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THE CULTURAL CITIES OF CHINA

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13 X 52 + 90 Min. Pilot

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Category :   Cultural, Travel & Adventure



 

1 Shenyang - A Magnificent Old Capital (8-9) Situated in the center of Liaoning province in Northeast China, Shenyang was first built during the Han Dynasty (206 B.C. - A.D. 220) and known then as Houcheng. It was called Shenzhou during the Liao Dynasty (916-1255), then rebuilt and renamed Zhongjiecheng during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). In the year 1625, the great warrior Nuerhachi, founder of the Manchu Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), enlarged and added an outer wall to Shenyang which he used as his capital before leading his armies southward to conquer the rest of China.

The Imperial Palace at Shenyang is today the best preserved palace complex in China apart from the one at Beijing, and the Zhaoling, Fuling and Yongling mausoleums in the city's outskirts contain the remains of Nuerhachi and his ancestors. The architecture is unique due to the incorporation of designs representing horsemanship, archery and the "Eight Banner" Manchu military caste system.

Other points of interest are the Tashan mountain resort, the Yong'an stone bridge and the Xinle neolithic relics as well as Manchu writing, dances and palace of music which will give the viewer glimpses of Shenyang's historic past.

2. Beijing - China's Ancient Capital (10) Before the Manchus made Beijing their capital in 1644, the city had served as capital of three earlier dynasties - the Jin (1115-1234), Yuan (1271-1368) and Ming (1368-1644).

Eight hundred years of construction gave Beijing many magnificent palaces, beautiful parks and imposing temples and monasteries. Here we see such historical and cultural landmarks as the Forbidden City, the Great Wall of China, the Ming Tombs, the Temple of Heaven and the site of the Peking Man in addition to the modern Asian Games City.

The crowded markets and bazaars, the spectacular Peking Operas, the wide boulevards and narrow lanes, and the native inhabitants speaking their distinctive argot all contribute to the color and enchantment of this world-famous city of culture.

3. Chengde - The Imperial Summer Resort (6-7) Traveling 250 kilometers north of Beijing through the Gubeikou Pass in the Great Wall and along the old Imperial Road, one arrives at the famous tourist city Chengde. Here we find China's largest existing imperial park--the Summer Mountain Resort of the Qing emperors.

On the fringe of this resort is a crescent formed by eight "outer" temples embodying features of Han, Manchu, Mongol and Tibetan architecture. These treasures of Buddhist art and architecture enhanced the symbolic significance of the city of Chengde, once the second political center of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911)

This historical city is noted for its scenic wonders southern style landscapes among fantastic rocks and mountain peaks and in this film the strains of palace music will accompany the viewer on a unique tour of the enchanting scenes of what was once a magnificent multicultural center.

4. Baoding - A City of Historic Fame (7-8) Situated at the center of Hebei Province in North China and bordered by the towering Taihang Mountains to the east and the Baiyangdian Lake region to the west, the city of Baoding forms a strategic triangle with the cities of Beijing and Tianjin.

More than 2,300 years old, Baoding belonged to the state of Yan during the Western Zhou Dynasty (11 th century B.C.-711 B.C.) and remained under the jurisdiction of that state until the middle of the Warring States period (475-221 B.C.). Between the time of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and the 60's of the 20 th century, Boading was successively an important military stronghold south of Beijing and the capital of Chili province, later renamed Hebei Province.


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