Zhengzhou / Chengchow
Zhengzhou, one of China 8 ancient cities, is said to have 5,300 years of history, and to be the origin of China’s urban civilization. The 3,600-year-old city of Zhengzhou, located in the Central China plain with the Yellow River to the north and Mount Songshan to the west, has been added to China's list of ancient cities, the eighth officially designated ancient cities in China. The other ancient cities are Xi'an, Nanjing, Luoyang, Kaifeng and Anyang, all in Henan Province, Hangzhou, capital of Southeast China's Zhejiang Province and Beijing.
As early as 3,500 years ago, Zhengzhou was named the capital of the Shang Dynasty (16th century - 11th century BC). The Shang capital moved many times throughout its history, so the center of Shang civilization was not stable. Today, cultural relics and historical sites abound in and around Zhengzhou, which attracts tourists and archaeologists from around the world.
Zhengzhou has a long history. As early as 3,500 years ago, it became the capital of the Shang Dynasty (Sixteenth - eleventh centuries BC) which together with ancient Egypt, India, and Babylon, was considered to be one of the oldest civilizations of the world. In the Chinese history of five thousand years, the Central Plains area is one of the places that were developed the earliest. Zhengzhou situated in the heartland of the Central Plains had for long time played a role of the political, economic and cultural center of the Chinese nation. The two dynasties of Xia and Shang and the three states of Guan, Zheng and Han used to build their capital here.
In the autumn of 1964, a site of 300,000 square meters [30 hectares] representing the Yangshan and Longshan cultures of the Neolithic Period was discovered at Dahe Village in the northern suburbs of Zhengshou. The ruins of house foundations, dating back five thousand years, show separate inner and outer rooms - indicating that group marriage probably no longer existed and that families in which young couples lived separately from their parents had appeared.
These ruins cover an area of 25 square kilometers in downtown Zhengzhou. In 1955, a city wall of seven kilometers was discovered on the site. Archaeologists have found ruins of house foundations, cellars, water wells, ditches, and graves. Ornaments and tools made of bronze, stone, bone, shell, and jade were found on the site, as well as pottery and primitive china. Outside the walls, the ruins of various workshops were discovered, among which were foundries for smelting bronze and workshops for making pottery and for polishing bone articles. These archaeological finds in Zhengzhou provide valuable materials for the study of Shang Dynasty society, particularly with regard to the formation and development of ancient cities in China.
The founding of Yanshi city marked the fall of the Xia Dynasty (2100 - 1600 BC) and the start of the Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 BC). The ruins, in Central China's Henan Province, were discovered accidentally in 1983. Allegedly the capital of the early Shang Dynasty, their discovery is widely regarded as one of the most important archaeological finds of the 20th century.
Ruins were found at the site of a city measuring 1,700 meters in length from north to the south, and 1,200 meters wide from east to the west [200 hectares]. In the southwestern part of the city lies a smaller city, 1,100 meters long and 750 meters wide [75 hectares], inside which was a square-shaped palatial city, each side measuring 200 meters.
For scale compariton, the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site in Illinois USA preserves the central section of the largest prehistoric Native American city north of Mexico. Occupied from 700 to 1400 AD, the city grew to cover 4,000 acres [about 1600 hectares], with a population of between ten and twenty thousand at its peak around 1100. The site is dominated by the hundred-foot-tall Monks Mound, the largest prehistoric earthen mound in the Americas. One of the greatest cities of the world, Cahokia was larger than London was in AD 1250.
In the palatial Yanshi city remains, researchers found more than 10 palaces, a ritual site and a garden including a pond. The pond was part of a complete water supply system consisting mainly of canals in and around the 3,600-year-old city. In the northeastern part of the outer city there were remains of a bronze workshop, and a large number of pottery has been unearthed in the city. The Yanshi city is the best preserved among Shang Dynasty cities excavated.
Some historians believe the ancient Zhengzhou City, the remains of which lie beneath the modern provincial capital of Henan, was the earliest capital of the Shang Dynasty. Researchers determined that different ceramic objects discovered at the two sites lend support to claims that Yanshi city was founded earlier than Zhengzhou City, but the latter was several times bigger.
Located at the juncture of the Shuangji River and Huangshui River in the proper of Xinzheng City, it now mainly includes the remains of the city wall of the capitals of Dukedom Zheng and Kingdom Han during the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period; the city wall has a perimeter of about 20 kilometers. Duke Zheng Mausoleums Museum is Located on northwest of Dongcheng district of Zheng & Han Native Land with a planned area of 270 mu. There are about 3000 graves of the Spring and Autumn Period and 18 large and mid sized chariot pits.180 graves are as large as 6 meters and 4 super large graves exceed 20 meters in length and width. No.1 chariot pit was excavated in April of 2001 and 20 luxury carts and a lot of horse bones had been found; the graves of Duke Zheng and Physician Zheng have been digging now.
