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Hangzhou History


Hangzhou, an ancient city with a history of 2200 years, is one of the seven ancient capitals in China. As the saying goes well: “Up above there is heaven, down below there are Suzhou and Hangzhou.” Hangzhou is a city that one must definitely explore Qinghefang Street simply for its fascinating beauty since ancient times. Now, tourism industry has become one of the pillar industry and new growth point in Hangzhou’s national economy.


Hangzhou has enjoyed a history of over 2,200 years since the county administration was established in Qin Dynasty. It is one of the cradles of Huaxia (China) Civilization. As early as over 5,000 years ago, there were human beings multiplying and living in Hangzhou area, creating Liangzhu Culture known as the Dawn of Civilization. The archaeological discovery of Liangzhu ancient city ruin in 2007 pushed even earlier the recorded history of Hangzhou civilization. Hangzhou, one of the seven ancient capitals of China, was the capital of Wuyu State, of the Five-Dynasties and also the capital of the Southern Song Dynasty. In the 13th century, the Italian traveler Macro Polo admired Hangzhou as “the Most Splendid and Luxurious City in the World”.

Hangzhou was called Qiantang in ancient time. In the ninth year of Kaihuang of Sui Dynasty (589), Hangzhou was founded to replace the original Qiantang County and the name of Hangzhou was recorded for the first time in history. The Wuyu State of the Five-Dynasties (907-978) founded capital in Hangzhou. In the third year  Grand Canal Hangzhouof Jianyan of Southern Song Dynasty (1129), Emperor Gaozong moved southward to Hangzhou and upgraded it as the site of the prefecture city of Lin’an. In the eighth year of Shaoxing (1138), Lin’an was officially determined as the capital, which lasted more than 140 years.
In 1856 and 1860, the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom occupied Hangzhou and caused heavy damage to the city. In the first year of the Republic of China (1912), the original Qiantang County and Renhe County were merged into Hangzhou County. In the 16th year of the Republic of China (1927), Hangzhou County was dismantled and Hangzhou was founded as a city. Hangzhou was ruled by Republic of China government under the Kuomintang from 1928 to 1949.
On May 3, 1949, the People's Liberation Army entered Hangzhou and the city came under Communist control. After Deng Xiaoping's reformist policies began in 1978, Hangzhou took advantage of being situated in the Yangtze River Delta to bolster its development. It is now one of China's most prosperous major cities. 

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