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Shangqiu - Cradle of Fire

Shangqiu Scenary




















Shangqiu
(shāng qiū 商丘) lies in eastern part of Henan Province (hé nán shěng 河南省) and the conjunction of Henan (hé nán 河南), Shandong (shān dōng 山东), Jiangsu (jiāng sū 江苏), and Anhui (ān huī 安徽) provinces. It covers an area of 10704 square kilometers with a total population of 8.04 million.


Overview

Shangqiu is located in the Huang Huai Hai Plain (huáng huái hǎi píng yuán 黄淮海平原). Being richly endowed by the nature, it enjoys a moderate climate and abundance of River bank in Shangqiuproduce. It is prosperous in farming, forestry, animal husbandry, sideline production, and fishery. It is the national famous production base of agricultural and sideline product. Also, it is the coal energy base and a rising industrial city. With the coal reserves of 10 billion tons, the Yongxia Coal Field is regarded as one of the six bases of smokeless coal of China.


History

Shangqiu, as one of the cradles of Chinese civilization, has a long history and rich culture, which is extensive and profound. The legend has it that in the period of Five Lords, Zhuangxu, Diku had ever established capital here. In the 16th century BC, after emperor Shangtang eliminated Xia Dynasty, he founded Shang Dynasty here. In addition, Shangqiu served as the second capital in the Northern Song Dynasty (AD 960-1126).

Long history and splendid Baiyun Temple in Shangqiuculture have left numerous human landscapes for Shangqiu, making it a city with amazing characteristics. The ancient Shangqiu built in the year of 1511 is well preserved, making it a major historic and cultural site under state protection together with the tomb group of western Han Dynasty (202 BC - AD 8) in Mangdang Mountain of Yongcheng city. The jade suit sewn with gold thread unearthed in the Han tomb of Mt. Dang caused a great sensation when exhibited in America and Singapore. Tombs of princes Liangxiao and Liangqiu, with a great scale, were excavated in the mountain and are acclaimed as the peak of perfection; murals in Han tombs are earlier than that of Dunhuang — the most famous ones in China.

Shangqiu is also the birthplace of fire. As early as 10 thousand years ago, Suirenshi (a legendary ruler of ancient China who discovered how to use fire) discovered how to make fire here, which ushered in a new epoch of history of human civilization. Therefore, Shangqiu is believed to be the cradle of fire.


Geographic and climatic features

Symbol of Shangqiu City CentreShangqiu has always been an important farming area with convenient irrigation supplied by the Yellow River. The land is basically flat, sloping downward from the northwest to the southeast, with a spattering of dunes, bottomland troughs and some low-lying areas.

Shangqiu enjoys a warm temperate climate, featuring warm and windy springs, torrid and rainy summers, refreshing autumns and chilly winters. It has ample sunshine and moderate rainfall. The annual average temperature is 14℃ (57.2℉).


Attractions

Shangqiu abounds with fine scenery and historical interests: Tomb of Suiren, Wenya terrace to memorize Confucius, Qingling terrace — record of love tragedy in history, the Tomb of Zhuangzi — founder of Daoism, the well-known Han tomb group in Mt. Mang, the Mulan Temple to show respect to the heroine Mulan; Baiyun (white cloud) Temple, one of the four famous temples in central China, Yingtian Academy — Fan Zhongyan, Chinese famous poet and politician studied there and many other sights.


Shangqiu Ancient Town


Shangqiu Ancient TownShangqiu Ancient Town (shāng qiū gǔ chéng 商丘古城) is a famous historical and cultural town in China. It is built in the 6th year of the Zhengde Period in Ming Dynasty (AD 1511). The town wall, contour, and lake integrated into a whole and made the ancient city looks round outside and square inside, and formed a vast ancient coin design pattern. Also, the architecture is distinguished. It implied that Shangqiu was the origin place of Chinese merchandise, business, and Shang culture.

