File photo taken on Oct. 4, 2008 shows the white pagoda of the Tayuan Temple on Mount Wutai in north China's Shanxi Province. Mount Wutai was approved for inscription on the World Heritage List June 26, 2009 during the 33rd session of the World Heritage Committee in Seville, Spain. (Xinhua/Yan Yan)
SEVILLE, Spain, June 26 (Xinhua) -- China's Mount
Wutai on Friday became China's 38th site to join UNESCO's World Heritage List as
a cultural landscape.
"We've been through a rough path, full of suspense,"
Tong Mingkang, deputy chief of China's State Administration of Cultural
Heritage, said after the announcement.
Mount Wutai, literally, the five-terrace mountain, is
a sacred Buddhist mountain with five flat peaks. The cultural landscape features
53 monasteries and includes the East Main Hall of Foguang Temple, a structure
that was built in 857 during the Tang Dynasty (618-917) and is one of the oldest
wooden buildings in China.
It also features the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644)
Shuxiang Temple with a huge complex of 500 statues
representing Buddhist stories woven into three
dimensional pictures of mountains and water.
The structures on the site represent a catalogue of
the way Buddhist architecture developed and influenced palace building in China
for more than one millennium.
Mount Wutai, located in Shanxi Province, is the
highest mountain in northern China and is remarkable for its morphology
characterized by precipitous sides with five open treeless peaks. Temples were
built on the site from the first century AD to the early 20th century.
The 33rd Session of the World Heritage Committee,
chaired by Maria Jesus San Segundo, the ambassador and permanent delegate of
Spain to UNESCO, was expected to add additional sites to its list from the 37
nominations later Friday and Saturday.