World Heritage Sites in China

China is duly proud of its rich cultural and natural heritage and its role in the universal legacy of mankind. China is among the leading nations in the world with landmarks listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Its 52 sites include the Forbidden City and Great Wall, temples, ancient cities, fossil finds, panda sanctuaries and segments of the Old Silk Road. This series will take a closer look at this heritage that the world wants to cherish and protect.
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Towers sheltered locals from the perils of life

To fend off bandits and survive floods, residents in one area of southern China built fortresses. Today, those structures are a popular sightseeing attraction.
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Holy mountains beckon visitor imagination

Taoism flourished in the Wudang Mountains, and its legacy lives on in ancient temples that earned the area a spot on the UNESCO World Heritage list. 
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Stone Forest amazes visitors, inspires old legends

The grotesque formations of Shilin, or Stone Forest, in Yunnan Province, are fascinating enough to prompt a return visit.
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Statue of Buddha doing a V-sign invitation to all

Whatever you may think you may know about the ancient Longmen Grottoes in Henan Province, it's certain it can be no substitute for experiencing the real thing in person.
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Wellspring of China's Qing Dynasty

No, this isn't Beijing. A modest and often overlooked version of the more famous Palace Museum sits in the middle of a northeastern industrial city. 
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Ruins tell the story of an abandoned city

Fushi used to be one of the most prosperous cities in Hunan before the Peng clan left.
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Hometown of Confucius venerates the great sage

Qufu's three most important sites, the Temple of Confucius, the Cemetery of Confucius and the Kong Family Mansion, were all listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1994.
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Wonders and wickedness in the days of yore

The ancient capital of Yin produced the earliest Chinese characters and fine bronzeware 3,000 years ago. But it also had a dark side steeped in human sacrifice.
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Sacred site for Buddhists, awesome site for tourists

The Shaolin Temple, which has long been seen as the origin of Chinese martial arts, is the cradle of three religions that helped shape Chinese culture for centuries.
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Tourism aside, holy site retains the solemnity of ages

In the mountains of Sichuan Province, an ancient seat of Taoism reveals the myths and relics of worship dating back 2,000 years.  
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