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Chinese History Digest

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Presenting a concise illustrated History of the Middle Kingdom

China's Historic Sights

This page is intended as a list of all the historic places in China that are currently featured on this website. All listed historic sights in China are marked in blue in the large Google map underneath. Chinese History Digest does not intend to create a list of all existing and visitable historic sights in China as there are far too many. We only intend to provide information (including detailed travel information like opening hours, admission fees, how to get there . . . etc.) on the historic sights that are mentioned in this website's narrative historical overviews of the different dynasties/periods. All listed historic sights are significant in China's history and the list below provides links to the specific pages in our narrative of China's history where the respective sights are first mentioned.

Click on the image or name headline of any listed sight that you want to learn more about and/or intend to visit on a trip to China! Please have a look at our Travel Tips page as well for additional free advice about traveling to China (including the best times to travel, where to get your Chinese tourist visa, . . .)!

Bust of Peking Man outside the Peking Man Site in Zhoukoudian

Peking Man Site

As mentioned here on the page about China's prehistory, the Peking Man Site which is located at Zhoukoudian about 42 km southwest of Beijing is where ancient humanoids named 'Peking Man' lived about 500,000 years ago.

Entrance of the Banpo Museum in Xi'an

Banpo Museum

Also mentioned on the prehistory page, the Banpo Museum is located in Xi'an (Shaanxi Province) right next to the excavated Banpo village, a neolithic village that was inhabited by people of the Yangshao Culture about 6,000 years ago.

Gate outside the park where the Yin Ruins Museum is located near Anyang

Yin Ruins Museum (Yin Xu)

The historic site of the Shang dynasty capital Yin Xu is where oracle bones bearing ancient Chinese inscriptions were unearthed. It is now the location of the Yin Ruins Museum in a park-like setting north of Anyang (Henan province).

courtyard at the Confucius Family Mansion in Qufu

Confucius Sites in Qufu

The 3 Confucian sites in Qufu (Shandong province) that are associated with the great sage Confucius who lived during the Spring and Autumn period are the Confucius Family Mansion, Confucius Temple and Confucius Cemetery.

outer gate of the Mencius Temple in Zoucheng

Mencius Sites in Zoucheng

Mencius lived during the Warring States Period near Qufu in Zoucheng (Shandong province) where the Mencius Temple, Mencius Family Mansion, Mencius Cemetery and Cemetery of Mencius' Mother remind of this famous Confucian sage.

close-up of terracotta warriors at pit 1 of the Museum of the Terracotta Warriors & Horses

Terracotta Warriors

Qin Shi Huang was the emperor of the short-lived Qin dynasty. Emperor Qinshihuang's Mausoleum Site Museum (40 km east of Xi'an) consists of the Museum of the Terracotta Warriors and Horses & Qin Shi Huang's Mausoleum Site Park.

view of the seven-story pagoda at Cave 96 of the Mogao Caves southeast of Dunhuang

Mogao Caves

The 735 Buddhist cave temples that are known as the Mogao Caves are located about 25 km southeast of Dunhuang (Gansu province). Their construction period of about 1,000 years started in 366 AD during the period of the Six Dynasties.

large Buddha statue at the Yungang Grottoes near Datong

Yungang Grottoes

The Yungang Grottoes are another world-famous Buddhist cave complex which is located about 16 km west of the city of Datong (Shanxi province). Construction of the 254 caves began during the Northern Wei dynasty in the middle of the 5th century AD.

stairs leading up to the Fengxian Temple at the Longmen Grottoes near Luoyang

Longmen Grottoes

Most of the 2,300 caves & niches of the Longmen Grottoes south of Luoyang (Henan province) were built during the Tang dynasty. Construction of the very first Buddhist caves there already began in 493 AD during the Northern Wei dynasty however.

Goose Pond stone stele at the Goose Pond Pavilion inside the Orchid Pavilion Garden near Shaoxing

Orchid Pavilion (Lanting)

The Orchid Pavilion Garden (a.k.a. Lanting Pavilion) is located southwest of Shaoxing (Zhejiang province). This is where the famous Orchid Pavilion Gathering of 42 literati gentlemen took place in 353 AD during the period of the Six dynasties.

entrance to the main complex of the Shaolin Temple near Dengfeng

Shaolin Monastery

The Shaolin Monastery (a.k.a. Shaolin Temple) near Dengfeng (Henan province) was the birthplace of Shaolin Kung Fu. The monks of this temple at the foot of the Songshan Mountain fought in a civil war during the early Tang dynasty.

view of the modern Namaste Dagoba at the Famen Temple Cultural Scenic Area near Xi'an

Famen Temple

Famen Temple (a.k.a. Famen Monastery) was founded during the Han dynasty. A finger bone relic of the Buddha has been enshrined at this temple 120 km west of Xi'an (Shaanxi province) since 874 AD during the Tang dynasty.

Statue of General Yue Fei at the Yue Fei Temple in Hangzhou

Yue Fei Temple

The Yue Fei Temple stands at the foot of a hill next to Hangzhou's West Lake. Yue Fei was a famous general during the Southern Song period of the Song dynasty. His tomb, the Yue Fei Mausoleum, is a part of the temple complex.

