- Gordon Dumoulin
Newest UNESCO world heritage... the ancient maritime silk road's gateway...
New 2021 UNESCO World Heritage site
Quanzhou, cosmopolitan gateway of the ancient maritime silk road
𝗤𝘂𝗮𝗻𝘇𝗵𝗼𝘂 (泉州市) was a vibrant ancient port in Fujian province, a maritime emporium during the Song and Yuan periods from 10th - 14th centuries AD and crucial gateway both outwards to the maritime trading routes and inwards to the vaste Chinese hinterland.
Generally less known today then its sister 𝗫𝗶𝗮𝗺𝗲𝗻 about 100km south, Quanzhou (often mentioned as Zaiton in old western literature) was long one of China's leading cosmopolitan cities, a thriving trading center for centuries with lots of cultures, religions and people from all over the world visiting, trading and living. It was visited by both 𝗠𝗮𝗿𝗰𝗼 𝗣𝗼𝗹𝗼 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗜𝗯𝗻 𝗕𝗮𝘁𝘁𝘂𝘁𝗮 and both travelers praised it as one of 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗺𝗼𝘀𝘁 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝘀𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗼𝘂𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗴𝗹𝗼𝗿𝗶𝗼𝘂𝘀 𝗰𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗲𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗹𝗱. In the 19th century Quanzhou was used by the British empire as official opium depot and Chinese entrance port to keep the opium out of Hongkong. The old town still breathes the cosmopolitan melting pot of different cultures and trade from centuries ago.
Today Quanzhou is still a vibrant metropolis with about 8 million inhabitants, known in China and abroad for its 𝗮𝗴𝗿𝗶𝗰𝘂𝗹𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗮𝗹 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗲𝗮 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗱𝘂𝗰𝘁𝘀, the crafts of among others 𝘁𝗲𝘅𝘁𝗶𝗹𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗰𝗲𝗿𝗮𝗺𝗶𝗰𝘀, and home to various industrial centers. Quanzhou has topped the Fujian province's GDP list for 22 consecutive years (with Fujian also being of the China's richest provinces).
Also amazing to see on the 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟭 𝗨𝗡𝗘𝗦𝗖𝗢 𝗪𝗼𝗿𝗹𝗱 𝗛𝗲𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗮𝗴𝗲 𝗹𝗶𝘀𝘁 the extension of the Dutch Water Defense lines from my homeland the Netherlands, the Trans-Iranian railway connecting the Caspian Sea with the Persian Gulf (1927-1938) in Iran and the Paseo del Prado and Buen Retiro, along Madrid’s tree-lined Paseo del Prado Boulevard.
Read more about the new 2021 UNESCO World Heritage sites in below links :
#unescoworldheritage #china #quanzhou #fujian #xiamen #chinesehistory #chinesesociety #worldhistory
Picture sources : UNESCO, unsplash, CGTN, Sixthtone