Caves of the Thousand Buddhas
From the splendor of Beijing's Forbidden City to the elegance of the Dazu Rock Carvings of Chongqing that depict Buddhist, Confucian, and Daoist beliefs, UNESCO”s World Heritage Sites of China offer spectacular windows into the country's past. Robert DeCaroli, professor of art history at George Mason University, highlights historic palaces, gardens, temples, tombs, and other significant cultural and natural places that are on UNESCO’s register of critical sites the world over that must be preserved for all time.
9:30–10:45 a.m. Palaces and Residences of the Elite
The grand splendor of the Forbidden City and the Summer Palace; the ruins of the Mongol stronghold of Xanadu; the remains of the Korean capital of Koguryo; and the Potala Palace in Tibet, former home of the Dalai Lama.
11 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Gardens and Roads
The subtle beauty of the elite gardens of Suzhou, created over the span of a thousand years. The importance of sweeping roads, walls, and canals that connected and divided the disparate parts of the empire.
12:30–1:30 p.m. Break
1:30-2:45 p.m. Buddhist Caves
The great Buddhist centers at Yungang, Mogao, Lushan, Dazu, and Longmen. How these sites arose and why they remained popular over centuries, while other similar sites declined.
3–4 p.m. Temples and Tombs
Daoist mountain sites and the Temple of Heaven in Beijing; the grand tombs of various Qin, Ming, and Qing rulers; and the Temple and Cemetery of Confucius’s family in Qufu.
World Art History Certificate elective: Earn 1 credit*
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*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1 elective credit. Not yet enrolled? Learn about the program, its benefits, and how to register here.