Most Important Temples to Visit in China (V)

Tag: Historic Sights

Most Important Temples to Visit in China (V)

Most Important Temples to Visit in China: Le Shan

 

Le Shan is the home of the world's largest Buddha, an incredible 233 feet (71m) high. Carved out of a cliff at the confluence of the Min and Dadu rivers, the statue depicts a seated Maitreya (future) Buddha; It was started by the monk Haitang in 713. 

 

Haitang began the project to subdue the currents where the rivers met and reputedly gouged out one (or both) of his eyes in order to convince donors of his sincerity. The project was eventually finished in 803, after Haitang's death. 

 

You can also visit Wuyou Temple and an archeology museum here.

 

Buses run to Le Shan from Chengdu (two hours) and Emei Shan (one hour).

 

 

Most Important Temples to Visit in China: Shuanglin Temple

 

A short bike ride (4.3 miles / 7km) away from Pingyao is this temple, most notable for its Song and Yuan dynasty statuary. In addition to all the bodhisattvas, arhats and guardians, there are also unusual statues here depicting common worshippers. 

 

The temple was originally founded in the 6th century; most of the buildings now date from the 16th century or later.

Castles to Visit in Wolfsburg, Germany

The city of Wolfsburg was initially established in 1938, under the name of “Stadt des KdF-Wagens” for the Volkswagen plant and its production of the VW-Beetle. It was later renamed to “Wolfsburg” by the City Council Assembly, in 1945.

 

The city celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2013.

 

In this article we’ll cover which castles to visit in Wofsburg, Germany, their amazing history and importance during the Middle Ages.

 

1. Castles to visit in Wolfsburg, Germany – Wolfsburg

The “Wolfsburg” with its ornamental gables and the onion tower which dates back in the 16th century, is one of the most magnificent architectural marvels of the Northern Germany. Inside the castle you will find: the City Gallery, the City Museum, the Kunstverein Wolfsburg, the Heidersberger Institude, as well as the Teaching Workshop (regional teacher training).

A castle tour will walk you through the medieval chambers and teach you about the history of the 700 year-old architectural monument. Booking information about the tours and prices can be obtained from the City Museum.

 

2. Castles to visit in Wolfsburg, Germany – Neuhaus

The Castle Neuhaus is considered today one of the best preserved medieval moated castles in Northern Germany. Located in a beautiful natural landscape and partially surrounded by an enchanting pond, the historical moated castle Neuhaus lies in the immediate proximity to the city of Wolfsburg. Currently located in Castle Neuhaus are: Freundeskreis Burg Neuhaus e. V., Castle Museum, Newcastle Renaissance Dance Troup, art studies, a kindergarten, gymnasium, rooms for parties, meetings and annual events such as: Castle Sing (a singing event at the castle), Burgfest, a crafts market, activities put on by the local association of the Castle Museum. The documentation rooms in Castle Neuhaus are a branch location for the City Museum of Wolfsburg. Here are displayed documents and exhibits revealing the history of the castle and life in its times. Since August 2003, the Castle Museum has been managed by Freundeskreis Burg Neuhaus e.V.

 

3. Castles to visit in Wolfsburg, Germany – Fallersleben

Castle Fallersleben, within the heart of Fallersleben distirct, is located in the beautiful park next to St. Michael’s Church and was built during the 16th century. There were numerous farms associated with the U-shaped castle grounds back in the 18th century, such as the New Brewhouse, which has been well preserved till today and it is now an excellent example of rustic hospitality.

Until 1760 the castle was surrounded by an approximately 5 meters deep moat and could only be accessed over two bridges. One bridge and a portion of the moat were reconstructed in 1998, based on archeological excavations. The west wing of the castle, painstakingly restored in 1990, has been well preserved to this very day. Here you will find the vault cellar, grey paintings from the Renaissance period and Baroque stucco ceilings.

 

Museums at the Wolfsburg Castle in Germany (I)

The Wolfsburg Castle, with its ornamental gables and the onion tower which dates back in the 16th century, is one of the most magnificent architectural marvels of the Northern Germany. Inside the castle you will find: the City Gallery, the City Museum, the Kunstverein Wolfsburg, the Heidersberger Institude, as well as the Teaching Workshop (regional teacher training). Keep reading to discover the museums at the Wolfsburg Castle in Germany. All of them are worth a visit and this is your chance to find out more about their amazing history.

 

1. Museums at the Wolfsburg Castle in Germany: City Gallery

The City Gallery of Wolfsburg is an institution for contemporary art located in the opulent Renaissance structure of Castle Wolfsburg. Historical architecture and contemporary art create an exciting dialogue in the exhibit rooms. Since the art offers specific insights, alludes to alternatives and helps to understand the problems of our reality, which are becoming more and more complex, the City Gallery of Wolfsburg constitutes a forum from which impulses for the future emanate. A richly varied palette of events is available for all ages. Special focuses can be found in institution’s exhibitions under the motto “Young Art in an Ancient Castle”; the Art Prize of the City of Wolfsburg “A Young City viewing Young Art”; printer’s workshop; cooperative projects with local artists; a collection with paintings, sculptures, works on paper, photographs and videos.

 

2. Museums at the Wolfsburg Castle in Germany: City Museum

“Living history” is the motto of the City Museum in the Castle of Wolfsburg. In the historical ambience of the coach houses, between the defensive walls and the Fachwerk, this museum presents the history of the castle, the region and the city, in hundreds of original exhibits, from the foundation pile of the Castel Wolfsburg to a complete hair salon from the 1950s. Listening stations provide music and testimonies from contemporary witnesses, while interactive media and films facilitate a very personal encounter with this special city. The City Museum is more than a historical museum; it uses imagination and entertainment to present a comprehensive portrait of the very special city of Wolfsburg. At the same time its exhibitions and castle tours provide information about the history of the Castle Wolfsburg, an architectural monument to the North German Renaissance.

