When we think about China, we think big ! Big because first of all it is a huge country (the 3rd biggest country) but also because we can’t ignore the architectural prowess of amazing and huge buildings or structures, ancient and contemporary.
Nothing seems impossible for the Chinese and China definitively likes superlatives (I let you count the number of ‘the tallest’, ‘the biggest’, ‘the highest’, ‘the largest’…) and a lot of architectural structures and building undoubtless match that statement.
The very first one that comes into the mind is undoubtedly the Great Wall since it is the longest structure ever built by humans. If you measure the length of all the different sections of wall, the distance is 22000 kilometres (13670 miles). The widest section of the wall is around 9 metres and the highest point of the wall is around 8 metres. Huge enough to be seen from a satellite ! Needless to say it is a must see spot at only one hour and a half far driving from Beijing. U China Travel brings you to Mutianyu Great Wall, one of the best-preserved and less crowded Great Wall sections. It has been renovated, making it easier and safer to climb. Moreover, it is equipped with cableway and luge, which make the visit possible for children and seniors.
Flowers bloom all over the mountains in spring. Grasses dress the hillside green in summer. Trees are laden with sweet fruit in autumn, and especially in October, leaves turn red or yellow, touching the mountain tops with gold. In winter, the wall is covered by snow, making it more magnificent.
Another must-see spot U China Travel likes bringing you to for the first time or umpteenth as wandering inside is such an unrivalled feeling is The Forbidden City. This magnificent building complex located in the very heart of Beijing is the largest and well-preserved wooden building complex of the world.
Also in Beijing, the Temple of Heaven is the largest existing temple in China. It is renowned for its precise outlay, unique structures and decorations which cover an area of 2.7 million square meters.
Early morning is the best time to visit The Temple of Heaven. It is well worth waking up for; you will have an interesting experience watching local people doing morning exercises. Next to an older person practicing the slow and flowing movements of Tai Chi there might be a youngster performing vigorous karate-like punches and kicks; one group might be learning the ancient martial art of sword fighting, while another would be practicing a traditional dance. If you want to explore and try Tai Chi, U China Travel can make you join the practitioners at sunrise.
Among the top ten most unstable architectures in the world, the Hanging Temple is located on a cliff of Mt. Hengshan in Datong, Shanxi Province.
How could a building like this withstand the winds and storms of so many years? Hanging Monastery is an architectural wonder. A unique mechanical theory was applied to building the framework.
And why build a monastery like this? Location is the first reason: building a monastery on the cliff could shield it from floods. In addition, the mountain peak protects it from rain and snow; and the mountain around it also diminishes damage from long-time sunshine.
In the same Province, Sakyamuni Pagoda Fogong Temple is the oldest fully wooden pagoda still standing in China today. With the total height of 67.13 meters, Yingxian Muta is the highest wooden pagoda in China and also the world highest wooden pagoda.
But more impressive than its beauty, it is its durability. The 220.83 ft. tall temple was built almost 2000 years ago (yes you read that right!) in 1056. It has survived several earthquakes and other natural disasters, which is a miracle in itself.
Situated at a strategic point along the Silk Road, at the crossroads of trade as well as religious, cultural and intellectual influences, the Mogao Grottoes (Gansu Province) are the largest, oldest and the best-preserved Buddhist grottoes with the richest contents in the world.
Leshan Giant Buddha (Sichuan Province) is the tallest stone Buddha in the world, carved out of a cliff. Finally finished under the hard work by three generation of craftsmen for 90 years, this engineering masterpiece has a history over 1300 years.
While the width of mouth and eye is 3.3 meters, his neck is 3 meters tall, his shoulder is 24 meters wide and his finger is 8.3 meters long.
His smallest toenail can accommodate a seated person.
Canton Tower (Guangzhou) is also the 4th tallest freestanding structure in the world. In 2011, this record was broke by the Tokyo Sky Tree. But it still remains the title of the tallest building in China.
The 46-storey Leeza Soho Tower, located in the buzzing Lize Financial Business District in Beijing, with a huge twisting atrium at its centre, is the tallest in the world.
With a totally length of 36 kilometers, Hangzhou Bay bridge ranks as the longest cross-ocean bridge in the world.
In their gigantism spree, China never forgets the aestheticism.
To reach these superlatives and the aestheticism, China attracts the best talents from around the world. China wants to work with architects who understand what the next generation requires, connecting communities and traditions with new technologies and innovations to embrace the future.
The amazingly beautiful architectural buildings and structures are countless!
Self-proclaimed to be one of the “greatest museums of the world,” the National Art Museum of China (NAMOC), designed by the French architect Jean Nouvel, will contain collections dating back to the Ming Era. Programs include permanent and temporary exhibition galleries, a research and education center, auditorium, large-scale interior garden and a series of public spaces.
The Egg or Water drop in Beiing or more formally known as the National Centre for the Performing Arts is an ellipsoid dome of titanium and glass surrounded by an artificial lake and vast expanse of green space
The location, immediately to the west of Tiananmen Square and the Great Hall of the People, and near the Forbidden City, combined with the theatre’s futuristic design, created considerable controversy.
Paul Andreu, the French architect who designed this magnificent structure, countered that although there is indeed value in ancient traditional Chinese architecture, Beijing must also include modern architecture, as the capital of the country and an international city of great importance. His design, with large open space, water, trees, was specially designed to complement the red walls of ancient buildings and the Great Hall of the People, in order to melt into the surroundings as opposed to standing out against them.
More recently, the Tianjin Binhai Library made the buzz for its incredible white floor to ceiling bookshelves, and all-around gorgeous interior design! With 33,700 square meters and five levels, there is enough shelf space for 1.2 million books. Needless to say it is the biggest library in the world!
Dongzhuang Building Museum of the Western Regions used to be a 1950s grain mill, which has been transformed into a light and airy museum of the Western Regions. It is designed to look like a stone that’s rolled down from the mountain, seamlessly blending into the landscape of the Nanshan grasslands. This museum captures the majestic and uninterrupted view of the mountains.
Tianrenhe Museum located in Hangzhou is the first private contemporary art museum. Located in a former train depot and factory it is an impressive space at 2,000m², it is the ‘China’s longest museum’.
The list of the most extravagant and biggest architectural buildings could continue endless since each year new amazing architectural creations spring up. By the way, our future guests will have the possibility to land in the new Beijing airport from late 2019 – the world’s largest airport shaped like a sea star!
To fully appreciate all these breathtaking monuments, buildings, U China Travel is your perfect travel partner to discover them!
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