Impact on the Sights

As demonstrated by the highly frequent appearances of the Three Gorges Project in the media, it is natural for the people of China to display their concern for the historical relics and scenic locations that are suffering from immersion. The Three Gorges is a world renowned tourist attraction and is the greatest treasure of the Yangtze Civilization. Precious cultural relics and sites are spread across this area, ranging from inscriptions to ancient residential areas. The time spans from the Paleolithic Age to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Some of these are and will be right under the waterline until the year 2009 when the normal reservoir level reaches 175 meters (574 feet) above sea level.

When the normal pool level reaches 175 meters, the water will be held with the aid of a dam and will be pushed back to the upper reach as far as Chongqing. Thus the reservoir will stretch to a length of over 660 kilometers (410 miles). The areas affected will be cities, counties and small towns in Chongqing and Hubei Province with a submerged area of 630 square kilometers (155,676 acres). Consequently, ancient towns which are home to thousands of years worth of history will fall prey to the rising water. It is estimated that 25 sites will be submerged.

Some of the most famous affected cultural and historical sites are listed below along with the plans which have been drafted to conserve them as far as possible:

Zhangfei Temple in the County of Yunyang: This will be dismantled and reconstructed with the original materials in a higher locus.

Dachang Ancient Town in the County of Wushan: Only the Compound of Wen is to be dismantled and reconstructed.

Quyuan Temple in the County of Zigui: To be reconstructed nearby.

White Crane Ridge in the County of Fuling: The plan is to build an under water museum displaying the numerous seals and inscriptions.

Shibaozhai in the County of Zhong: Already partly submerged, the 12-tired architecture is not affected.

Ghost City
in the County of Fengdu: As water rises only to the foot of the Ming Mountain; the 'Ghost City' is not affected.

Tumulus in past dynasties: Inundated.

Mengliang Stairway: The stairway will be chiseled in higher places.

Plank Roads (Qutang Section): Chiseled in a higher locus.

Chalk Wall and the inscriptions: Moved and copied to settle in a higher place.

With the water line rising to a range of 10 to100 meters (33-328 feet) the Three Gorges will no doubt be affected to some extent. However, it will still be possible to appreciate the beauty of the gorges just as much. Owing to the fact that most of the mountains on the shore have an average height of 1,000 meters (3281 feet), they are unlikely to be greatly affected by the rising water and the spectacular view is still visible even if the reservoir reached its maximum 175 meters. Only the western section of Xiling Gorge eels much shallow during the low water season but the spacious lake view does compensate for this.

Read More about Three Gorges Project:      Billian Future     

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