Mount Taishan (1987)
China

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The sacred Mount Tai ('shan' means 'mountain') was the object of an imperial cult for nearly 2,000 years, and the artistic masterpieces found there are in perfect harmony with the natural landscape. It has always been a source of inspiration for Chinese artists and scholars and symbolizes ancient Chinese civilizations and beliefs. 

The holiest Daoist mountain of China "Tai Shan" is situated in the Shandong [Shantung] province, some 400 km slightly southeast of Beijing. The public Chinese faith accepts mountains as living beings, because the mountains' stabilizing power eternalize the cosmic order and, further, the mountains create clouds and rain.  

  • China 1988. Mount Taishan. Entry to the Temple. Scott #2160. 

China 1988. Mount Taishan. Entry to the Temple. Scott #2160.

Hong Kong 2006 (China). Scenery from Mount Taishan on a souvenir sheet. Hong Kong 2006 (China). Close-up of the stamp of Mount Taishan.

Scans by courtesy of Mr. Mario Villena (Spain). 

China 1988. Mount Taishan. Stairway to the Peak. Scott #2161.

In Chinese mythology it is told that Tai Shan raised out of the head of Pangu, the creator of the world.  The shamans, and later the emperors, performed holy rites here for 4000 years. A few hundred meters north of the temple, the Daizong Fang ("Doorway to God") marks the entry to a stairway of stone, leading to the peak at 1545 meters altitude. The stairway has 6293 steps, and in older times the emperors and the mandarins were lifted the whole way up in chariots, carried by kulis. Today there is a modern mountain lift to the peak. 
  • China 1988. Mount Taishan. Stairway to the Peak. Scott #2161. The below photograph (left) will perhaps give a better understanding of the stairway. 
Mount Taishan. Photograph of Nan Tian Men, the stairway to the peak. At the end of the stairway is the ultimate goal for the pilgrimage, the Daizong Fang Temple (The Doorway to God). Mount Taishan. Photograph of one of the Temples that the pilgrims reach, when climbing far enough and long enough.

China 1988. Mount Taishan. Calligraphies on the Cliffs. Scott # 2162.

A little bit off road on the way to the peak are Sutra-texts engraved directly in the cliffs.  

There are 1050 characters, each about 50 cm high; these characters are considered calligraphic masterworks. 

  • China 1988. Mount Taishan. Calligraphies on the Cliffs. Scott # 2162. 

Mountaineering tourists overnight here, often open-air, hoping to see the fantastic sunrise over the Yellow Sea to the east, see stamp bottom right. 

Later they will continue to the nearby Qufu (on this site), where the Confucius-Temple is on the agenda for sightseeing. 

  • China 1988. Mount Taishan. Sunrise over Taishan. Scott # 2163. 

China 1988. Mount Taishan. Sunrise over Taishan. Scott # 2163.

Sources and links: 

Other World Heritage Sites in China (on this site). Inactive links are not described on stamps. Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, section China for further information about the individual properties.  

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Revised 24 jun 2007  
Copyright 1999 Heindorffhus
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