Category: Mount Wutai.

World Heritage Site #1279 :: Mount Wutai

WHS#1279 | Mt. Wutai | Tourist Map | Travel Guide | Photo & Video | News Update

State Property: China
Location: Xinzhou, Shanxi Province.
GPS: N39 1 50, E113 33 48
Date of Inscription: 2009
Criteria: (ii)(iii)(iv)(vi)
Property : 18,415 ha
Buffer zone: 42,312 ha

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With its five flat peaks, Mount Wutai is a sacred Buddhist mountain. The cultural landscape is home to forty-one monasteries and includes the East Main Hall of Foguang Temple, the highest surviving timber building of the Tang dynasty, with life-size clay sculptures. It also features the Ming dynasty Shuxiang Temple with a huge complex of 500 statues representing Buddhist stories woven into three-dimensional pictures of mountains and water. Overall, the buildings on the site catalogue the way in which Buddhist architecture developed and influenced palace building in China for over a millennium. Mount Wutai, literally, ‘the five terrace mountain’, is the highest in Northern China and is remarkable for its morphology of precipitous slopes with five open treeless peaks. Temples have been built on this site from the 1st century AD to the early 20th century.

Mount Wutai was listed into Unesco world heritage list under these below considerations.

Criterion (ii): The overall religious temple landscape of Mount Wutai, with its Buddhist architecture, statues and pagodas reflects a profound interchange of ideas, in terms of the way the mountain became a sacred Buddhist place, endowed with temples that reflected ideas from Nepal and Mongolia and which then influenced Buddhist temples across China.

Criterion (iii): Mount Wutai is an exceptional testimony to the cultural tradition of religious mountains that are developed with monasteries. It became the focus of pilgrimages from across a wide area of Asia, a cultural tradition that is still living.

Criterion (iv): The landscape and building ensemble of Mount Wutai as a whole illustrates the exceptional effect of imperial patronage over a 1,000 years in the way the mountain landscape was adorned with buildings, statuary, paintings and steles to celebrate its sanctity for Buddhists.

Criterion (vi): Mount Wutai reflects perfectly the fusion between the natural landscape and Buddhist culture, religious belief in the natural landscape and Chinese philosophical thinking on the harmony between man and nature. The mountain has had far-reaching influence: mountains similar to Wutai were named after it in Korea and Japan, and also in other parts of China such as Gansu, Shanxi, Hebei and Guandong provinces.

Category: Mount Wutai