Grand Canal (China)
The Grand Canal or Dayunhe or Jing–Hang Grand Canal (Chinese: 京杭大运河; pinyin: Jīng-Háng Dà Yùnhé; literally: "Beijing–Hangzhou Grand Canal") is the longest and oldest canal and artificial river in the world.
|Grand Canal of China|
Watercraft moving across the Grand Canal of China in Suzhou
|Length||1,794 km (1,115 miles)|
|Construction began||Sui dynasty|
|Connects to||Hai River, Yellow River, Huai River, Yangzi River, Qiantang River|
|Official name||The Grand Canal|
|Criteria||i, iii, iv, vi|
|Designated||2014 (38th session)|
"Grand Canal" in Simplified (top) and Traditional (bottom) Chinese characters
|Literal meaning||"Great Transport River"|
|Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal|
The oldest parts of the canal were built during the 5th century BC.
The canal amazed many people throughout history including Japanese monk Ennin (794–864), Persian historian Rashid al-Din (1247–1318), Korean official Choe Bu (1454–1504), and Italian missionary Matteo Ricci (1552–1610).
Historically, flooding of the Yellow River threatened to break the canal. During wartime the canal was even used as a weapon: the dikes of the Yellow River were sometimes broken to flood the enemy troops. But this caused disasters and hurt the economy.
The Canal has greatly improved China's economy and increased trade between the north and south. It is still used heavily to this day.
It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.