The circumference of the town wall is 3.6 kilometers. It has a door in each direction. The terrain inside the city is like the tortoise shell. Most of its architectures are of quadrangle dwelling house's pattern. According to the theory of the mutual promotion and restraint between the five elements, in order to prevent the restraint between metal and water, the eastern and the western door of the ancient city staggered a street, and it became the unique one in China.

Today, the streets in the ancient city remain the architecture styles. In the city, the Zhuanghui Temple (zhuàng huǐ táng 壮悔堂) of Hou Fangyu (hóu fāng yù 侯方域; the famous man of letters in the late Ming Dynasty and early Qing Dynasty) attracts tourists from all directions. In the south of the city, the Baguan Study in which engraved the handwriting — Baguan Study Sketches — of the great calligraphist Yan Zhenqing in Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907), and it is well-known home and aboard.

Street of Shangqiu Ancient Town From Jiajing Period in Ming Dynasty to the early Qing Dynasty, the Shangqiu ancient city produced two great scholars (chancellor), five ministers, and dozen of vice ministers, provincial governors, imperial emissaries, and commanding officers, etc. Due to the burst of the Yellow River in thousands of years, the Suiyang Ancient City of Song in the Western Zhou Dynasty and Han and Tang Dynasty, the Nanjing City of Song Dynasty, The Guidefu City in Yuan Dynasty, etc. are overlapping under the present Shangqiu Ancient Town. Shangqiu Ancient Town is one of the most completely well-preserved ancient towns in China now. And it is one of the key national cultural protection units.

Location: South Kaixuan Road, Suiyang Area, Shangqiu City
Tel: 0370-3288011
Transportation: Take Bus No.1, 2, 3 to get to the destination.
Opening Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Admission Fee: CNY100 (Through ticket)


Ebo Tai

Ebo Tai Ebo Tai (è bó tái 阏伯台), the first star observatory of China is 1.5 kilometers from Shangqiu Ancient Town. According to records in historical books and folktales, in remote antiquity, Qi, the son of Emperor Ku, stayed here to operate kindling spark so that people could use fire at any time. Also, he observed the orbit of Mars in order to inform people to prevent disasters and plant seeds and gather in corn on time. When the Taisui Star appeared during Maoshi, it was called Danyu. When it appeared during Jiawu, it was called Yufeng. Maoshi referred to morning, and Jiawu is the first in the Heavenly Stems. Thus Danyu and Yufeng attracted much of people's attention. As time passes, Qi, who observed the relation between Mars and Taisui star and their locations, was called "Ebo" by people at that time. After his death, people buried him in the high place where he observed Mars. Later, people call his tome as Ebo Tai or Mars Tai (huǒ xīng tái 火星台) or Huosheng Tai (huǒ shén tái 火神台).

The Ebo Tai preserved today is of tomb shape, 35 meters high, with a 270-meter-circumference. It was built of ramming clay. Tiles and pottery were among tier upon tier of ramming clay, which might come from Han Dynasty. Because of the sand and mud sludge of the Yellow River, the original Ebo Tai is dimly visible under the present one. The dune under Ebo Tai is the place which Ebo conferred as Shangqiu. This is the way Shangqiu gaining its name. Erected on the plain which stretches to the horizon, it looks much taller and loftier. It is the highest point in the ancient Shangqiu towns, along with the thought of ancient people that Ebo Tai complied with Shang Star; it has been regarded as the symbol of Shangqiu since ancient times.

Ebo Tai OverviewOn it stands the Ebo Temple, which is architecture of Yuan Dynasty. The temple consists of audience hall, worshiping hall, the eastern and western Buddhist gates, wing-suites, and bell tower. The hall is resplendent , magnificent, and it is a typical national architecture style. It has been renovated for several times since Ming and Qing Dynasty. And in 1981, it was repaired again. Every year, on the 7th day of the 5th lunar month, people in this area will come here and worship. People called it "Chao Tai", and it lasts until the 2nd day of the2nd lunar month. People who come here for worshipping in this period come up to tens of thousands of people.

