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.



Shanxi 山西

2020-09-07 19:01

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unesco, world-heritage,

Shanxi 山西

Discover Shanxi 山西




Discover Shanxi 山西




Shanxi 山西is a province located in northern China. Its capital is Taiyuan (太原). Shanxi mainly consists of a plateau of 1,000 – 1,800 meters above sea level, the Loess Plateau (黃土高原), bounded by mountains including Mount Wutai (五台山), the Taihang Mountains (太行山), and the Lüliang Mountains (呂梁山脈). Shanxi is in a strategic position, since it is located between the fertile plains of Hebei and Henan. Its climate is semiarid.


Ethnic groups and cultural heritage

34 ethnic groups live in Inner Mongolia, however the most numerous are: Han, Hui, Korean, Manchu, Mongolian and  Tibetan.

The languages mainly spoken in the area is Mandarin. The predominant religious belief is Buddhism.

Due to the strategic position of Shanxi, a varied cultural and folkloric tradition developed in the region. Shanxi is famous for its opera, metalworking, sculpture and pottery figures used for temple decoration.

Among the most famous monuments of the province some must be mentioned: Jin Memorial Hall, Yungang Grottoes (云冈石窟), and the ancient city of Pingyao (平遥).


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 most famous remaining sections of the Great Wall in Shanxi are Yanmenguan (雁门关, also known as “Wild Goose Pass”), Niangzi Pass (娘子关), Guguan (固关), Pianguan (偏关县), Ningwu Pass (宁武关) and the Great Wall in Datong.

The remaining parts of the Great Wall in the province are at risk, mostly due to centuries of natural erosion under a harsh climate - earthquakes, flood, and weathering are the main responsible to the Great Wall erosion in the area.






Map by www.d-maps.com

Yungang Grottoes @j._lau (Instagram)

Yanmenguan @davewen1 (Instagram)

Moutn Wutai @hey_binbin (Instagram)

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