As one of the largest countries geographically in the world, China is a country brimming with things to do. Because of China’s long a rich history, many of our top sights for you to see in China have t0 do with their colorful and varied history. With palaces dating back to the 1400’s and sculptures still standing from the 3rd century BC, some of the sights in China are so old, it’s hard to believe they are still standing.
Read on to learn more about our can’t-miss sights in China!
The Forbidden City
With a name like the Forbidden City, how can your interest not be piqued? A palace complex in central Beijing china, the Forbidden City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was opened in the 1400s. The Forbidden City palace complex now houses the Palace Museum, and consists of almost 1000 individual buildings and covers an impressive 72 hectacres of land. As you walk around, don’t forget to look up and down at the ground and the impressive roofs and ceilings of the buildings. The palace was a huge influence of cultural and architectural developments in East Asia, and is an examplary example of traditional Chinese palatial architecture.
A city square named after the “Gate of Heavenly Peace” located in the centre of Beijing, the square is now a famous sight because of its presence in notable historical events, such as the place where Mao Zedong proclaimed the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. One of the largest city squares in the world, at 109 acres, it was the site of one of the most important events in China’s history. A bit bloodier of an event, the square is also famous for the Tiananmen Square Massacre, an armed movement that was meant to suppress the pro- democracy movement in 1989.
Another famous site located in Beijing, the Summer Palace is an impressive collection of lakes, gardens, and palaces. It was used as an Imperial Garden during the Qing Dynasty and covers an impressive span of 1.1 sq. miles, of which 3/4 is water. According to the UNESCO World Heritage List, the Summer Palace is a “masterpiece of Chinese landscape garden design. The natural landscape of the hills and open water is combined with artificial features such as pavilions, halls, palaces, temples and bridges to form a harmonious ensemble of oustanding aesthetic value”.
A mind blowing collection of terracotta statues, the Terracotta Army was made and buried with Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. The statues were made as part of the funeral process, with the army meant to serve as Shi Huang’s protection in the afterlife. Dated to approximately the late 3rd century BC, the statues cover an impressive space and is estimated to contain over 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses, and 150 calvary soldiers.
The Great Wall of China
Of course, no list of “What to See in China” would be complete without mentioning the Great Wall of China. A series of fortifications of stone, brick, earth, and wood, the wall was meant as a protection of the Chinese states and empires against the groups of the Eurasian Steppe. The wall, of course, has been added to, reinforced, joined together with other parts, and enhanced over the various dynasties. Most of the wall that is still standing dates back to the 1300s, during the age of the Ming Dynasty.