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Beautiful Jinan
2018-03-08      [Back]

Jinan is the provincial capital of Shandong in the People's Republic of China. It is located in the North-West of the province. In the South the city is flanked by the hills of The Tai'an massif, while the Yellow River passes North of the city.

Jinan carries the nickname City of Springs because of the many artesian wells that bubble up within the city limits. The water from these springs flows North towards the main landmark, Daming Lake, and onwards to the Yellow River.

While it doesn't always make the short list of tourists visiting China, there is certainly enough to be done in Jinan to warrant a couple of days stay. You can visit the best parks and springs in a day trip from Beijing. It is also a perfect base for exploring the region, notably Qufu, the hometown of Confucius, and Mount Tai, the foremost of the sacred Five Great Mountains known in Taoism.

The Yellow River basin was China's cultural centre during the Neolithic period, and so it comes as no surprise that the area around present day Jinan has been inhabited for over 4,000 years. The oldest finds in the region are from the Longshan culture, a Late Neolithic culture noted for its advanced black 'egg-shell pottery', sometimes as thin as a millimetre.

Fast forward past the Shang and Zhou dynasty. After the fall of the Zhou dynasty many independent states arose during a time known as the Spring and Autumn period. Eventually only a handful remained, striving for power during the Warring States period. During this era Jinan lay on the border of the state of Qi and the state of Lu. The great wall of Qi, to the East of Jinan, is a remnant of this age. It is the oldest Great Wall in China, and portions are accessible as open air museum. Lu on the other hand was the home state of Confucius, and the character is still used as abbreviation for Shandong.

It was during the Han dynasty that Jinan became an important economic and cultural hub, and its role only became more prominent during the following dynasties. Some well known poets, painters and even a Han dynasty ruler all called Jinan their home.

Two events which both connected Jinan to the outside world in a new way spurred development and brought Jinan firmly into the modern age. The first was a natural evolution. In 1852 the Yellow River shifted it course, moving to the bedding of the Ji river from which Jinan derives its name. The Yellow River, being connected to the Grand Canal, now connected Jinan both to the Imperial capital in the North, and to agricultural areas in the South.

By the end of the 19th century the Germany Empire had established a concession in Qingdao on the Shandong coast, and a similar German area was built in what is now the area around the train station. The Germans built a railway connecting Jinan and Qingdao, this however was met with strong local resistance, which eventually led to the anti-foreign Boxer Rebellion. Despite all this the railway was opened for traffic in 1904, opening up Jinan to foreign trade.

To see more about Jinan, please follow the links below:

Facts and Figures about Jinan





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