Three Natural Bridges

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Coordinates: 29°26′02″N107°48′05″E / 29.433863°N 107.80128°E / 29.433863; 107.80128

Geographic coordinate system Coordinate system

A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position; alternatively, a geographic position may be expressed in a combined three-dimensional Cartesian vector. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection.


The Three Natural Bridges. Wulongtianshengsanqiao.JPG
The Three Natural Bridges.

The Three Natural Bridges (simplified Chinese :天生三桥; traditional Chinese :天生三橋; pinyin :Tiānshēng Sān Qiáo) are a series of natural limestone bridges located in Xiannüshan Town ( 仙女山镇 ), Wulong District, Chongqing Municipality, China. [1] They lie within the Wulong Karst National Geology Park, itself a part of the South China Karst-Wulong Karst UNESCO World Heritage Site. [2] In Chinese, the bridges are all named after dragons, namely Tianlong (Chinese:天龙桥; literally: 'Sky Dragon') Qinglong (青龙桥; 'Azure Dragon') and Heilong (黑龙桥; 'Black Dragon').

Simplified Chinese characters Standardized Chinese characters developed in mainland China

Simplified Chinese characters are standardized Chinese characters prescribed in the Table of General Standard Chinese Characters for use in mainland China. Along with traditional Chinese characters, they are one of the two standard character sets of the contemporary Chinese written language. The government of the People's Republic of China in mainland China has promoted them for use in printing since the 1950s and 1960s to encourage literacy. They are officially used in the People's Republic of China, Malaysia and Singapore.

Traditional Chinese characters Traditional Chinese characters

Traditional Chinese characters are Chinese characters in any character set that does not contain newly created characters or character substitutions performed after 1946. They are most commonly the characters in the standardized character sets of Taiwan, of Hong Kong and Macau. The modern shapes of traditional Chinese characters first appeared with the emergence of the clerical script during the Han dynasty and have been more or less stable since the 5th century.

Pinyin Chinese romanization scheme for Mandarin

Hanyu Pinyin, often abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese in mainland China and to some extent in Taiwan. It is often used to teach Standard Mandarin Chinese, which is normally written using Chinese characters. The system includes four diacritics denoting tones. Pinyin without tone marks is used to spell Chinese names and words in languages written with the Latin alphabet, and also in certain computer input methods to enter Chinese characters.


China Chongqing location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Three Natural Bridges
Green pog.svg
Three Natural Bridges (Chongqing)
The Tianlong Bridge. Wulongtianlongqiao.JPG
The Tianlong Bridge.

Spanning the Yangshui River, a tributary of the Wu River, the bridges are at the centre of a 20 km2 (7.7 sq mi) conservation area which also includes:

Sinkhole Depression or hole in the ground caused by collapse of the surface into an existing void space

A sinkhole, also known as a cenote, sink, sink-hole, swallet, swallow hole, or doline, is a depression or hole in the ground caused by some form of collapse of the surface layer. Most are caused by karst processes – the chemical dissolution of carbonate rocks or suffosion processes. Sinkholes vary in size from 1 to 600 m both in diameter and depth, and vary in form from soil-lined bowls to bedrock-edged chasms. Sinkholes may form gradually or suddenly, and are found worldwide.

Given that the distance between the upper end of the Tianlong Bridge and the lower end of the Heilong Bridge is only 1,500 m (4,900 ft), these are not the longest natural bridges. However, they are the only such group of karst structures in the world.[ citation needed ] Between the bridges lie the Qinglong and Shenying tiankengs which have a depth of 276–285 metres and a circumference of 300–522 metres.

Karst Topography formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks

Karst is a topography formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks such as limestone, dolomite, and gypsum. It is characterized by underground drainage systems with sinkholes and caves. It has also been documented for more weathering-resistant rocks, such as quartzite, given the right conditions. Subterranean drainage may limit surface water, with few to no rivers or lakes. However, in regions where the dissolved bedrock is covered or confined by one or more superimposed non-soluble rock strata, distinctive karst features may occur only at subsurface levels and can be totally missing above ground.


Tianlong Bridge (天龙桥)235 metres (771 ft)150 metres (490 ft)147 metres (482 ft)96 metres (315 ft)34 metres (112 ft)
Qinglong Bridge (青龙桥)281 metres (922 ft)168 metres (551 ft)124 metres (407 ft)103 metres (338 ft)31 metres (102 ft)
Heilong Bridge (黑龙桥)223 metres (732 ft)107 metres (351 ft)193 metres (633 ft)116 metres (381 ft)28 metres (92 ft)

See also

The Wulong Karst is a karst landscape located within the borders of Wulong County, Chongqing Municipality, People's Republic of China. It is divided into three areas containing the Three Natural Bridges, the Qingkou Tiankeng (箐口天坑) and Furong Cave respectively. It is a part of the Wulong Karst National Geology Park as well as part of the South China Karst, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Furong Cave cave in Peoples Republic of China

Furong Cave is a karst cave located on the banks of the Furong River, 20 km (12 mi) from the seat of Wulong District, Chongqing, People's Republic of China.

