IFLA: Cultural Landscapes Committee

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Mount Tai

Cultural Landscape Type: Evolved Continuing, Evolved Relict, Associative

Project Name: General Management Plan for Mount Tai National Park

Project Type: Planning Project, Comprehensive Master Plan and Management Plan

Location: Spanning the cities of Tai’an and Jinan in central Shandong Province with the main peak in the city of Tai’an, China, N36°16′/ E117°6′

Cultural Landscape Size: 25000ha

Property Owner/Steward: People’s Republic of China/ Three-level management system by State, Province and the National Park; the direct management agancy is Administrative Committee of Mount Tai National Park

Funding: Administrative Committee of Mount Tai National Park

Relevant Historical Dates: Mount Tai is a memorial whose history spans the ages of imperial China: from the Shang Dynasty (17th-11th century B.C.) up to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912).

Historic Landscape Architect, Designers: N/A

Contact: YANG Rui; Chair and Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture, Tsinghua University; 0086- 62797027; yrui@tsinghua.edu.cn

Project Description:

The sacred Mount Taishan ('shan' means 'mountain') was the object of an imperial cult for nearly 2,000 years. Chinese emperors of various dynasties have made pilgrimages to Mt. Taishan for sacrificial and political significance. There are extremely rich cultural relics bearing testimony to such visits. Moreover, the artistic masterpieces found there are in perfect harmony with the natural landscape. The eleven gates, the fourteen archways, the fourteen kiosks and the four pavillions which are scattered along the flight of 6,660 steps that rise between heaven and earth are not just simple architectural achievements but are the final touches by human hands to the elements of a splendid natural site. It has always been a source of inspiration for Chinese artists and scholars and symbolizes ancient Chinese civilizations and beliefs. Mt. Taishan is directely and tangibly associated with events whose importance in universal history cannot be minimized, i.e. the emergence of Confucianism, the unification of China, and the appearance of writing and literature in China. (reference: WHC 437)

The mountain has been specifically protected throughout history, except in times of war and revolution. It was designated as a Chinese National Park in 1982, and a World Heritage site in 1987, complying with Criteria (i)(ii)(iii)(iv)(v)(vi)(vii).

This project was based on the revision of the Master Plan for Mt. Taishan National Park (1987-2000). It has explored a wide range of technical methods, trying to improve the traditional technical methods in the national park planning, including: carrying out detailed survey of the landscape resources; first application of the zoning technology; develop specific protective measures of three categories; and the new added content of recreation control planning.

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. . .deterioration or disappearance of any item of the cultural or natural heritage constitutes a harmful impoverishment of the heritage of all the nations of the world.

World Heritage Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, 1972