China's Historical Periods
Zhōngguó, the Middle Kingdom, China. Few civilizations in the world can look back at a similarly long history, regardless whether it is truly more than 5,000 years long or not. The creation of this website was inspired by several factors, the creator's passion for writing and history, his memorable 8 years of living and working in China and last but not least, a wonderful course about Chinese history entitled "From Yao to Mao: 5000 Years of Chinese History". If you have some money to spend, you won't regret watching this great course by Professor Kenneth J. Hammond yourself.
With the menu on the left side of our pages, you can select the imperial dynasty/historical period that you want to learn more about. Some imperial dynasties in the history of China went through different periods with specific distinguishing characteristics. The Song dynasty for example is divided into a Northern Song period and (you guessed it) a Southern Song period. When hovering on the words Song dynasty in the menu on the left, a sub-menu appears that allows you to select the Northern Song or Southern Song period. Both periods are explained on the same main page but the sub-menu allows you to directly find the period that you are interested in without having to look for it by scrolling down the page.
The aim of this website is to provide an easily-understandable and comprehensively-illustrated summary of the different periods in China's past. Chinese History Digest tries to present the past not only as a succession of different leaders, military conquests etc. but places special emphasis on the underlying reasons for the different historical developments. Whereas other history pages just list the names of leaders and events along with short descriptions, our articles about the different historical periods are written in the form of a narrative story. That makes our pages ideal for people who quickly want to gain a thorough understanding of China's past.
It is not the aim of this website to explore every single event that happened in Chinese history, list the name of every emperor and the date of every battle. Pages like the Chinese history pages on Wikipedia already exist for this purpose. However, our articles contain many links to pages with further and more-detailed information whenever an important figure, event or concept is mentioned in the narrative. In this way, we aim to facilitate our readers' deeper learning about Chinese history.
China's Historic Sights
Some experts predict China to become the world's most visited country by 2030. It is already the world's fourth most visited country now which is not really a surprise considering the abundance of amazing places the Middle Kingdom has to offer. Many tourist attractions are related to China's historic past. As of now, China has 43 places inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and a further 62 on the tentative list. Many of these have some historic relevance. In addition, the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) maintains a Tourist Attraction Rating System that divides all tourist attractions in the country between the ratings of 5A to 1A.
The second menu on the right side of our pages allows you to select between the different historic sights that are featured on this website. All the listed palaces, temples, mansions, parks . . . etc. are mentioned somewhere in the narrative historical overviews of the different dynasties/periods so each place played a highly significant role in the history of China. Many of the listed historic places will already be known to most readers like the Forbidden City or the Summer Palace in Beijing. Other historic sights like for example the Yucheng Postal Stop are much less renowned but that doesn't diminish their historical importance.
The large Google map underneath shows all the historic sights in China that are currently featured on this website.
The articles about China's historic sights aren't meant to list every single date in their history or mention every single magnificent detail that you can see there. These articles are destined to provide prospective visitors a first glimpse of what to expect if they were to go there. When writing these articles, I had three scenarios in mind:
1. a potential visitor who is trying to decide whether to visit this historic sight or not
2. a visitor who has already planned a visit and is now trying to create an itinerary
3. a visitor who will visit the respective historic sight that day or the next and wants to recall its important characteristics to mind.
I believe that these types of visitors will benefit the most from consulting our travel pages about China's historic sights.
On our pages about China's historic sights, you will not only find a descriptive article but also all the travel information you'll need to plan a personal visit of the respective sight(s). The provided information on these travel pages is however not limited to the sight's opening hours and admission fees but also includes information about nearby hotels, railway stations, bus and subway stops.