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Silk Road & Grand Canal Named World Heritage Sites

China’s Grand Canal and the Silk Road have been named to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage List. The esteemed list is made up of sites throughout the world that have been deemed important for their cultural and historical contributions. China’s Grand Canal, a vast waterway system constructed in the 5th century and running to this day from Beijing to Hangzhou, is the world’s longest artificial waterway. It links five of China’s most important river basins and played an important role in the country’s development.

The portion of the Silk Road that was named to the UNESCO list runs through China, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, and served as a corridor for trade and cultural exchanges between Asia and Europe from thousands of years ago. This portion of the route has 33 historical sites, with 22 of them in China, including palaces, Buddhist cave temples, sections of the Great Wall, ancient ruins, tombs and other historic buildings.
 
The Grand Canal, Hangzhou
The Grand Canal, Hangzhou

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