Location: 1.5 kilometres southeast of Shangqiu Ancient Town, Shangqiu City
Tel: 0371-5900105
Transportation: Take Bus No.66 to get to the destination.
Opening Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Admission Fee: CNY30


Temple of Hua Mulan

The Temple of Hua Mulan The Temple of Hua Mulan (huā mù lán cí 花木兰祠) was first built in Tang Dynasty. Later during the Taihe Period of later Jin Dynasty, the supervisor Wudasahuci in Yingcheng Town, Gushu County, Prefecture of Guide, renovated three audience halls and three worshipping halls and molded a model of Hua Mulan. In the 2nd year of Yuantong Period of the Yuan Dynasty, Liang Siwen (the administrator of Prefecture of Suiyang) advocated that that they enlarge the temple through donating 2,500 coins (money used in ancient China). In the 11th year of Jiaqin Period of the Qing Dynasty, the temple's monks, Jian Ke and Jian Rang, launched denotation again to renovate the temple and erect monuments. To the 1940s, the temple covered an area of more than 10,000 square meters.

There are over 200 buildings of different types. Besides, it had about 10 monks and its own fields, which took up 400 mu. There are cypresses and pagoda trees inside and outside of the enclosing wall. On each side of the front door passage stands a tall clay horse scripture. In the audience hall, there is a scripture of Mulan when she was a maiden; In the worshipping hall, there is a scripture of Mulan when she was a solider; and in the building behind, there is a scripture of her family. More than 60 tablets, in which engraved celebrities' essays, poets, paintings, and calligraphies, were erected in and out of the hall. Every year, on the 8th day of the 4th lunar month (Mulan's birthday), the state officers conducted the people come here and hold a memorial ceremony for her. Later, it developed into a five-day long fair of worshipping. More than 10,000 people came every day. But this grant temple was destroyed because of war. Two tablets, one is of the Yuan Dynasty and the other is of the Qing Dynasty, are conserved. On them, there are detailed information about Mulan's life experience, heroic deeds, and the renovation situations of different periods.

Hua Mulan StatueIn order to develop Mulan's spirit further, the Yucheng County government employed high-qualified export to make a detailed repairing construction plan for Hua Mulan's former residence. It covers an area of 160 mu, and the total investment is 50,500,000 Yuan. The under construction attraction includes 6 scenic spots: the Temple of Hua Mulan , the Former Residence of Hua Mulan, Hua Mulan Cultural Square, Hua Mulan Wushu Center and School, and the Cemetery of Hua Mulan. 3,500,000 Yuan has already been spent in the construction work. The Temple of Hua Mulan, Hua Mulan Cultural Square, and the Cemetery of Hua Mulan have been opened to tourists. The city government decided to hold the Chinese Mulan Cultural Festival once in every two years. Till now, it has been held successfully for four times. Each time, tens of hundreds of tourists home and abroad came to join this festival. In 2000, the National Postal Department launched "the Ceremony of Mulan Stamp's Initiation" here, and this made Hua Mulan became the friendly envoy of enhancing the interaction among people in the world.

In 2001, Shangqiu's government confirmed the Former Residence of Hua Mulan tourist attraction as the city's key cultural protection unit.

Location: 35 kilometres south of Yucheng County, Shangqiu City
Tel: 0370-3282036
Transportation: Take Bus No.1 to get to the destination.
Opening Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Admission Fee: CNY5


Food

Shrimps with Vegetables

Shrimps with vegetables (xiā zǐ shāo sù 虾子烧素) has been a famous dish of the ancient Guide City since Ming and Qing Dynasty (AD 1368-1911). Cooking method: fry the wheat gluten in lukewarm oil, and slice it into pieces. Then add shrimps, champignon, white fungus, chicken and duck soup and stew with slow fire. The dish smells, tastes and looks good, along with a thick flavor of east Henan – rich color, strong aroma, and thick soup.

Swashed Steamed Bun

Swashed steamed bun (shuǐ jī mó 水激馍) is said to be invented in Ming Dynasty (AD 1368-1644). Making method: slice the hard steamed bread into one-inch-long cake-shaped buns thick like a finger. After dried, soak the buns in hot water that is around 40 degrees, fry in boiled oil until they look golden, fish them out, and put into syrup. Then it will have fresh color and fragrant smell as well as a wonderful taste. As water is contained in syrup, the steamed buns need to be swashed in water after fried, so the dish is given the name as "swashed steamed bun".

