Grand Canal, Longmen, and Tai Mountain

Grand water diversions, 100,000 Buddhist sculptures, and sacred mountains

Part I of Warm Temperate China

I. Map boundaries: 30 to 40 degrees North; 110 to 120 degrees East

II. Country (Provinces and Municipalities): China (Anhui, Beijing Municipality, Chongqing Municipality, Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Inner Mongolia, Jiangsu, Liaoning, Shandong, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Tianjin Municipality, and Zhejiang).

III. Overview of the Cultural Landscape, or a History of China in 25 Sites

Because the ecoregions of central China are human-dominated, it appears appropriate to describe the cultural history from an ecological standpoint. It is evident that there are profound connections between the natural and cultural landscapes of central China. The tour begins with the flood-prone Yellow River (Huang) as it exits the mountains, where catastrophic natural events influenced patterns of population movement at Sanyangzhuang. It continues with religious sites such as Longmen, where limestone caves provided a landscape for art achievement, and includes the limestone mountains, whose pinnacles and precipitous topography provided sacred cultural landscapes. It ends with the tombs of emperors, which are designed to indicate harmony with the natural landscape. There are 25 sites which I have chosen to provide a whirlwind orientation tour. Additional sites are listed in the World Heritage listing and other site listings which follow. Continue reading