Home Hangzhou Hangzhou History
Hangzhou History

Hangzhou is a city with rich historical heritage and colorful cultures, also one of the seven ancient capitals in China. The Liangzhu Civilization created by our forefathers living here about 5000 years ago was considered the dawn of the Chinese civilization. Originally known as Yu Hang, Hangzhou had former names such as Qian Tang, Lin An and so on.

It used to be the capital of China in Wuyue Kingdom and Southern Song Dynasy. Ever since the establishment of Qiantang county in the ninth year of Kaihuang's reign in the Sui Dynasty (around 589 A.D), the name Hangzhou had come into being. The digging of the Grand Canal between Hangzhou and Beijing made the city a hub of communications and started its course for metropolitan development, enjoying prosperity in the process.

In 1129,the Southern Song emperor shifted the imperial court to Hangzhou and founded the capital Lin An. In 1912, the original Qian Tang and Ren He counties merged to be Hang County. Hangzhou officially became a city in 1927. The famous Italian traveler Marco Polo commented Hangzhou as the finest and most splendid city in the world.

Now Hangzhou has been the capital of Zhejiang Province since Hangzhou municipal government was established in May 3, 1949. Hangzhou not only has Southern Song royal palace relics, and also has Qing Emperor’s resort and many elegant gardens. Most of the gardens are backed by natural scenery. The gardening style stresses elegance and delicacy, which is an important sect in Chinese gardening art.

Hangzhou is endowed with high value historical relics,which are characterized by long time span and rich varieties. The Liangzhu cultural relic, antiques from Five Dynasties Period and Southern Song Dynasty as well as other places of interest all mark Hangzhou as a rich historical hub.

Famed as a Buddhist Nation in southeast, Hangzhou has had a prosperous Buddhist culture since the fourth century AD. The Buddhism has a tremendous impact upon the local culture. Many places of interest with their legends are closely related to Buddhism. It also has a lot to do with the local cultures in architecture, printing, tea and folk custom. Ancient pagodas in Hangzhou hold an outstanding position in Chinese architecture history. The octagonal pagoda built in Wuyue Kingdom is a milestone in Chinese pagoda history. The grottos on mountains around the WestLake are a significant chapter in Chinese grotto and stone carving history. Beginning in the ninth century, the grotto art flourished in the 14th century and is the focus of that along eastern coast area.

Celebrities in Hangzhou such as Bai Juyi and Su Dongpo have brought an impressive variety to Hangzhou. They not only eulogized the city composing their beautiful poems, but also made their contribution to the local people. Sightseeing in Hangzhou has been a traditional activity. Folk events such as spring outing, dragon boat contest, incense market, Qiantang bore viewing, lantern festival and osmanthus appreciation are still enjoyed by the local citizens. Hangzhou has also been a home for female poets and writers such as Li Qingzhao, Zhu Shuzhen, Liu Rushi and Chen Duansheng. Their charming creation has had big influence over Chinese literature and also given this city a romantic atmosphere.

Besides, the West Lake is also blessed with so many love stories, leaving unlimited imagination and expectation to visitors. There is so much inter-relationship among Hangzhou’s folk custom, natural surrounding, cultural heritage and development process. The display of each interesting and unforgettable event is so amazing and touching that they always make visitors want to come back again.

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 June 2013 12:02