Tianmen Mountain mountain in Peoples Republic of China

Tianmen Mountain, meaning Heaven's Gate Mountain, is a mountain located within Tianmen Mountain National Park, Zhangjiajie, in the northwestern part of Hunan Province, China.

Related Research Articles

Wulong District District in Chongqing, Peoples Republic of China

Wulong District is a district of Chongqing Municipality, China, bordering Guizhou province to the south.

South China Karst karst

The South China Karst, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since June 2007, spans the provinces of Chongqing, Guangxi, Guizhou, and Yunnan. It is noted for its karst features and landscapes as well as rich biodiversity. The site comprises seven clusters Phase I: Libo Karst, Shilin Karst, and Wulong Karst inscribed in 2007, and Phase II: Guilin Karst, Shibing Karst, Jinfoshan Karst, and Huanjiang Karst inscribed in 2014. UNESCO describes the South China Karst as "unrivalled in terms of the diversity of its karst features and landscapes."

Yiyuan Rong Cave Group

The Yiyuan Rong Cave Group is a cluster of Ordovician limestone caves in the area under the administration of the city of Zibo, Shandong Province, China. Rong Cave proper is the namesake of the cave group. It is located about 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) to the north of the town of Tumen. The cave group contains more than 40 caves in total and is the largest cluster of limestone caves in China north of the Yangtze River. It covers an area of approximately 10 square kilometers. Other major caves in the group are Thousand-Men Cave , Resting Cave, Stone-Dragon Cave, Xuanyun Cave, Nine-Skies Cave, Coral Cave, Lingzhi Cave, Shenxian Cave, and Xiaya Cave. The Thousand-Men Cave was used as an arsenal by the Eighth Route Army from September 1938 to March 1939. Some of the major caves in the group have been made accessible to tourists as they are popular attractions.

Shuanghedong (双河洞), is the longest cave in China, in Asia, and the 6th longest in the world in 2018.

Tenglong Cave is a cave located 6.8 km (4.2 mi) from Lichuan City, Hubei, China. It is believed to be the longest monomer karst cave system in the world. The cave entrance is 74 m (243 ft) and 64 m (210 ft) wide, leading to 59.8 km (37.2 mi) of passageways. An underground network of streams runs for 16.8 km (10.4 mi) whilst the cave is the source of the Qingjiang River. Year round temperatures underground remain in the 16–18 degrees Celsius range.

Huanglong Cave

Huanglong Cave is a karst cave located near the Wulingyuan district of Zhangjiajie City, Hunan, People's Republic of China and a national 4A rated scenic area. As of 2010, the cave has over a million visitors per year. Since 1997, the Huanglong Cave scenic area has been managed by Beijing-based China Datong Co. Ltd. It was previously managed directly by the Hunan provincial government.

Luobi Cave is a karst cave under the west face of Yin Ridge (印岭) located 7 km (4.3 mi) north east of Lizhigou Town (荔枝沟镇), 15 km (9.3 mi) from Sanya City, Hainan Province, People's Republic of China.

Shuanlong Cave is a water-filled karst cave some 8 km (5.0 mi) from Jinhua City, Zhejiang Province, People's Republic of China.

Taiji Cave

Taiji Cave is a karst cave located on Shilong Mountain (石龙山) in Guangde County, Xuancheng City, Anhui Province, People's Republic of China, where the provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui meet. Ming Dynasty writer and poet Feng Menglong described the cave as one of the "Four Absolutes Under Heaven". It is also considered a primary "Place of Enlightenment" by Taoists, similar to the Bodhimanda of Buddhism. The 200-million-year-old cave is divided into dry and wet layers representing the yin and yang of Chinese philosophy.
In February 2004, the Chinese State Council included the cave on its fifth list of National Scenic Attractions. It is also a 4A rated National Tourism Area.

Qiaotouhe Town in Hunan, Peoples Republic of China

Qiaotouhe Town is an urban town in Lianyuan, Loudi City, Hunan Province, People's Republic of China.

Qixingjie Town in Hunan, Peoples Republic of China

Qixingjie Town is an urban town in Lianyuan, Loudi City, Hunan Province, People's Republic of China.

Er Wang Dong is a large cave in the Wulong Karst region, in Wulong County of Chongqing Municipality of China.

Twelve Views of Bayu are popular scenic views in and around the city of Chongqing, China. Ba and Yu are old names of Chongqing in imperial time. Influenced by Eight Views of Xiaoxiang in Hunan Province, people in Chongqing listed their own most beloved views during the reign of Tianshun Emperor of Ming Dynasty. Scenic views in the list changed throughout the history. Some scenic views appeared in earlier lists no longer exist in modern days due to the change of physical geography, landscapes and land-uses.

Mengga Township in Yunnan, China

Mengga is a town in Mangshi, Yunnan, China. As of the 2017 census it had a population of 33,251 and an area of 356-square-kilometre (137 sq mi).


  1. 天生三桥 [The Three Natural Bridges] (in Chinese). Xinhua. July 25, 2008. Archived from the original on July 20, 2011. Retrieved February 16, 2011.
  2. "Twenty-two new sites inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List, and one deleted during Committee meeting in Christchurch". UNESCO World Heritage Convention. June 29, 2007. Retrieved February 14, 2011.