China's Shaolin Temple, Birthplace of Kung Fu, Named World Heritage Site

Shaolin temple, the Buddhist monastery that’s also the birthplace of kung fu, has been added to the United Nations’ list of World Heritage Sites.

The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization named historical monuments near Dengfeng city, including the Shaolin, to its list of heritage sites yesterday, according to a statement on the group’s website.

Dengfeng is the 40th site in China to be added to the Unesco heritage list, which may help boost tourism to the city in Henan province. Local authorities had applied for the Unesco designation for nine years, Xinhua News Agency reported. China is also ‘ready’ to apply next year for West Lake in the eastern city of Hangzhou to be added, according to Xinhua.

The Dengfeng site in central China includes eight clusters of structures at the foot of the 1,500 meter-high Songshan mountain. In addition to Shaolin temple, the site also includes three Han Que gates, which are the remains of the oldest religious edifices in China, according to Unesco.

Unesco has named 910 locations to its World Heritage Sites list, which includes 704 cultural sites, 179 natural heritage sites and 27 mixed properties.

--Penny Peng in Beijing. Editors: John Liu, Eugene Tang.

To contact Bloomberg News staff on this story: Penny Peng in Beijing at +86-10-6649-7504 or

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