Skip to content
Site Tools
Increase font size Decrease font size Default font size default color blue color green color
Home History and Culture Ancient Capitals of China (Hangzhou)
Ancient Capitals of China (Hangzhou)
Learn Chinese - History and Culture

Hangzhou (háng zhōu 杭州) has a long history, and extensive cultural heritages. As early as in the New Stone Age, 4000to 5000years ago, its first inhabitants created the splendid Liangzhu Culture (liáng zhǔ wén huà 良渚文化), reputedly called the twilight of civilization. Hangzhou was called Qiantang (qián táng 钱塘) in ancient times. Over 2200 years has passed since it was designated as the seat of Qiantang County in the Qin Dynasty (qín cháo 秦朝). In 1129, Hangzhou was renamed Lin’an (lín 'ān 临安). In 1138, the Southern Song Dynasty (nán sòng 南宋) made Lin’an its capital, and since then it served as the capital in the following 140 years.
Hangzhou is a important city in China’s coastal areas which are developed and wealthy in the country. Machinery, electronics, chemical, engineering, light industry and textiles are the backbone of Hangzhou’s industry. Hangzhou is also a famous tourist city with its beautiful scenery. It shares with Suzhou the reputation of “the paradise of the world”.

The West Lake

Surrounded by graceful mountains on three sides, the West Lake (xī hú 西湖) has charming scenery and many cultural relics and historic sites. There are three stone pagodas in the middle of the lake. The main body of the pagoda is the shape of a ball and hollow inside. At night, candles are lit in the pagodas, and their reflections on the lake look like many small moons, hence the name “Three Pools Mirroring the Moon” (sān tán yìng yuè 三潭映月).

The Six-Harmony Pagoda

Built in 970 AD, the Six-Harmony Pagoda (liù hé tǎ 六和塔), 59.89 m tall, stands by the Qiantang River (qián táng jiāng 钱塘江). Viewed form outside, it has 13 floors, however, inside the pagoda, it only has seven flooes.

The Temple of General Yue Fei

The Temple of General Yue Fei (yuè wáng miào 岳王庙) is dedicated to Yue Fei (yuè fēi 岳飞, 1127-1279AD). He led the Song troops and defeated the enemies many times, until he was betrayed by a treacherous official named Qin Hui (qín guì 秦桧). People of a later generation built the temple to commemorate Yue Fei. The four iron statues kneeling before the tomb of General Yue stand for Qin Hui and other there treacherous officials.

The Bore of the Qiantang River
The Bore of the Qiantang River (qián táng jiāng dà cháo 钱塘江大潮) is the most powerful river bore in the world. It occurs in Haiyan County (hǎi yán xiàn 海盐县) to the northeast of Hangzhou City (háng zhōu shì 杭州市). Every year from August 15 to 18 in the Lunar Calendar, the spectacular high tidal waves rush to the narrow estuary where the Qiantang River flows into the sea.









China Yellow Pages