Statue of a giant tea pot at the Longjing Imperial Tea Garden in Longjing village near Hangzhou

Longjing Imperial Tea Garden

The Longjing Imperial Tea Garden is also located near Hangzhou's West Lake. Once a favourite spot of the Qianlong Emperor of the Qing dynasty, it is now regarded as the most famous tea garden in Longjing village.

view of the Hall of Supreme Harmony at Beijing's Forbidden City

Forbidden City

The Forbidden City is located right in the heart of Beijing. From 1420 AD to 1912 AD, it was the official residence for 14 emperors of the Ming dynasty as well as 10 emperors of the Qing dynasty. Nowadays it is also known as the Palace Museum.

view of the Yucheng Postal Stop's drumtower in Gaoyou

Yucheng Post

The Yucheng Postal Stop (a.k.a. Yucheng Post or Mengcheng Post) is located near the Grand Canal in Gaoyou (Jiangsu province). Built during the Ming dynasty, it is the largest and best-preserved ancient postal station in China.

view of Dazheng Hall at the Shenyang Imperial Palace

Shenyang Imperial Palace

The Shenyang Imperial Palace (a.k.a. Mukden Palace) is located in Shenyang (Liaoning province). From 1625 AD to 1644 AD, it was the residence of the first 3 emperors of the Qing dynasty and it is now the Shenyang Palace Museum.

view of Beijing's Jingshan Hill from a distance

Jingshan Park

Jingshan Park is a former imperial garden on Beijing's Jingshan Hill where the emperors went to worship their ancestors. It was here that the Chongzhen emperor of the late Ming dynasty hanged himself from a tree in the year 1644 AD.

view of Old Dragon's Head (Laolongtou) - the eastern end of the Great Wall at Shanhaiguan

Shanhaiguan Great Wall

The Great Wall at Shanhaiguan played a major role in the fall of the Ming dynasty. Its visitable sites are the First Pass Under Heaven, Jiaoshan Great Wall, Old Dragon's Head (Laolongtou) and the Shanhaiguan Great Wall Museum.

view of the Golden Mountain at the Chengde Summer Palace

Chengde Mountain Resort

The Chengde Mountain Resort (a.k.a. Chengde Summer Palace) is located north of the city of Chengde (Hebei Province). It took about 90 years to build from 1703 AD to 1792 AD and was the summer resort of the imperial family of the Qing dynasty.

view of the ruins of the Grand Waterworks (Dashuifa) on the grounds of the Old Summer Palace

Old Summer Palace

Inside Yuanmingyuan Park in the northwest of Beijing, visitors can find the ruins of the Old Summer Palace. From 1707 AD to 1860 AD, Yuanmingyuan was a complex of palaces and gardens for the emperors of the Qing dynasty.

view of a section of Beijing's Yiheyuan Summer Palace in spring

Summer Palace

The new Summer Palace (Yiheyuan) became the official residence of the emperor during the late Qing dynasty. This complex of palaces, lakes and gardens is located about 15 km northwest of Beijing's center near the Old Summer Palace.

view of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests at Beijing's Temple of Heaven

Temple of Heaven

The Temple of Heaven is located in Beijing's southeastern Dongcheng district. This is where emperors annually performed the heaven worship ceremony and where Yuan Shikai attempted to establish a new imperial dynasty in 1915 AD.

view of Beijing's Tiananmen Gate from Tiananmen Square

Tiananmen Gate

Beijing's Tiananmen Gate (Gate of Heavenly Peace) was the location of the May 4th demonstration against the Versailles treaty in 1919 as well as the founding of the People's Republic of China by Mao Zedong on the 1st of October 1949.

partial view of the Shikumen building in Shanghai where the First National Congress of the Communist Party of China took place

1st National Congress Site

A historic Shikumen building in Shanghai was the site of the First National Congress of the Communist Party of China on the 23rd of July 1921 when thirteen party delegates including Mao Zedong assembled there. It is now a museum.

view of Pagoda Hill, Yan'an's most famous revolutionary site

Yan'an Revolutionary Sites

The featured sites in Yan'an are the Revolutionary Memorial Hall, Yan'an's Pagoda Hill (Baota Shan), the Wangjiaping Former Revolutionary Headquarters and the Yangjialing, Zaoyuan & Fenghuang Mountain Revolutionary Sites.

view of a section of the Huaqing Palace near Xi'an

Huaqing Hot Springs

The Huaqing Hot Springs (a.k.a. Huaqing Pool or Huaqing Palace) are located about 30 km to the east of Xi'an (Shaanxi province). This former leisure site for the emperors during the Tang dynasty was the location of the Xi'an Incident in 1936.

outside the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall

Nanjing Massacre Memorial

The "Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders" in Nanjing (Jiangsu province) commemorates the Nanjing Massacre that Japanese troops committed in December 1937 and January 1938.

entrance of the Youth Cave at the Red Flag Canal Scenic Area

Red Flag Canal

The Red Flag Canal was built during the years of the Great Leap Forward. Its most spectacular section at the Red Flag Canal Scenic Area (around 20 km north of Linzhou in Henan province) winds around the side of the Taihang mountains.

view of the Mao Zedong Mausoleum from Tiananmen Square

Mao Zedong Mausoleum

The Mao Zedong Mausoleum (a.k.a. Memorial Hall of Chairman Mao) is located in the southern part of Tiananmen Square in Beijing. It is where the embalmed body of Mao Zedong, the founder of the People's Republic of China, lies in state.