China Tour – part 3

Taiyuan — Capital of Shanxi Province

Taiyuan, the capital city of Shanxi Province, lies in the north basin of Middle Jin (Jin is another name for Shanxi Province) and crosses the River Fen. The city area administers three districts, one subdivided city and five counties. The history of the city can be traced back to over 2,400 years ago. It was established in 497 BC, the end of the Spring and Autumn Period (the slavery Period in China) and was named Jinyang, the northern bank of the Jin River. In Chinese, the northern bank of waters is called yang. In 982, Song Taizong, Zhao Kuangyi, the second emperor of the Song Dynasty burned and flooded Jinyuan City. After that, he ordered one of the officials, Pan Mei to build Taiyuan City in Tangming Town, north of Jinyuan City. Thus, came the present Taiyuan City. Taiyuan, in Chinese, means the greatest plain. In fact, it is dominated by rugged hills and hilly areas. Only one-fifth of the whole area is plains. Taiyuan is surrounded by mountains in the east, west and north; only the southern part is alluvial plains. Taiyuan abounds in various minerals, especially coal and iron, so honors the name, “the home of coal and iron.” Taiyuan is of continental climate at temperate zone. It is dry and cold in winter, hot and rainy in summer, dusty and windy in spring, cool and comfortable in autumn. The annual average temperature is 9.5 Degree Celcius.

A long history has left Taiyuan with numerous cultural relics, such as Jin Shrine, Double-Pagoda Temple, Qiaojiabu Folk Culture Museum, Xuanzhong Temple and Pingyao Ancient Town.

Today, Tiyuan is one of the most important heavy industrial cities in China.

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