china edition



Shanxi - Datong - Pingyao

Chongshan Temple
Jinci Temple
        Mt. Wutai
Twin Pagoda Temple

Founded in 479 BC and once a Tang dynasty military stronghold, Taiyuan, the capital city of Shanxi Province, about 450 kilometer southwest of Beijing, lies in the north basin of Middle Jin (Jin is another name for Shanxi Province) and crosses the River Fen. It lies at the heart of some of the richest coal and iron ore fields in the world and is the industrial powerhouse of the region.

The history of the city can be traced back to over 2,400 years ago. It was established in 497 BC, the end of the Spring and Autumn Period (the slavery Period in China) and was named Jinyang, the northern bank of the Jin River. In Chinese, the northern bank of waters is called yang. In 982, Song Taizong, Zhao Kuangyi, the second emperor of the Song dynasty burned and flooded Jinyuan City.

After that, he ordered one of the officials, Pan Mei to build Taiyuan City in Tangming Town, north of Jinyuan City. Thus the present Taiyuan City arose.

Taiyuan, in Chinese, means "the greatest plain". In fact, it is dominated by rugged hills and hilly areas. Only one-fifth of the whole area is plains. Taiyuan is surrounded by mountains in the east, west and north; only the southern part is alluvial plains.

A long history has left Taiyuan with numerous cultural relics, such as Jin Shrine, Twin-Pagoda Temple, Qiaojiabu Folk Culture Museum, Xuanzhong Temple and Pingyao Ancient Town.

Today, Tiyuan is one of the most important heavy industrial cities in China with a modern downtown, especially in the highly developed Yingze Dajie area, which provides numerous hotels, banks and restaurants.