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.



Shaanxi 陕西

2020-08-11 19:37

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visit shaanxi, cultural heritage, qingqiang, chiense opera, xian, zhenbeitai, mount hua, tenbillionsteps,

Shaanxi 陕西

Discover Shaanxi 陕西



Discover Shaanxi 陕西



Shaanxi 陕西 is a provinced located in north-sentral China. Its capital is Xian (西安). Shaanxi is divided in three natural regions – a plateau in the north, the Wei River valley in the center, and a mountainous area in the south. The climate is hot and moist, however it  varies much in different areas due to local topography .

Ethnic groups and cultural heritage

2 ethnic groups live in Shaanxi: Han and Hui.

The languages mainly spoken in the area are Mandarin,  and Jin. The predominant religious believes are Buddhism and Daoism.

Shaanxi is an important historic centre of Chinese civilization. It is famous for its art, ceramics (theYangshao culture, 仰韶文化,  whose relics were founded also in Henan and Shanxi, is one of the oldest culture whose ceramics were found in Shaanxi), folk songs (Qinqiang Opera, 秦腔, or Luantan 亂彈 is extremely famous, for instance), historic relicts (like the  terracotta army, 秦始皇兵马俑), and scenic spots (like Mount Hua, 华山).


Great Wall

The first relics of the Great Wall in Shaanxi date back to the Warrior States period (475-221 BC). The Wall was extended under the Qin Dynasty (221 – 207 BC), and later under the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644 AD).

The Great Wall of the Qin State is made of rammed earth and stones and its lower part is now covered by sand. The Ming Dynasty Great Wall is relatively well-preserved: 36 of the 45 forts can still be visited today. The most famous section is Zhenbeitai Tower (镇北台) in Yulin (玉林), known as the “First Tower of the Great Wall”.

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




Photo credits

China map by www.d-maps.com

Qinqiang Opera by @cctv (Instagram)

Sunset photo by @richerdrobson (Instagram)

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