 

Most Important Historic Sights in China (III)- Bund

Most Important Historic Sights in China: Bund

 

For foreigners arriving in Shanghai in the early 20th century, the first sight would have been the busy waterfront known as the Bund, where the city's main banks, hotels and trading houses were located. It was an impressive, if thoroughly un-Chinese, sight, but this was to be expected in a city such as Shanghai, which emerged as a foreign concession port after China's stinging defeat in the first Opium War (1839–42). 

 

While the concession ports were an affront to Chinese pride and traditional values, they nonetheless paved the way for important developments in the country's modernization process. If you were a young person looking for opportunity at the turn of the 20th century – whether in business, literature, technology or art – chances were that you'd end up in Shanghai at some point.

 

After the Communists took power, the Bund, with its obvious associations with unadulterated capitalism, went into deep freeze, only beginning to reemerge in the 1990s. Today, like in the past, it's often the first thing visitors to Shanghai see, though these days most have their view set on the massive skyscrapers on the other side of the Huangpu River.

 

Most Important Historic Sights in China: Bund – What’s here?

 

All of the Bund's original buildings still line today's promenade, including standouts like the Peace Hotel (1929), Bank of China (1941) and the Custom House (1925). With each passing year, another edifice is tastefully renovated as a lifestyle destination replete with many of China's most luxurious shops, restaurants and bars. The first to make the leap was 3 on the Bund. 

 

Most Important Historic Sights in China: Bund – Tip

 

Although you can pop into a few buildings during the day to see the interior, make sure to return at night, when both banks of the river are illuminated. Alternatively, take a river cruise from the docks south of the Bund for a deck-side view. 

 

Most Important Historic Sights in China: Bund – How to get there?

 

Metro: East Nanjing Rd

 

Most Important Historic Sights in China (II)

Most Important Historic Sights in China: Dunhuang

 

The ancient oasis town of Dunhuang lies near the spot where the Silk Road once frayed apart into a handful of different routes that skirted the foreboding Taklamakan Desert to the west. The remains of two Han dynasty (206 BCE–220 CE) watchtowers – Jade Pass and South Pass – lie to the west, but it's the nearby megadunes and Mogao Caves that have made Dunhuang particularly famous. 

 

Dunhuang (Blazing Beacon) was originally founded in 117 BCE as a garrison town and a crucial node in a series of beacon towers that stretched along the Hexi Corridor and out into the desert. As the last major caravan stop before the massive Taklamakan, Dunhuang quickly became an important center of not only trade, but also the new Buddhist religion.

 

What's here? The sights are all out of town, but Dunhuang itself is a pleasant enough place to relax during the hottest moments of the day. After the Mogao Caves, the main sight is the sand dunes at Singing Sands Mountain and Crescent Moon Lake. Whether you want to arrange overnight camel rides out here (check with the cafés in town) or simply climb up along the continually shifting ridges and listen to the desert's silence, you won't be disappointed.

 

Most Important Historic Sights in China: Dunhuang – How do I get here?

 

A handful of trains are supposed to serve Dunhuang directly, but it's just as likely that you'll need to go through the main train station at Liuyuan, which is a good two hours away by bus. 

 

Dunhuang is connected to some other Silk Road towns by bus, but it can be a long haul.

 

 

Most Important Historic Sights in China: Xi'an City Walls

 

The largest surviving city walls in China, Xi’an’s fortifications date from the Ming dynasty and have a circumference of 8.5 miles (13.7km). They’re actually built atop the former Inner City Walls of Chang’an (the original capital of China), which should give you some idea as to the city’s massive expanse during its heyday in the Tang dynasty (618–907). The Outer City Walls enclosed an area seven times the size of the Inner City.

 

Enormously thick at the top (up to 45 feet or 14m across), not only can you stroll along the wall for a bird’s-eye view of the city, but you can even rent a bike and cycle the entire length.

 

Most Important Historic Sights in China (I)

Most Important Historic Sights in China: Nanjing Road

 

Formerly known as Nanking Road, this was the street that ushered in the era of modern consumerism in China, with its department stores, display windows, and mass-produced goods. Although it's often referred to as China's "number one shopping street," the truth is, that was back then, not now. Which isn't to say it isn't packed with shoppers – it's often a madhouse – it's just that the best shopping in the city these days is in the French Concession and its western extension, Xujiahui.

 

Most Important Historic Sights in China: Nanjing Road – What's here?

 

You come here mainly for the experience and the swirl of neon lights at night. It's partly pedestrianized and a handy way to get from the Bund to People's Square, so if you're going between the two you may as well walk it or hop on the mini train that shuttles along its upper half. 

 

If anyone invites you to a tea ceremony here, ignore them: it's a scam.

 

Metro: East Nanjing Road, People's Square

 

 

Most Important Historic Sights in China: Pingyao

 

One of the few walled towns in China left standing in its entirety, Pingyao is without a doubt a unique. Few places provide such insight into life during imperial times, from the Confucian Temple that served as a school to local government offices, tiny dilapidated shrines to ward off evil spirits and the luxurious traditional courtyard residences of local merchants. 

 

Surrounded by a huge wall upon which you can stroll – each watchtower has an inscribed excerpt from the Art of War – Pingyao fulfills many travelers' expectations of a trip to China. If you take the time to spend the night in a historic residence (try Jing's Residence or the Harmony Guesthouse), you probably won't mind that there are so many other visitors here besides you. 

 

Most Important Historic Sights in China: Pingyao – What's here?

 

Just outside of town are several possible daytrips, including Shuanglin Temple and the Wang Family Compound.