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Top Choice 05/04/2015 World Heritage China Part 34- Lushan National Park


05-05-2015 05:04 BJT


Mount Lushan also has high human value. Hui Yuan, a monk in the Jin Dynasty, had established the Donglin Temple on the mountain and created the Pure Land of Buddhism. He had made the mountain an important, sacred religious site in China's feudal era. In the 5th century, Lu Xiujing, a Taoist priest from the Southern Dynasties, had found the South Tianshi Dao School, or "Celestial Path" sect. Ma Zudao from the Tang Dynasty founded the Rinzai School and Weiyang School, exerting great influence. In the Song Dynasty, there were over 361 temples on the mountain and since the Ming and Qing dynasties, Muslims, Christians and Catholics also built temples and preached on the mountain. After 1,600 years of development, a rare phenomenon of "five religions on one mountain" appeared on Mount Lushan.

Lushan National Park

Lushan National Park

The White Deer Grotto Academy, which was established in 940, and was hailed as "the first academy in China" and "the head of the world's academies." It was the center of all ancient Chinese educational and idealist philosophical institutions and also one of the highest institutions in the Song Dynasty of China. The White Deer Grotto Academy, Suiyang Academy, Shigu Academy and Yuelu Academy were called the "four academies under heaven." Zhu Xi, a famous idealist philosopher and scholar from the Song Dynasty, had proposed his theories there, which became the norm of ancient Chinese thoughts and even had important influence in the history of education around the world. The White Deer Grotto Academy had experienced the whole process from its establishment in the late Tang Dynasty, to the prosperity of the Southern Song Dynasty and then to the decline and recovery in Ming and Qing dynasties. Its glory has forever gone, but its deep thought connotation still exert influence on the younger generations and its dense cultural deposits have made it a world-famous mountain with its culture and education.

Various styles of architectural masterpieces were also built on Mount Lushan, including Romanesque and Gothic churches, Byzantine-style architectures blending the eastern and western artistic form, the Japanese-style buildings and Islamic mosques, which can be called the cream of the Mount Lushan Scenic Area.

Heritage value

According to the first point of the first article in the “Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage,” buildings, sculptures and paintings on monuments that have prominent universal value, and elements, structures, epigraphs and caves that have archaeological value as well as the combination of these elements are said to have world cultural heritage, and according to the third point of the second article in the same convention, geologic and natural geographic structures or the clearly defined ecological zones of endangered animals and plants are said to have world natural heritage. Mount Lushan not only has graceful natural landscapes which are characterized as “unique, beautiful, dangerous and splendid,” but also has historical places which have deep cultural value, such as the scenic poems of Mount Lushan and the White Deer Grotto Academy.

In addition, Mount Lushan also has various foreign buildings thus it fits the definition of the natural and cultural heritage. Even more outstanding is that the White Deer Grotto Academy, which was a famous academy in ancient China, has deep cultural and educational meaning and shows Mount Lushan as a famous cultural and educational mountain. Mount Lushan was named a “cultural landscape” and is not only known for exceptional natural landscapes, which enjoy the honor of being “the top beautiful scenery in the world,” it is also very unique and peculiar as the White Deer Grotto Academy is the “top academy in the world.” Therefore, Mount Lushan is in line with the standards of world heritage in terms of authenticity. Moreover, the beautiful scenery of Mount Lushan is extremely well-preserved throughout the ages and is more beautiful now. On the other side, White Deer Grotto Academy is also well-respected and preserved, and still exists today. Therefore, the mountain has an advantage of integrity, and is in line with the standards of world heritage in terms of completeness. Mount Lushan, as a world cultural landscape, will be attached with more and more attention and praise.

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