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World Mixed Cultural and Natural Heritage: Mount Huangshan

Editor: zhenglimin 丨CCTV.com

01-20-2015 15:39 BJT

The World Heritage Committee's assessment:

Mount Huangshan was once greatly glorified in a period of literary and artistic prosperity (the mid-16th century when the natural scenery was most valued) in China’s history, and was known as the “the most spectacular mountain in China.” Nowadays, Mount Huangshan is famous for its majestic landscapes, especially the unique pines that grow on granite, and the bizarre stones that are partly hidden in the sea of clouds. For the tourists, poets, painters and photographers, who visit this scenic spot from all over the world, the charm of Mount Huangshan is never-ending.

Huangshan (the Yellow Mountains), formerly Yishan, is one of the most famous scenic spots in China.

Huangshan (the Yellow Mountains), formerly Yishan, is one of the most famous scenic spots in China.

Chinese name: Huang Shan

English name: Mount Huangshan

Approval Date: December 1990

Heritage category: Cultural and natural heritage

Selection criteria: Based on the criteria C(II) and N(III)(IV) for selecting world cultural and natural heritage, Mount Huangshan was listed in the World Heritage List.


Mount Huangshan is located in the southern part of Anhui Province in eastern China. It is about 40 kilometers from north to south and 30 kilometers from east to west, and covers an area of about 1,200 square kilometers. The most valuable part of the mountain covers 154 square kilometers, and is called the “Wubaili Mount Huangshan.”

Mount Huangshan is in the subtropical monsoon climate zone, and due to its high peaks and deep valleys, the climate varies depending on altitude there. Meanwhile, since the northern slopes and southern slopes receive obviously different amounts of sunlight, the landform plays a dominating role in forming the climate. The climate on the mountain features dense cloud and fog, high humidity, and abundant rainfall. The elevation of the Lotus Peak, the highest peak of Mount Huangshan, stands at 1,864 meters. On the mountain, the six scenic spots – the Hot Spring, the Cloud Valley, the Pine Valley, the Northern Sea, the Jade Screen Tower and the Fishing Bridge are all extremely fantastic and beautiful.

Mount Huangshan was originally called Mount Yi because according to the legend, the first ancestor of the Chinese nation — the Yellow Emperor became a god on this mountain. On July 16, in 747 during the reign of Emperor Xuanzong, the name of the mountain was changed to its current name, and the day was also declared as the birthday of Mount Huangshan by the Emperor Xuanzong. Mount Huangshan is well known in the world for its majestic, beautiful, and fantastic landscapes, and it is also a national-level scenic area and a health and summer resort with abundant resources, an intact ecosystem, and has significant scientific and ecological value. It is a place with both wonderful natural and cultural landscapes.

Mount Huangshan covers all the special characteristics of the other well-known mountains of China, including the majesty of Mount Taishan, the steepness of Mount Huashan, the freshness of Mount Emei, the splendid waterfalls of Mount Lushan, the delicate rocks of Mount Yandang, and the floating clouds of Hunan Province’s Mount Hengshan. On Mount Huangshan, there are a lot of towering peaks, including 36 large and 36 small peaks. Of them, the elevation of the Lotus Peak, the Tiandu Peak, and the Guangming Peak all exceed 1,800 meters.

Mount Huangshan is outstanding for its changeful sceneries in different seasons. The landscapes always change as the seasons change, and are different at different altitudes and different time of day. In the early spring, there are colorful flowers that bloom like a piece of brocade. The red azalea flowers are all over the mountain and the pink peach blossoms can spread up to five kilometers. In the midsummer, there is spring water on the ground, waterfalls off steep cliffs, emerald green peaks, countless green trees, and sweet-scented grass and flowers. In the golden autumn, there are seemingly flaming maple trees and scattered beautiful mountain flowers. In the winter, the mountain looks like a heavenly world with the land and trees covered by ice and snow. The unique granite forests of Mount Huangshan can be seen from every peak and valley. The Huangshan Pines of various shapes, the vivid, bizarre stones, and the mysterious seas of cloud is picturesque with both static and dynamic elements, and gives an artistic charm, inspiration, and grace to the mountain. The great explorer of the Ming Dynasty Xu Xiake once said, “I have seen many mountains in the world, but none of them can match Mount Huangshan. When I was standing on its peak, it felt like there were no other mountains in the world except for Mount Huangshan.” Based on Xu’s comment, a person of later generation made such a comment, “The people who have visited the Five Famous Mountains will lose the interest of visiting other mountains; but the people who have visited the Mount Huangshan will even lose the interest of visiting the Five Famous Mountains.” On Mount Huangshan, there are over 1,450 plant species, over 470 animal species, and over 200 ancient temples, pavilions, and stone tablets in total.

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