Shrimps with vegetables  Swashed steamed bun

Speciality

Song Embroidery

In Northern Song Dynasty (AD 960-1127), Song Embroidery (sòng xiù 宋绣) was equally famous as Bian Embroidery (biàn xiù 汴绣). There has been handiwork since Tang and Song Dynasty (AD 618-1279) in which Song Embroidery took up a large part. After the establishment of China, traditional embroidery craft got swiftly resumed and developed. Machine-made embroidery and hand-made embroidery once was processed for export in the late 1950s. In 1982, embroidery factories were established locally, and 21 processing spots were launched all over the county. The products are sold to far-away countries and regions like America, Japan, Italy, France, and Hong Kong.

Song Embroidery

Zhe Silk

As one of the special products in Zhecheng (zhè chéng 柘城) County, Zhe silk (zhè sī 柘丝) has been widely sold both at home and abroad throughout ages. Xiangyi County, today's Suixian County, of Han Dynasty (206 BC- AD 220) is the silk fabric industrial center in China. It offers materials for making clothes for the imperial palace and the ingredients are provided by Zhexiang County. Either on the Silk Road (an ancient trade route between China and the Mediterranean Sea extending some 6,440 km and linking China with the Roman Empire) of Han Dynasty or in the Exportation Fair in Guangdong Province nowadays, Zhe silk had enjoyed and is enjoying a great reputation. It is characterized by radiant color, thin and smooth string, and fine elasticity. Mulberry contributes a lot to Zhe silk's being hot in the world market. The mulberry leaves are plump and full of Zhe silkcarbohydrates. This is why the natural silk is of high quality. For decades, fine breeds of silkworms have been constantly introduced and feeding techniques have been improved – now, silkworms are kept in both spring and fall instead of only in spring before – therefore, the output enhances year by year. There are 66 modern automatic looms in the silk fabric factories in Zhecheng County. All kinds of silk that is more than 700,000 meters long are produced annually. Products like charmeuse bedcover, jacquard weave, and Xinchun silk are radiant in colors, charming in patterns, and good in quality, meeting the country's standard and the quotas assess targets of Chinese enterprises that doing the same business. Thus it sells well all around the nation.


Transportation

Railway

Shangqiu TransportationShangqiu is the hub of railway transportation in the country. It starts from Lianyungang in the east and extends to the new Eurasian Continental Bridge in the west. The Longhai Railway traverses the city and joins Jingjiu Railway which is the longest artery from north to south in China.

There are four railway stations in Shangqqiu: Shangqiu Railway Station, Western Railway Station of Shangqiu, Northern Railway Station of Shangqiu, and Southern Station of Shangqiu. Shangqiu Railway Station and Western Railway Station of Shangqiu stand on the Longhai Line, and Shangqiu Railway Station is located in the center of the city. You can get to Shangqiu Railway Station by many different bus routines, including buses from No.1 to No.23. The Southern Railway Station of Shangqiu and the Northern Railway Station of Shangqiu stand on the Jingjiu Line, and they are located in the east suburb. There are five bus routines which can take you there. The Southern Railway Station of Shangqiu is about 10 li from Shangqiu Railway Station. You can take one of the five buses in the city which only costs CNY1 or take taxi which costs CNY10 to Shangqiu Railway Station.

The Railway Consultative Telephone: 0370-2992222

Bus

Shangqiu has two bus stations: the Northern Bus Station and the Long Distance Bus Station. The Northern Bus Station is located in No.31, the Northern Kaixuan Road, Liangyuan District. The Long Distance Bus Station is around the Shangqiu Station.

The Northern Bus Station Consultative Telephone: 0370-2214199

Taxi

In the city, the starting price of the taxi is CNY4. If the mileage is over three kilometers, the charge is CNY1 per kilometer.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 December 2010 08:59
 

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