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Architecture in China

A Guide For Travelers to the People's Republic of China


Snaking along the hills in the Mongolian plain

The Great Wall of China, a "New Wonder of the World"

Press photo © 2000-2006 NewOpenWorld Foundation
Shun Hing Square in Shenzhen, China. K.Y. Cheung Design Assc., Architects.

Shun Hing Square in Shenzhen, China. K.Y. Cheung Design Assc., Architects.

Photo ©iStockPhoto.com/Liugen Cheng
The Bank of China building in Hong Kong. Ieoh Ming Pei, architect.

The Bank of China building in Hong Kong. Ieoh Ming Pei, Architect.

Photo ©iStockPhoto.com/My Walkabout Photography

The People's Republic of China is a land of superlatives. It's the largest country in East Asia and the most populous country in the world. China contains the world's longest human-made structure and some of the world's most ancient architecture. At the same time, the country is racing into the future. China is one of the world's largest exporters and home to some of the world's tallest skyscrapers.

Must-See in Beijing:

Beijing in is the capital city of China and home to some of China's most important historic landmarks.

Site of the 2008 Summer Olympics, Beijing also has many bold modern buildings.

Must-See in Shanghai:

Shanghai is the largest city in the People's Republic of China and largest cargo port in the world. The busy metropolis has more than 3,100 skyscrapers and some of the nation's most innovative modern architecture. Also in Shanghai are historic buildings along the Huangpu River in a region called The Bund.

Must-See in Hong Kong:

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region was a crown colony of the United Kingdom from 1842 to 1997. The region is known for its thriving capitalist economy and soaring skyscrapers. Many of the world's tallest buildings are located in Hong Kong.

Must-See in Guangzhou:

Also known as Canton, Guangzhou is a densely-populated commercial and manufacturing center. Guangzhou is the capital of the Guangdong Province.

Must-See in Nanjing:

Nanjing is the capital of China's Jiangsu Province and one of the oldest cities in southern China.

Must-See in Shenzhen:

Bordering Hong Kong, Shenzhen is an important foreign investment center and one of the busiest ports in China.

  • Shun Hing Square (also known as Di Wang Mansion or Di Wang Commercial Centre), Shenzhen

Must-See in Suzhou:

Must-See Along the Yangtze River:

Spanning about 410 miles (660 kilometers) along the Yangtze River, the Three Gorges Dam is China's biggest construction project since the Great Wall. The massive dam is expected to become the world's largest producer of hydro-electric power.

Must See in Tibet:

Tibet is the highest region on earth and site of the Potala Palace, Norbulingka, and many significant temples and monasteries. Tibet Photo Gallery

Must-See in Xi'An:

Xi'An is capital of Shaanxi province and the first historic capital of China. Here is the site of one of the world's greatest archaelogical wonders.

Must-See in Ningbo:

This harbor city may be best known to tourists for the Hangzhou Bay Bridge, one of the longest sea-crossing bridges in the world, which has connected Ningbo with Jiaxing since May 2008. In Ningbo itself, Pritzker architect Wang Shu has been careful to preserve the history and culture of one of China's oldest ports.

See other works by Wang Shu, Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate, 2012

Also Don't Miss:

  • Pingyao City
    The only remaining fully intact city wall in China

Vernacular Architecture in China:

Houses and other folk architecture in China take on a variety of forms to provide the need for basic shelter in a widely varied landscape.
  • Yin Yu Tang. This 18th century home from southeastern China has been reconstructed at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusettes, USA
  • Chinese Rural Architecture. Photographs by Olivier Laude.
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