World heritage

Quanzhou: Emporium of the World in Song-Yuan China

Updated: Jul 28, 2021 Print
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Skyline of historical neighborhood of Quanzhou [Photo by Chen Yingjie for]

The entry includes 22 sites and monuments across Quanzhou, East China's Fujian province. They jointly reflect a prosperous picture of maritime trade from the 10th to 14th centuries.

China's Song (960-1279) and Yuan (1271-1368) dynasties witnessed a peak in historical Chinese maritime trade, and Quanzhou, then known overseas as Zayton in Arabic, grew into one of the busiest seaports in the world.

The 22 representative historic monuments and sites include administrative buildings and structures; facilities showing the city's structure, such as its gates, walls and roads; religious sites and statues that witnessed multicultural communities; cultural memorial sites and monuments; iron and ceramic production sites; and the city's transportation network formed by bridges, docks and pagodas that guided voyages.

Key sites in Quanzhou include Kaiyuan Temple -- the biggest ancient Buddhist temple in Fujian province -- Luoyang Bridge, Qingjing Mosque -- one of the oldest mosques in China -- and the archaeological site of the Maritime Trade Office, established in 1087 as a national-level key institution guiding trade.

Quanzhou: Emporium of the World in Song-Yuan China was inscribed on the World Heritage List in July, 2021.

Jiuri Mountain Wind-Praying Inscriptions: Carved in the cliff, these inscriptions record the ritual ceremonies held by state commissioners, local officials and members of the imperial clan responsible for the management of overseas trade in the Song Dynasty (960-1279). Their purpose was to pray for favorable winds to aid voyages. [Photo by Wang Kaihao/]

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