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Welcome back to the fourth and final installment of China Week, where I show a plethora of Chinese UNESCO sites. See parts one, two, and three if you missed them.

Today I have three completely new, never-before-featured-on-this-blog UNESCO sites: the Summer Palace of the Qing Dynasty, the home of the Peking Ape Man, and the Ming Tombs. All of them come from Wenyi on the Postcrossing forum.

UNESCO-beijing-summer-palac

Here you can see the “Garden of Harmonious Pleasures” at the Summer Palace in Beijing, one of the homes of the Qing royal family. The palace started as the “Garden of Clear Ripples” under the Qianlong Emperor in 1750. It was greatly expanded in 1888 by the dowager empress Cixi. The Palace was listed in 1998 because of its beautiful gardens and architecture.

UNESCO-peking-man

Next is Zhoukoudian, the home of the Peking Man, an early specimen of Homo erectus, an evolutionary ancestor of humans. Zhoukoudian is a system of caves in Beijing. The site was discovered in 1921 and contains tools that are at least 500,000 years old. Some of the caves also have artifacts from humans, i.e., Homo sapiens, dating back 10 to 20 thousand years. The caves were listed on the UNESCO list in 1987.

UNESCO-ming-tombs

Finally, these elephant statues are from the Sacred Way at the Ming tombs in Beijing. Here there are thirteen tombs of Ming Emperors, dating from 1424 to 1644. The first Emperor buried here was Yongle, who had moved the capital from Nanjing to Beijing. The site was chosen based on geomancy principles; it is near mountains and a river, which are good signs in geomancy. The Ming Tombs were listed as the Imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties in 2000.

Here are the stamps:

CHINA-pavilion1997 CHINA-roses

That concludes China Week. I hope you’ve enjoyed the exploration of some of China’s many UNESCO sites!

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