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China World Heritage in Brief


World Cultural Heritage and Natural Heritage are both the classic masterpieces created by nature and humankind. Effectively protecting the world cultural heritage and natural heritage sites equates protecting the existent environment that human and humankind's civilization exist in. On November 16, 1972, in the 17th conference of UNESCO, Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage was approved; additionally, the definitions of cultural heritage and natural heritage were also fixed.

Cultural Heritage: CULTURAL RELICS seen in the aspect of history, art and science consist of highlighted and extensively valued architecture, sculptures and paintings, segments and construction with the significance of archeology as well as the engraved inscriptions, grottos, residential areas and the complex of diversity of cultural relics. ARCHITECTURAL COMPLEX seen from the aspect of history, art and science should be highlighted and widely valued single or interrelated architectural complex with the special shape, consistency and the unique status in sights. SITE seen from the aspect of history, aesthetics, ethnology and anthropology is the highlighted and widely-valued artificial project, the masterpieces jointly created by human and nature as well as zone of archeological sites.

Natural Heritage: seen from aesthetics and science, natural heritage is the ecological and biological configurations as well as the highlighted and widely valued natural visage composed by several complexes of ecological and biological configurations. Seen from protection and science, natural heritage is highlighted and widely valuable configurations of geology and physical geography as well as the eco-zone of wildlife on the verge of depopulation. Seen from the aspect of protection, science and natural beauty, natural heritage is highlighted and widely-valued natural places of interest as well as the definitely designed natural zone.

Cultural Landscape: THE INTENTIONALLY DESIGNED LANDSCAPE AND ARCHITECTURAL LANDSCAPE: gardens and parks built on the basis of certain aesthetic standard usually connect to religion and other commemorative buildings or building complexes. ORGANIC EVOLUTIVE LANDSCAPE: originated from the need of religion, society, economy and administration, it develops to the current modality through relating to or adjusting to natural environment. RELEVANT CULTURAL LANDSCAPE: This type written into World Heritage List is chiefly characterized with natural elements, religion, art and culture rather than the material evidence of culture. Lushan Mountain Scenic Area is the only site listed into World Heritage in the name of cultural landscape.

Intangible Cultural Heritage also regarded as invisible or immaterial heritage, is relative to the tangible heritage, which is heritable material heritage. Intangible cultural heritage is the diversified presentations and multiple exhibitions of traditional culture passed down from generation to generation and related closely to people's life such as folk custom, performing art, traditional techniques and craftsmanship as well as the associated utensils, real objects and handicrafts and so on.

China joined Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage on September 12, 1985 and was selected as member of the World Heritage Committee on October 29, 1999. China begun to apply for the items of world heritage in UNESCO was in 1986. From 1987 to 2011, there were in total 41 heritage sites of China written into World Heritage List and a large batch of intangible heritage sites of China also written into World Intangible Heritage List. Today, China has the third largest number of World Heritage Sites around the world.


Writer: David from Seeraa International
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