Map of Historic Monuments and Sites of Ancient Quanzhou (Zayton)
The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.
Visited June 2017
Quanzhou is located in Fujian province, on the southeast coast of China, around 100 km NE from Xiamen. It was a very important port and starting point of the Chinese maritime silk road during Middle Ages. From its Arabic name, Zaytoun, the English/French name of satin (sateen) was derived, because this fabric was originally made of silk.
The history of city is shaped by its maritime trading connections and activities. A long time ago its historical heart was located closer to the sea; now port facilities are far from the city center.
The nominated sites and monument are scattered around the city and its environs. And that means it is not possible to visit/see all components in one day, even if you have your own mean of transport. In total there are 16 components and they can be divided into three categories: 1. Sites and monuments related to maritime trade activities (examples: * site of worship: Jiuri Hill Relics and Inscription; * Administrative site: Shibosi Office Relic; * Navigation facilities: Shihu Docks, Fashi Docks, Wanshou Pagoda, Liusheng Pagoda; * Transportation facilities: Luoyang Bridge; Anping Bridge; *production sites: Kiln Sites at Jinjiaoyi Hill); 2. Sites and monuments related to culture/religion (Kaiyuan Temple – Buddhist and Hindu; Qingjing Mosque and Islamic cemetery – Islam; Cao’an Temple – Manicheism; Confucius Temple – Confucianism; Stone Statue of Lao Tze – Taoism; Tianhou Temple -Mazu, goddess of sea); 3. Sites and monuments related to urban development (city walls and gates; street layout of the old city).
The city is ready for being inscribed on the WH list: most nominated places are very well signposted and have information in English. The new visitors center is located not very far from the train station, by the park in the northern part of the city where Lao Tze statue is located. You can get there by local bus. On the leaflet that you can get there from there there’s a map with all the components are marked. I was told that next year they will launch a new bus line connecting the most impressive monuments. Now you can cover most on this route using local buses, by foot and by taxi.
Almost all monuments are from Song and Tang dynasties. Only statue of Mani (photo) in the Cao’an temple is from Yuan dynasty. And this is the only one which is not located in Quenzhou, but in the neighbouring city of Luoshan town, Juinjiang. This relief is the world’s only remaining statue of Mani, founder of Manichaeism. Note, that the small temple closes at 5pm.
The most impressive is the statue of Lao Tze; they will tell you that this is the biggest in Fujian, but in my opinion the bigger one (although much younger) is located in the Wuyi shan (another WHS).
This is the itinerary that let me see most of the nominated components in one day: Lao Tze statue → Islamic Holy Tombs → Shibosi Office Relic → Kaiyuan Temple → Zhongshan historic neighbourhood → Quingjin Mosque → Tianhou Temple → Cao’an temple.