The 7 Most Famous Monuments in China

China is a nation whose historical monuments and landmarks can only be described as vast. Several millennia of history have lent China one of the biggest reps around the world when it comes to remarkable monuments. From the thousands of ancient temples and palaces throughout the countryside to mysterious cliffside monasteries, there’s lots to love. Which is why we compiled the most famous landmarks in China to get your wanderlust going. 

7 of the Most Famous Landmarks in China

1. The Great Wall 

The Great Wall of China is one of the most significant historical structures in China and the world as a whole. The 13,170-mile long defence wall is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and dates back more than 2,300 years. If the history and sheer size weren’t impressive enough, the surrounding mountain landscape is nothing short of breathtaking. 

famous monuments china

2. Forbidden City – Beijing

The Forbidden City, now referred to as the Palace Museum is one of the most important landmarks of Beijing’s history. It was constructed in 1420 during the Ming Dynasty and to this day remains the world’s largest imperial palace. In addition to the rich Imperial history, the ground’s gardens are some of the most immaculate and beloved in the world. 

3. Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum – Xi’an

Widely considered the eighth wonder of the world, Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum, otherwise known as the Terracotta Warriors, is one of China’s most famous landmarks. There are currently 8,000 terracotta warriors that that archeologists know of; however, Chinese archaeologists continue to find more and more. One of the most impressive facts about Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum is the fact that the tomb and its warriors date to 246 BC, but it wasn’t until 1974 that they became found.

4. Hanging Temple – Datong

Approximately 60-kilometre southeast of Datong, you’ll find one of China’s most mindboggling structures – the Hanging Temple. Exactly how it sounds, this ancient temple clings to the steep side of Hengshan Mountain. It was built by a monk of the Northern Wei Dynasty was back in 491. One thousand five hundred years later, it still looks out proudly over the Chinese countryside and is one of China’s most revered religious monuments. Interestingly, the temple contains Confucianist, Tao and Buddist elements. 

5. Lama Temple – Beijing

If there’s one thing China is most famous for, it’s its ancient temples full of immaculate detail. And while the nation is home to thousands of them, the Lama Temple in Beijing’s Dongcheng is a cut above the rest. It is split into six distinct halls which each serve a special purpose and are connected by seven grand courtyards. Constructed near the end of the 17th century, it is the most famous Tibetan Buddhist temple outside of Tibet and an important pilgrimage site.

famous monuments china

6. Tiananmen Square – Beijing

In the heart of Central China just south of the Forbidden City, you’ll find Tiananmen Square. This sprawling plaza is home to some of China’s most important relics and has seen countless historical events; namely the tragic 1989 protests. More than 600 years after its inception, the square houses The Great Hall of People, the National Museum and serves as a perfect blend of old and new China. 

7. Leshan Giant Buddha – Leshan

Towering at 71 metres and constructed 1300 years ago, the Leshan Giant Buddha is one of China’s most remarkable monuments. It’s carved from a copper-red coloured cliff that dominates the confluence of the Min and Dadu rivers in Sichuan. Not only is it incredibly beautiful but its the largest and tallest stone Buddha statue in the world. It’s also the tallest premodern statue in the world by a longshot. 

famous monuments china

Melanie Hamilton

Melanie is an avid traveller with a passion for history and global foods. She is currently based in Tbilisi, Georgia where most of her time is occupied with qvevri wine and Soviet history. Having do-si-do'd her way across Europe and Latin America, she's enjoyed some of the world's most exciting places firsthand and can't wait to tell you about them.

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