Located in the suburb Gongyi City and 70 kilometers west of the proper of Zhengzhou Municipality, the Song Mausoleums (or Imperial Mausoleums of the Northern Song Dynasty) are the largest emperors' mausoleum group in the central part of China. The over 200 tombs of emperors, empresses, other imperial family members and key senior officials of the Northern Song Dynasty form a large mausoleum group distributed in an area with an east-west width of 10 kilometers and a north-south length of 15 kilometers and constitute a magnificent sight. The stone carvings at the Song Mausoleums are the sole stone carving collection now preserved in China and of very high artistic and cultural value.
Zhengzhou is the native place of Xuanyuan Huangdi, the first ancestor of the Chinese nation. After founding his state, Shang Tang chose Bo as his capital, i.e. today’s Shang City in Zhengzhou, which was one of the largest cities in the then world and now has got a history of 3600 years.
One of the largest graves of the Han Dynasty (206 BC - AD 220) can be found in suburban Zhengzhou. It is a brick and stone structure in the shape of a covered boat. In addition to the main hall where the coffin was placed, there were a west, a middle, and a small dist room. The walls and ceilings of the grave chambers are covered with paintings and stone carvings that reflect the life of the deceased. Depicting such scenes as rent collection, cooking and dining, hunting, traveling in carts and on horseback, and singing and dancing, they provide valuable data for historical research into the politics, culture, and economy of the Eastern Han Dynasty.
On February 4, 1923, the world-shocking “Jing Han Railway Workers Great Strike” took place in Zhengzhou. After the liberation of the city, in order to eternally memorize and pay tributes to the martyrs who lost their lives in the strike, the government set February 7, 1923 as the Great Strike Memorial Day for many workers on strike were killed on that date. Ever since then Zhengzhou acquired the heroic title of “Heroic City of February 7”.
Zhengzhou is the capital of central China's Henan Province. At the junction of the Beijing-Guangzhou and Lanzhou-Lianyungang railways, it is also the political, economic, cultural, and transportation center of Henan. Zhengzhou is one of the most important textile centers in China, as well as having a well-developed machinery industry.
Today cultural relics and historical sites abound in and around the city, attracting more and more tourists and archaeologists from home and abroad. At Anyang, a town to the north of Zhengzhou, tourists can visit ruins of the Shang Dynasty. With its lush foliage, Zhengzhou is China's model for the planting of trees in urban areas and is therefore called the "green city."
Zhengzhou, capital city of Henan Province, is located at the hinterland of central China, center of central plains and passage of ten provinces. As an important national transportation hub and communication center as well as an important city in the Eurasian Continental Bridge, through which the national projects such as "West-east gas transfer" and "South-north water transfer"pass, Zhengzhou plays an important role in connecting east & west and linking up north & south in the national economic development structure. Zhengzhou is a national open city , historical cultural city and sanitary city that has ascended itself to be one of the state’s top 50 cities in comprehensive strength and top 40 in investment surroundings.
The ancestral temple of the Zen Sect of the Chinese Buddhism, the origin of the world-famous Shaolin Kungfu, a top tourist attraction of China, also known as the "No.1 Famous Temple under Heaven". Situated in the heart of Mount Songshan the Central Sacred Mountains, the temple is named for its location in the dense forest at the northern foot of Shaoshi Mountain, a major part of Songshan. It is 13 kilometers northwest of Dengfeng City center and about 90 kilometers southwest of Zhengzhou urban districts. Built in the Northern Wei Dynasty, the temple has been as old as more than 1,500 years, now with a total area of over 30,000 square meters.
Right here Bodhi Dharma, the founder of the Zen Sect of the lndian Buddhism, sat in meditation in a natural mountain cave for 9 years and preached Zen in China for the first time, thus Dharma is also respected as the Founder of the Chinese Zen and Shaolin Temple as the birthplace of Chinese Zen. Tang Dynasty is the first golden period for the temple, with a total of 2,500 monks. The prosperity was attributed to the historical fact that 13 Shaolin monks good at cudgel fighting bravely rescued Li Shimin, a king of the Tang Dynasty who later became a great emperor in the Chinese history, and the movie of Shaolin Temple was just based on that story. So the Shaolin Kung Fu is named after the temple and the temple wins a great fame with its Kungfu.
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