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Home History and Culture Ancient Capitals of China (Kaifeng)
Ancient Capitals of China (Kaifeng)
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Formerly named Bianliang (biàn liáng 汴梁), Kaifeng (kāi fēng 开封) is one of the major seven ancient capitals in China. According to some research, there were human activities around Kaifeng area as early as the capital of a number of dynasties such as the Later Liang Dynasty (hòu liáng 后梁), the Later Jin Dynasty (hòu jìn 后晋), the Han Dynasty (hàn dài 汉代) and the Later Zhou Dynasty (hòu zhōu 后周). In 960 AD, the Northern Song Dynasty (běi sòng 北宋) was founded and made Kaifeng its capital, then known as "Dongdu” (dōng dū 东都, Eastern Captial). During the Northern Song Dynasty, with a population of 1.5 million, Kaifeng was not only the economic, political and cultural hub of China, but also the greatest international metropolis, and hence the title “thoroughfare of the world”.

During this long history, Kaifeng has been celebrated as a marvelous place with rich resources and outstanding people. The political, economical and cultural development had a tremendous impact not only to the central plain area but also to the whole country. There are many celebrated figures in Kaifeng’s long history, such as Cai Yong (cài yōng 蔡邕), Cai Wenji (cài wén jī 蔡文姬), and Cui Hao (cuī hào 崔颢), etc. The brilliant history gives the city abundant tourist attractions. The replica ancient architectures are built in various distinct styles. Furthermore, there are the Daxianguo Temple (dà xiàng guó sì 大相国寺), the Bao Zheng’s Memorial Temple (bāo gōng cí 包公祠), and other scenic and historic sites.

The Bao Zheng’s Memorial Temple

Occupying a floorage of about 10000 m 2 on the bank of Baogong Lake (bāo gōng hú 包公湖), the Bao Zheng’ Memorial Temple was built to commemorate the respectable and morally lofty official Bao Zheng (bāo zhěng 包拯), who is considered as one of the most honest and upright judges in Chinese history. The architecture style is simple and unsophisticated, but solemn and stately.

The Daxiangguo Temple (The Temple of Chief Minister)

Located in the center of Kaifeng, the Daxiangguo Temple is a noted Buddhist temple in China. During the Northern Song Dynasty, it was the biggest shrine in the capital, and also the center for Buddhist activities all over the country.





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