China Historic Sites and Landmarks

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Altar of HeavenAltar of Heaven
Beijing, China

Completed in 1420, this magnificent temple was considered the meeting point of Earth and Heaven. For 500 years it hosted the emperors' sacrifices and prayers for a good harvest at the winter solstice.

Great Wall of ChinaGreat Wall of China

Stretching across over 5,000 miles (8,850 km) of scenic landscape, the Great Wall of China is one of the most impressive and famous landmarks in the world.

Yungang GrottoesYungang Grottoes

Located near Datong in the Shanxi province, the Yungang Grottoes are one of the three most famous rock-cut temples in China. Their rich carvings and paintings date primarily from the 5th and 6th centuries.

Samye Monastery

Founded in the 8th century, Samye Monastery was the first Buddhist monastery built in Tibet. It is designed like a mandala, with the central temple symbolizing Mount Meru, center of the universe.

Mogao Grottoes

These Buddhist cave temples were a center of culture on the Silk Road from the 4th to the 14th centuries and contain well-preserved religious murals and carvings spanning that entire period.

Shaolin Temples

These Buddhist monasteries on the sacred mountain of Song Shan are famed for their long association with Chan (Zen) Buddhism and martial arts. Today most of the "monks" are aspiring kung-fu

Wangfujing ChurchWangfujing Church
Beijing, China

Originally founded in 1653, Wangfujing (a.k.a. St. Joseph's) Church was rebuilt in 1904 in the Romanesque style.

National Grand TheatreNational Grand Theatre
Beijing, China

Nicknamed "The Bird's Egg," this opera house in Beijing is a distinctive work of modern architecture. Designed by Paul Andreu, it is an ellipsoid dome of titanium and glass surrounded by an artificial lake.

Niu Jie Mosque
Beijing, China

There are around 200,000 Muslims in Beijing. The Niu Jie mosque in the Muslim Quarter of the city is a colorful building in Chinese style, with text in Chinese and Arabic.

Tirthapuri Hot Springs

Located north of Mount Kailash, Tirthapuri is an important pilgrimage site. After bathing in the hot springs, pilgrims visit a monastery that enshrines the footprints of Guru Rinpoche.

White Cloud Temple
Beijing, China

Once the most influential Taoist center in China, this recently renovated temple is now the home of 30 monks and the China Taoism Association. It is a lively place that is popular with pilgrims and de

Lama Temple
Beijing, China

This temple is fairly touristy but is still worth a visit for its colorful 17th-century architecture. It is an active Tibetan Buddhist center, but one that is officially sponsored by the Chinese gove