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The Old Town of Lijiang, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Updated : 2017-02-22
 The Old Town of Lijiang, located in the Lijiang Autonomous County of the Naxi Ethnic Minority, Southwest China’s Yunnan province, is one of the last surviving ancient towns in China.

Lying in a broad, fertile valley in the northwest of Yunnan Province, the Old Town of Lijiang has been a commercial, political and cultural center of the Naxi people and other ethnic minorities for over eight centuries.

Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, Lijiang's Naxi people still preserve much of their native Dongba culture and deep spiritual connection to nature.

Lijiang may spoil you with its beauty. Snow-capped mountain vistas, ancient architecture and streets, canals and waterways, and the Naxi people and their distinct culture give Lijiang its universal value to mankind. The aged wooden buildings decked with hanging red lanterns and local musicians playing their centuries-old Naxi instruments in the time-worn streets, display a lifestyle and culture that seem lost in time.

As UNESCO describes the village on its website,“The Old Town of Lijiang, which is perfectly adapted to the uneven topography of this key commercial and strategic site, has retained a historic townscape of high quality and authenticity. Its architecture is noteworthy for the blending of elements from several cultures that have come together over many centuries. Lijiang also possesses an ancient water-supply system of great complexity and ingenuity that still functions effectively today.”

“Lijiang is an exceptional ancient town set in a dramatic landscape that represents the harmonious fusion of different cultural traditions to produce an urban landscape of outstanding quality,” the World Heritage Committee said in its justification for inscription.

© Protection Bureau of World Cultural Heritage Lijiang Old Town.
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