Ancient Building Complex in
the Wudang Mountains (1994)
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The palaces and temples which form the nucleus of this group of secular and religious buildings exemplify the architectural and artistic achievements of China's Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. Situated in the scenic valleys and on the slopes of the Wudang mountains in Hubei Province, the site, which was built as an organized complex during the Ming dynasty (14th–17th centuries), contains Taoist buildings from as early as the 7th century. It represents the highest standards of Chinese art and architecture over a period of nearly 1,000 years.
Mount Wudang, also known as Mountain Taihe, is a famous mountain in the northwest of China's Hubei Province. It undulates to connect with the Qinling Mountain ranges in the north and the Bashan Mountain in the south. The numerous peaks and magnificent crags of Mount Wudang are often enshrined in foggy clouds. The many scenic spots and historic/cultural sites have won the mountain the reputation as "the number one fairy mountain in the country with scenery unrivaled by any since ancient times. "Mount Wudang is a sanctuary of Taoism, where many famed Taoists have practiced cultivation of the mind. It is also the place of origin of the famous Wudang school of Chinese martial arts. Most famous sightseeing spots of the mountain include 72 peaks, 36 rocks, and 24 ravines, many of which are related to beautiful legendary stories.
The major peak of the majestic Wudang is Tianzhu (Heavenly Pillar), which towers into the clouds for over 1,600 meters. The top of the peak is known as Goledn Crown, on which stands the Goledn Hall, a gilded bronze structure, the largest of its kind in China. It was built in 1416, or the 14th year of Ming-dynasty emperor Yongle's reign. Even after 500 years of wear by wind and rain, the hall, with multiple ridges and multiple, upturned eaves, still shines brightly in the sun. The statues of deities, tables, and sacrificial vessels in the hall are also made of bronze. The scenic area of Mount Wudang, centered around Tianzhu Peak, with "72 peaks paying homage to the big crown and 24 ravines of flowing water," offers a wonderful view of nature enhanced by clusters of ancient structures of different styles. The "fairy peaks and pavilions" of Wudang make it a famous tourist resort in China.
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 20 jun 2007