not anymore, with airlines crisscrossing the nation. The amazing history of 2,500 years (and counting!) is open for all to see and experience. Here are seven suggested historical sites in China that are simply “must see.”

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The Forbidden City

The Forbidden City There was a reason it was forbidden as for centuries every Chinese citizen could only wonder what fabulous treasures the emperors of China experienced behind those massive closed doors. But today, the doors of the Forbidden City are open and all you need to do is to pay the entrance fee to get inside one of the historical sites in China. Well, that and getting an English-speaking tour guide.


The Forbidden City, located in the heart of Beijing, is one of the most well-known and important historical sites in China. It was the imperial palace for the Ming and Qing dynasties, serving as the political and ceremonial center of the country for over 500 years. The complex covers over 180 acres and consists of 980 buildings, making it the largest palace in the world. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to a vast collection of artifacts and treasures from China's imperial past. Visiting the Forbidden City is a must for any traveler interested in Chinese history and culture.


The Temple of Heaven

The Temple of Heaven A short subway (or car) ride from the Forbidden City in Beijing is The Temple of Heaven. Legend says if you stand within its walls and in a certain exact spot, your prayers will immediately rise to the highest level of the celestial Heavens. Who needs broadband or Wi-Fi when you have your own special direct line to the big boss in the sky?


The Temple of Heaven is one of the most important historical sites in China. It is located in Beijing and is easily accessible by subway or car. Built in the 15th century, the temple was used by the emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties to make sacrifices to Heaven and pray for good harvests. The temple complex is comprised of three main buildings, the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, the Imperial Vault of Heaven, and the Circular Mound Altar. The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests is the most impressive and is a three-tiered, circular building with a blue roof. It is said that if you stand in the exact spot inside the temple walls, your prayers will be heard in the highest level of Heaven. The Temple of Heaven is a must-see for anyone visiting Beijing.


The Tomb of the Nanyue King

The Tomb of the Nanyue King Here’s one destination that most adventurers have never heard of but is a “must do” in the southern city of Guangzhou. A local hotel was excavating for a parking garage and discovered the tomb of an ancient emperor of South China who sealed himself, his treasures and concubines in three rooms that are smaller than your bathroom. Today an entire museum has been erected over the tomb, with relics that would have any Egyptian Pharaoh simply green with envy. It's a small museum that can be visited in one hour.


The Tomb of the Nanyue King is one of the most important historical sites in China. Located in the southern city of Guangzhou, it was discovered by chance during the construction of a hotel parking lot. The tomb is believed to be that of an ancient emperor of South China, and it is filled with relics that would have made any Egyptian Pharaoh jealous. The entire museum is located over the tomb, and it can be visited in just one hour. Inside, visitors can find a range of artifacts, including pottery, jade, and bronze items. The tomb is a unique reminder of the ancient Chinese civilization and its rich history.


The Terracotta Warriors

The Terracotta Warriors In Xian, another incredible archaeological find was discovered years ago that is now considered a World Heritage Site. As legend has it, a Chinese emperor had the lifelike clay statues made for each of the men in his private army and then sealed them away for all eternity. Years later during a peasant uprising, the statues were for the most part destroyed … but today have been painstakingly reproduced down to the horse drawn carriages.


The Terracotta Warriors are located in the Lintong District of Xian, Shaanxi province. They are part of the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor, the burial site of the first emperor of a unified China. The site was discovered in 1974 by local farmers and is estimated to contain over 8,000 life-sized terracotta figures. The figures are in full battle array and are believed to have been created to protect the emperor in the afterlife. The figures vary in height, uniform, and hairstyle, and are believed to represent the emperor's army. The site is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a major tourist attraction.


The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China We all know about it and it has been mentioned repeatedly in articles and I will mention it again here because the Great Wall is just massive, magnificent and marvelous! The Great Wall was constructed to keep the rampaging horde of Mongols out of Central China but the Wall became so much more, as it extended not only as a physical structure. It has projected the language, art, history and cuisine of China far into the vast lands and deserts of the nation’s west and into Europe. Today, it stands as a monument to an incredible engineering feat that will never be duplicated.


The Great Wall of China, also known as the "Long Wall," spans over 13,000 miles and is considered one of the greatest architectural achievements in human history. It was built over a period of 2,000 years, with the earliest sections dating back to the 7th century BC. The Wall served as a military defense system, but it also played a significant role in trade and transportation, as well as cultural exchange between China and other regions. It is made up of various sections, each with its own unique features and history. Today, it is a popular tourist destination and a symbol of China's rich cultural heritage.


The Drum and Bell Tower

The Drum and Bell Tower In central Beijing rests a small courtyard with two massive structures, the Drum and Bell Tower. In ancient days, the bells of Beijing would ring to awaken the capital residents to start their day. Each evening, the drums would then, through its gentle serenade, coax residents to put down their daily concerns. Then if the invading armies of the north would amass to invade Beijing, the drums and bells would call all Chinese residents to arms to defend hearth and home.


The Drum and Bell Tower, located in central Beijing, were once a crucial part of daily life in the capital city. The bells would ring each morning to wake up the residents and the drums would signal the end of the day. However, in times of danger, these structures played an even more important role. The drums and bells would sound the alarm to gather all Chinese residents to defend their city against invading armies from the north. Today, visitors can still witness the traditional drum and bell performances at the tower and learn about their historical significance in Chinese culture.


The Summer Palace

The Summer Palace Connected by a private river from the Forbidden City is the Summer Palace in Beijing, where the Emperors would take their private entourage away from prying eyes of their subjects. More than one single structure, the Summer Palace is a vast assemblage of lakes, private gardens and palaces, dominated by Longevity Hill and Kunming Lake, which is entirely man-made. According to UNESCO, the Summer Palace is “a masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design" and its palaces, bridges and temples "form a harmonious ensemble of outstanding aesthetic value."

Anyone want to add more sites to this list?

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Where Thoughts and Opinions Converge

Nice article

I have always been fascinated with Chinese culture and folklore. Someday it would be amazing to see these sites :)

I have been there because I live in China . These are nice lances to go but for tourist !! to enjoy China ask a native to show unplaced tourists don't know

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