Mount Huangshan

 China
N30 8 43.199 E118 9 18.299
Date of Inscription: 1990
Minor boundary modification inscribed year: 2012
Criteria: (ii)(vii)(x)
Property : 16,060 ha
Buffer zone: 49,000 ha
Ref: 547bis
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Huangshan, known as ‘the loveliest mountain of China’, was acclaimed through art and literature during a good part of Chinese history (e.g. the Shanshui ‘mountain and water’ style of the mid-16th century). Today it holds the same fascination for visitors, poets, painters and photographers who come on pilgrimage to the site, which is renowned for its magnificent scenery made up of many granite peaks and rocks emerging out of a sea of clouds.

Mount Huangshan, often described as the “loveliest mountain of China”, has played an important role in the history of art and literature in China since the Tang Dynasty around the 8th century, when a legend dated from the year 747 described the mountain as the place of discovery of the long-sought elixir of immortality.  This legend gave Mount Huangshan its name and assured its place in Chinese history.  Mount Huangshan became a magnet for hermits, poets and landscape artists, fascinated by its dramatic mountainous landscape consisting of numerous granitic peaks, many over 1,000 m high, emerging through a perpetual  sea of clouds.  During the Ming Dynasty from around the 16th century, this landscape and its numerous grotesquely-shaped rocks and ancient, gnarled trees inspired the influential Shanshui (“Mountain and Water”) school of landscape painting, providing a fundamental representation of the oriental landscape in the world’s imagination and art.

The property, located in the humid subtropical monsoon climate zone of China’s Anhui Province and covering an area of 15,400 ha with a buffer zone of 14,200 ha, is also of outstanding importance for its botanical richness and for the conservation of a number of locally or nationally endemic plant species, some of which are threatened with extinction.

Criterion (ii): The cultural value of Mount Huangshan’s scenic landscape first entered the Chinese imagination in the Tang Dynasty and has been held in high esteem ever since.  The mountain was named Huangshan (Yellow Mountain) by imperial order in the year 747 and from that time on attracted many visitors, including hermits, poets and painters, all of whom eulogized the mountain’s inspirational scenery through painting and poetry, creating a rich body of art and literature of global significance. During the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), 64 temples were constructed on the mountain. In 1606, the monk Pumen came to Huangshan and built the Fahai Meditation Temple.  By the Ming Dynasty (around the16th century), depictions of Mount Huangshan had become a favourite theme of Chinese landscape painters, establishing the influential Shanshui (“Mountain and Water”) school of landscape painting. Showcasing the interaction of man and nature in this highly scenic setting has inspired generations of Chinese artists and writers.

Criterion (vii): Mount Huangshan is renowned for its magnificent natural scenery which includes massive granitic boulders and ancient pine trees which are often further enhanced by cloud and mist effects.  This dramatic landscape includes formations of natural stone pillars, grotesquely-shaped rocks, waterfalls, caves, lakes and hot springs, formed by its complex geological history.  The property features numerous imposing peaks, 77 of which exceed an altitude of l,000 m, with the highest, the famous Lianhua Peak (Lotus Flower Peak), reaching up to l,864 m.

Criterion (x): Mount Huangshan provides the habitat for a number of locally or nationally endemic plant species, several of which are globally threatened. Its outstandingly rich flora contains one-third of China’s bryophytes (mosses and liverworts) and over half of its pteridophytes (ferns).  Species endemic to Huangshan include 13 species of pteridophytes and 6 species of higher plants, with many other species endemic to the region or to China. This exceptional flora is complemented by an important vertebrate fauna of over 300 species, including 48 mammal species, 170 birds, 38 reptiles, 20 amphibians and 24 fish. A total of 13 species are under state protection, including the Clouded Leopard Neofelis nebulosa (VU) and the Oriental Stork Ciconia boyciana (EN).

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Huangshan (lit.: Yellow Mountain) is in Anhui Province in China, toward the southern end near the border with Zhejiang. It is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. There is also a Huangshan city to the south and a Huangshan district to the north. Huangshan City (Tunxi) is not too close to the mountain itself. A taxi from the airport to Tangkou is ¥100-200 depending on your negotiating skills. See Huangshan. The main tourist destination is Huangshan (Yellow Mountain). From the Yuping Cable Car/Mercy Light Temple entrance, the “Western Steps” lead up for about 14 km over spectacular terrain. Allow 6-7 hours for the ascent. If you are fit and have a good head for heights, the steep ascent to Celestial Capital Peak is rewarding. From the Yungu Cable Car parking lot, the ascent by the “Eastern Steps” is easier, taking as little as 2-3 hours. If you choose to descend by the Eastern Steps you can extend the hike by including the Nine Dragon Waterfall area (Jiulongpu) for an additional charge [read more].

Anqing (lit.: ‘Peaceful Celebration’, also Nganking, formerly Hwaining, now the name of Huaining County) is a prefecture-level city in the southwest of Anhui province, People’s Republic of China. Its population was 5,311,579 at the 2010 census, with 780,514 living in the built-up (or metro) area. Anqing was held by the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom for almost nine years, from June 1853 to December 1861. It served as the capital of the Taiping’s Anhui province during this period. The final Battle of Anqing and Qing attempt to retake the city began in 1860, and the Xiang Army and other Qing forces were able to retake the city by December 1861. The people of Anqing have a unique dialect that belongs to the Gan Chinese branch and is therefore quite different from the rest of the province, which is predominantly Huizhou Chinese speaking. Anqing has a four-season, monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa), with chilly, damp winters and very hot, humid summers [read more].

Hangzhou is in Zhejiang Province, China. It is one of the most important tourist cities in China, famous for its natural beauty and historical and cultural heritage. Hangzhou is the political, economic and cultural center of Zhejiang province. It is a prosperous and highly developed city that gets many migrants from poorer provinces coming to seek work. It’s annoyingly humid in summertime, which is from early June to early September. Famed for its natural scenery, Hangzhou and its West Lake have been immortalized by countless poets and artists. The city was the capital of the Southern Song Dynasty from 1127 until the Mongol invasion of 1276. The city’s population is estimated to have been as high as one million in those days, making it the largest city in the world at the time. Even Marco Polo claimed to have passed through, calling it beyond dispute the finest and the noblest in the world [read more].

One comment

  • The granite spires of Huang Shan, traversed by stone-stepped trails and graced by the uniquely shaped Huang Shan pines, are a visual delight in any weather. Fog that makes islands of dozens of peaks, spring blossoms on precipitous slopes, and autumn color only add to their glory. Huang Shan is a UNESCO World Heritage site, a national park, and a sister park to Yosemite in the U.S. Like Yosemite, it plays an important role in the history of painting and photography in its own country – it has been a source of inspiration to painters for over 1000 years!

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