Célébrée durant une bonne partie de l'histoire chinoise dans l'art et la littérature (par exemple dans le style shanshui « montagne et eau », milieu du XVIe siècle), Huangshan, la plus belle montagne de Chine, exerce toujours la même fascination sur les visiteurs, les poètes, les peintres et les photographes d'aujourd'hui venus en pèlerinage dans ce lieu enchanteur, connu pour son paysage grandiose composé de nombreux rochers et pics granitiques émergeant d'une mer de nuages.
Huangshan is the mountain best renowned for its scenery in China, and has an interesting but complex geological history. It features numerous imposing peaks, whose formation dates back some 100 million years to the Mesozoic Era, when the ancient Yangtse Sea disappeared as a result of crustal movements and subsequent uplift. The geology and geomorphology of the region is undoubtedly of great interest ; of particular note are the features resulting from glaciation, the folds and faults which have resulted from tectonic activity and the high altitude karst features including calcareous tufa shoals, waterfalls, and stepped lakes. Aesthetically, the site presents an almost unique spectacle, with its combined attraction of high mountains, forests, lakes, stepped lakes, waterfalls, and calcareous shoals. The rich variety of colours is also notable, many of the lakes having clear blue, turquoise, or green waters, while in autumn many of the leaves turn to a range of rich colours. The site supports a high diversity of plant and animal species, including a number of threatened species.
U-shaped valleys, striations, and boulders are evidence of later glaciation during the Quaternary Period. Forests of stone pillars are numerous ; other features include grotesquely shaped rocks, waterfalls, lakes, and hot springs. The oldest rocks are the sedimentary deposits and metamorphic rocks from the Yangtse Sea, formed over 570 million years ago during the Proterozoic Era and outcropping at the southern foot of Mount Huangshan and south of the Xiaoyaoxi fault. Granite formations, formed during periods of orogenic activity, are characterized by well advanced longitudinal joints, responsible for the many impressive caves, ridges, and gorges.
Forests, characterized by Masson pine below 800m and Huangshan pine from 800m to 1800m, cover more than half of the site. Predominantly evergreen moist forest occurs between 600m and 1100m. Deciduous forest occurs from 1100m to 1800m, and alpine grassland above the tree line. Some 1650 plant species have been recorded, of which about 1450 are native and the rest have been introduced over the last 20 years. A number of trees are celebrated on account of their age, grotesque shape, or precipitously perched position, including 1000-year old specimens of Huangshan pine, maidenhair tree (Ginkgo biloba ), and alpine juniper Sabina squamata .
The vertebrate fauna comprises 300 species and includes mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fishes. A total of 13 species is under state protection. Large mammals include rhesus and stump-tailed macaques, Asiatic black bear, wild dog, civet, Chinese ferret-badger, clouded leopard, wild boar, sika deer, mainland serow, red-bellied and spotted squirrels, and pangolin. Notable among the avifauna is Oriental white stork.
The high esteem accredited to Huangshan throughout much of Chinese history has given rise to the Huangshan culture. Generation after generation, people have come to eulogize the mountain, resulting in a rich legacy of art and literature. Huangshan is considered to be a prime example of classic Chinese scenery, as typified in Chinese landscape paintings. On 17 June 747, during the Tang Dynasty, an Imperial order was issued to name it Huangshan (Yellow Mountain). Up until that time, however, the mountain had remained largely inaccessible from the outside world. Thereafter, poets, literary scholars, and numerous other celebrities were among the many visitors, and by the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) 64 temples had been constructed on the mountain. During the Ming Dynasty, in 1606, Monk Pumen came to Huangshan and built Fahai Meditation Temple and Wonshu Temple, connecting them by steps cut into the mountain. Paintings and drawings of the mountain appeared as early as the mid-16th century.
The inclusion of a number of Tibetan villages in the buffer zone adds to the cultural interest of the area. Source : UNESCO/CLT/WHC
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Proclaimed a site of scenic beauty and historic interest by the State Council of the People's Republic of China in 1982. Protection measures date back to 1935 when the administrative area of Mount Huangshan was delimited, the boundaries providing the basis to the configuration of the existing scenic beauty and historic interest site. Source : évaluation des Organisations consultatives