What the project aims to achieve is the recognition of the Great Wall as a living ecosystem, showing a different picture of the Wall, namely not the architectural nor historical sight, instead the human and natural ecosystem, exploring human activities in the area and understanding how they interact with the natural environment and the Wall and how these three elements are or can become mutually beneficial. During the fieldwork there will be a comprehensive observation and collection of information about the cultural peculiarities and natural uniqueness of the ecosystem. The project aims at correctly produce an innovative interpretation of the issue itself.

While travelling along the provinces, another purpose will be that of exploring Sino-European cultural relations through a bottom-up approach, showing that cooperation between two passionate foreigners and local long-established communities can be mutually beneficial, especially if the common aim is the conservation of an ecosystem, which is also a world heritage. Increase awareness on the importance of conservation, sustainable development, tourism sustainability, value and respect of local cultures, and on the close ties between nature and cultural heritage is another main goal. This goes well along with the aim of fostering Great Wall ecosystem environmental preservation through sharing positive practices and new solutions abiding from mutual dialogue and common experiences. Collecting and sharing views, tools, experience and examples of various local communities on development opportunities while respecting and conserving the environment, in order to conduct sustainable activities. 

All of this will be made stressing the splendor and variety of rural local cultures in China, less famous than touristic sights, nonetheless characterized by an equally relevant cultural heritage, fostering their conservation. Understanding whether habits, food, typical products, myths and beliefs of various communities living along different spots of the Wall share similarities due to this common characteristic; in other terms, the goal consists of understanding whether the Ming Dynasty Wall has been a “Great Road” connecting and influencing distant communities living along it. We intend to encourage this new study approach integration to existing ones.

At the end of the day, inspiring explorers and dreamers of all ages, showing that even small steps may have a positive impact on a wider community, is the final reason why this initiative came to life. The aim is to show that the Chinese proverb “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” is not just a common saying, instead it can become true with the right balance between passion, reason and preparation.



Ningxia 宁夏

2020-07-26 06:10

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Ningxia 宁夏

Discover Ningxia, 宁夏.




Discover Ningxia 宁夏





Ningxia (宁夏) is an autonomous region located in north-central China. Its capital is Yinchuan (银川), also known as “Phoenix City”. It is the smallest province in China, and it mostly consists of a desert plateau, except for the fertile plain irrigated by the Yellow River and its many artificial canals built since the Qin dynasty in the North.  Its climate is continental, with average temperatures ranging from 27°C to -14°C.

Ethnic groups and cultural heritage


5 ethnic groups live in Ningxia: Han, Hui, Manchu, Tibetan and Mongols.

The languages mainly spoken in the area are Mandarin Chinese, Tibetan and Mongolian. The predominant religious believes are Islam and Buddhism.

Ningxia, defined by the media  as “the region with the most abundant culture south of the Yangtze River” (China Daily), offers many historical relics, such as the Chengtian Pagoda Temple (承天寺塔 ), the Haibao Pagoda Temple (海宝塔寺), the Rock Paintings of Helan Mountain (贺兰山岩画), and the Western Xia Imperial Tombs (西夏王陵), also known as “Pyramids of China”.

Great Wall


The first relics of the Great Wall in Ningxia date back to the Warrior States period (475-221 BC). Under the Qin Dynasty (221 – 207 BC), Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD), Sui Dynasty (581–618), and Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644), the Wall was extended and renovated.

Local materials, such as rammed earth, were used to build the Wall in the area.

The most famous sections are: the Qin State Great Wall Relics in Guyuan, Ming Dynasty Great Wall Relics (West Line, North Line, East Line, and Guyuan Inner Line), Sanguankou, Shuidonggou, and Helankou Pass.

The remaining parts of the Great Wall in the province are at risk, due to the harsh climate conditions and to centuries of natural erosion.





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