Historic Monuments of Dengfeng

Historic Monuments of Dengfeng in the “Centre of Heaven and Earth”

In 2010, it was inscribed on the list of World Heritage by UNESCO.
Mount Songshang is considered to be the central sacred mountain of China. At the foot of this 1500 metre high mountain, close to the city of Dengfeng in Henan province and spread over a 40 square-kilometre circle, stand eight clusters of buildings and sites, including three Han Que gates - remains of the oldest religious edifices in China -, temples, the Zhougong Sundial Platform and the Dengfeng Observatory. Constructed over the course of nine dynasties, these buildings are reflections of different ways of perceiving the centre of heaven and earth and the power of the mountain as a centre for religious devotion. The historical monuments of Dengfeng include some of the best examples of ancient Chinese buildings devoted to ritual, science, technology and education.
The Historic Monuments of Dengfeng in “The Center of Heaven and Earth” are situated at Dengfeng City, Henan Province. This heritage site list includes eleven historic monuments at eight sites: the Zhougong Sundial Platform and the Dengfeng Observatory, the Huishan Temple, Songyang College, the Tower of the Songyue Temple, three building complexes of the Shaolin Temple (the Pagoda Forest, the Chuzu Hut, and the Changzhu Compound, which is the courtyard of the managing priest) and three monuments of Eastern Han Dynasty (Taishi monument, Shaoshi Monument and Qimu Monument). According to the ancient Chinese view of the universe, China sits in the middle of heaven and Earth, the core of which lies in the central part of China. For many centuries Dengfeng was considered to be the center of this part of China; as a result, Dengfeng became the site for the construction of astronomical observation and land surveying structures, the capital for early dynasties, and the location for buildings of Confucianist, Buddhist, and Taoist cultures. Surviving through the seven dynasties of Han, Wei, Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming, and Qing, the historic buildings in Dengfeng not only demonstrate the importance of their location as “The Center of Heaven and Earth” in the ancient Chinese view of the universe but also provide a visual history of the architecture in the central part of China during the past 5, 000 years.