China Shaoxing City:
4.3 million (urban population: 324,000)
Shaoxing, located in the northern part of Zhejiang Province, is a famous historical and cultural city. Shaoxing City is a typical waterways region and the numerous rivers, canals and bridges are part of the city charm.
Shaoxing is located northeast of Zhejiang province, bordering Ningbo in the east and adjacent to Hangzhou in the west.
Belonging to the subtropical zone with monsoon climate, the annual average temperature of the city is 16C and the annual average precipitation ranges from 1,200 - 1,600 mm.
Based on common people economy, with visible regional features in industrial composition, Shaoxing has formed 35 blocks specialty economies with certain scale, such as textile, printing and dyeing industries of Shaoxing County, socks, shirt, pearl, hardware industries of Zhuji City, umbrella, chemical, mechanical and electrical industries of Shangyu City, necktie industry of Shengzhou City, medicine and axletree industries of Xinchang County, and furniture industry of Yuecheng District.
Since the age of the Hemudu Culture, the people of Yue have lived here for about 7000 years. After his success of flood control, Yu the Great called a gathering of dukes to measure their merits and dispense rewards to them. Thus, Shaoxing had its ancient name - Guiji (Gui means a gathering and Ji means measuring). In the Spring & Autumn Period and the Warring States Period, the nation of Yuyue founded the Kingdom OF Yue with its capital of Guiji (current Shaoxing City) as center, becoming one of the various stats during the Spring & Autumn Period. After unifying China, Emperor Qin Shihuang set up Guiji Prefecture (221B.C.) in the former territory of Yue Kingdom. In the first Shaoxing year (1131) of the Southern Song Dynasty, Yoo-hoo Prefecture was upgraded to Shoxing Superior Prefecture. Later in the Yuan Dynasty, it was called Shaoxing Lu (stably defined territory), and in the Ming and Qing Dynasty, it was recovered to be Shaoxing Superior Prefecture. Shaoxing Municipality was set up in 1949, which has Yuecheng District, Shaoxing and Xinchang Counties, and Shangyu, Shengzhou and Zhuji Cities under its jurisdiction at present, with an area of 7901 kilometers and a population of 4.35 million persons.
Shaoxing is well connected with Hangzhou, Shanghai, and Ningbo through Shanghai-Hangzhou-Ningbo Expressway or Shanghai-Hangzhou-Ningbo Railway. Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal also runs across the city.
Numerous historical sites, a beautiful landscape and exceptional lifestyle offer abundance tourism resources in Shaoxing, which has over 200 tourist attractions, 28 zones for tourism spots and a number of packages for wine, stone and bridge cultures and experience in calligraphy, Buddhism and riverside towns and villages. In 1998, it was appraised as one of China's first wonderful tourism cities.
Shaoxing Attractive points:
East Lake is located in the east suburbs of Shaoxing city, three kilometers from the city center. Featuring an elegant landscape of lakes and mountains and fantastic stones, it, together with the West Lake in Hangzhou and Nanhu Lake in Jiaxing, are known as the Three Famous Lakes in Zhejiang Province.
East Lake used to be a huge rocky hill. During the Han Dynasty, stoneman always went there to quarry stone. During the Sui, in order to build the Great Wall, more stone were quarried from the mountain. After thousands of years of excavation, some parts of the mountain were hollowed, forming a unique scene.
The scenic area consists of Taogong Cave, Xiantao Cave, Tingqiu Pavilion and other spots. "Taogong Dong" is located at the food of the hill with cliffs rising 50-60 meters on each side. Riding on the lake in a boat, visitors can fully
enjoy the wonderful scene. There are nine bridges on the lake and many pavilions dotted the banks. Visitors are sure to enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Orchid Pavilion (Lan Ting)
Orchid Pavilion is located at the foot of Lanzhu Hill, 12.5 km southwest of Shaoxing City. During the Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC - 476 BC), Goujian, the king of the Yue State, planted orchids here and during the Han (206 BC - 220 AD), a post pavilion was built. Hence the name.
In the spring of 353 during the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317-420), Wang Xizhi, a famous calligrapher of the time, invited his friends to come here for a party.
They recited poems while drinking. Wang Xizhi was challenged to compose a preface to record this event. While in high spirits, Wang Xizhi wrote an article called "Prologue to the Orchid pavilion Collection". Eminent and praiseworthy in both calligraphy and literary talent, this article became a masterpiece in these two fields. Wang Xizhi was crowned as the "sage of calligraphers" from then on and this pavilion came to prominence from this event. Now, Orchid Pavilion has been regarded as the Mecca for calligraphers.
Fu Hill (location of Fushan Park), also named Long (Dragon) Hill, is like a scroll painting which depicts the long history of Shaoxing. A wealth of historical and cultural relics are preserved here. The hill with the other two hills stands like the three legs of tripod. People used to describe the scene as "coiling dragon and crouching tiger". With it, the ancient city of Shaoxing looks most magnificent.
