In July 2017, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee inscribed two more sites in China on its popular list. The addition of the Kulangsu Historic International Settlement and Qinghai Hoh Xil brings the country’s number of UNESCO-recognized places to 52, which ties China with Italy for the top spot.
The following UNESCO sites in Beijing are three of the country’s most well-known attractions:
The Summer Palace
Originally constructed in 1750, the Summer Palace was decimated during the war in 1860 before being restored 25 years later. The site is an outstanding example of the ornate style that is typical of China’s landscape garden design. Groups can enjoy taking in the area’s natural beauty as they tour the temples, pagodas, bridges and shrines.
The Imperial Palaces of the Ming and Qing Dynasties
The palaces in Beijing and Shenyang served as the residences of the Ming and Qing Dynasty emperors from the 15th to the 20th century. As such, they became the central locations of royal power, which is on display throughout the complexes. The centerpiece of the Beijing site is the Forbidden City, where visitors can discover how its architecture reflected Chinese hierarchical culture.
The Temple of Heaven
Founded in the first half of the 15th century, the temple complex is set among gardens and surrounded by pine trees. The layout of the buildings is meant to symbolize the connection between earth and heaven, which played a significant part in the lives of many early Chinese emperors.