The King Yue's Palace in Fu Hill was built in memory of Gou Jian. It is said that Gou Jian
-the King of the Kingdom of Yue was defeated by the King of Kingdom of Wu and became Wu's captive. After Gou Jian returned to his own country, he slept on a pallet of brushwood and tasted the bitter gallbladder every day so as to harden his will, and he finally defeated his enemy. The Palace is magnificent and imposing. Scenes along the way as you climb Fu Hill and visit King Yue's Terrace will remind you of walking through a gallery of Shaoxing's history and landscape paintings.
Lu's Mansion Houses
Lu's Mansion Houses are situated at the west end of Xinhe Alley of Shaoxing City, facing south. They are buildings of the Ming Dynasty, which zoned 13 enclosed courtyards. The length of the mian courtyyard is 119m, the area equivalent to about 2 hecares. It is a large-sized group buldings in Dynasty, rarely to be seen in the re gions south of the Yangtze River.
Green Vine Study
Green Vine Study is located at the Qianguan lane of Shaoxing. It consists of two parts, a quiet courtyard, and two common houses in traditional Chinese style. However, its great charm draws visitors at home an home and abroad. Green Vine Study was the place where Xu Wei was born and studied. Xu Wei (styled himself Wengchang) was one of the ten famous painters in ancient China. He was endowed with extraordinary talents and recognized as a great artist and writer. The study exhibits Xu Wei's immortal works which depicted that he did not stoop to associate with the bigwigs and portrayed his unfortunate life.
Not far from Lu Xun Road is the garden setting of a famous story of star-crossed loves from the Southern Song Dynasty. Once when visiting the garden, the poet Lu You (1125-1210) had a chance encounter with his beloved first wife, Tang Wan, whom his mother had forced him to divorce. Both had since married others. Lu later composed a poem, "Phoenix Hairpin," in his first wife's honour and carved it on the garden wall. The lyric has long since disappeared, but the garden's tranquil setting of streams, rockeries, and bridges that the lovers so enjoyed attracts many other couples to this day.
Great Mercy Pagoda
Great Mercy Pagoda is located on Jiefang Road in the urban district of Shaoxing, originally in the Great Mercy Temple. It was built in the first year(1228) during the Southern Song Dynasty. The pagoda has six faces, seven storied with a height of 40.5m. The side of the bottom is 3.8m, and thickness of wall is 1.6m.
The Zhou Enlai Museum
The Ancestral Home of Zhou En lai is located at the Laodong Road in Shaoxing city. It was first build during the years of the reign of Hongwu in the Ming Dynasty.
In 1698, when one of the ancestors of Zhou En lai, Mrs. Wang was one hundred years old The imperial court of the Qing Dynasty conferred Mrs. Wang a noble title?¡èa horizontal inscribed board with four Chinese characters meaning "congratulations to you on your birthday of one hundred years old".
That is why the ancestral residence of Zhou En-lai was named "Hall of one Hundred Years" The ancestors of Zhou En lai have lived there for generations.
In March of 1939 Zhou En-lai launched a revolutionary movement in Shaoxing. A lot of precious historical relics have been left.
The Former Residence of Cai Yuanpei
Mr. Cai Yuan Pei, respectfully called "a great man of the academic circles and a model of excellent character", born in the residence located in Bi Fei Lane, Shaoxing City. Mr. Cai styled himself He Qing and Zi Min. He was a famous democratic revolutionary, equcationist and scientist. The main body of Cai's residence faces south. It has three rows of buildings, ?¡ègate, hall and storied building, in order of precedence from south to north. Between gate and wing-room, hall and storied building, there are some small yards. It is Shaoxing's tranditional architecture
In l905, Xu Xilin returned to Shaoxing and established the Datong School, a military school where Guang Fu Hui fostered its own armed forces. It had regular organizational system and curriculum. Images of foreign invaders were nailed at the bull's eyes for military training. In less than two years, the school attracted many outstanding youths.
Soon after, Xu Lilin handed over the school to Qiu Jin and went to Anqing to organize an uprising. Qiu Jin showed her talents as a leader and organizer. She often went out in the guise of a man to get in touch with league members. In July 1907, she and Xu Xilin decided to launch an uprising at the same time.
The news leaked out. The uprising in Anqing failed and Xu Xilin was killed. A few days later, Qing troops surrounded Datong School and arrested Qiu Jin. At 4 o'clock in the morning of July 15, Qiu Jin walked to the execution ground in the starlight. Before the execution she wrote "Autumn wind and rain sadden me so". Years later, Lu Xun wrote a story entitled "Medicine" with Qiu Jin as the prototype.
Xitang Ancient Town
Xitang is a small famous town located in the south east of Zhengjiang Province. With densely distributed rivers and lakes and with over thousands years history, it is a typical ancient water-town of Southern China. Its old style appearance and legends deducted for many years attractive more and more people in recent days. Now, many well-preserved architectural groups constructed in the Ming and Qing dynasties can be seen in the town, and the value of their artistry and study is being paid more and more attention by experts at home and abroad.