Historical cities


Xiaonanhai, on the far western edge of the city, was home to prehistoric cavemen during the Stone Age. Over 7,000 artifacts (including stone tools and animal bone fossils) have been unearthed here, representing what has been dubbed the Xiaonanhai culture. Around 2000 BC, the legendary sage-kings Zhuanxu and Emperor Ku are said to have established their capitals in the area around Anyang from where they ruled their kingdom. Their mausoleums are today situated in Sanyang village south of Neihuang County.

At the beginning of the 14th century BC, King Pangeng of the Shang Dynasty established his capital 2 km north of the modern city on the banks of the Huan River. The city, known as Yin, was the first stable capital in Chinese history, and from that point on the dynasty that founded it would also become known as the Yin Dynasty.
The capital served 12 kings in 8 generations, including Wu Ding, under whom the dynasty reached the zenith of its power, until it was wiped out, along with the dynasty that founded it, by King Wu of the Zhou Dynasty in 1046 BC.

Shang Dynasty

The Shang Dynasty or Yin Dynasty was according to traditional sources the second Chinese dynasty, after the Xia Dynasty. They ruled in the northeastern regions of the area known as "China proper" in the Yellow River valley. According to the chronology based upon calculations by Liu Xin, the Shang ruled between 1766 BC and 1122 BC, but according to the chronology based upon the Bamboo Annals, they ruled between 1556 BC and 1046 BC. The results of the Xia Shang Zhou Chronology Project place them between 1600 BC and 1046 BC. According to historical tradition, the Shang Dynasty followed the (possibly mythical) Xia Dynasty and preceded the Zhou Dynasty.


Beijing , also known as Peking , is a metropolis in Northern China, and the capital of the People's Republic of China. Governed as a municipality under direct administration of the central government, Beijing borders Hebei Province to the north, west, south, and for a small section in the east, and Tianjin Municipality to the southeast.Beijing is one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China.

The earliest remnants of human habitation in the Beijing municipality are found in the caves of Dragon Bone Hill near the village of Zhoukoudian in Fangshan District, where the Peking Man lived. Homo erectus fossils from the caves date to 230,000 to 250,000 years ago. Paleolithic homo sapiens also lived there about 27,000 years ago.There were cities in the vicinities of Beijing by the 1st millennium BC, and the capital of the State of Yan, one of the powers of the Warring States Period (473-221 BC), Ji, was established in present-day Beijing.


Chengdu known formerly as Chengtu, is the capital of Sichuan province, of Southwest China, maintaining sub-provincial administrative status. Chengdu is also one of the most important economic centres, transportation and communication hubs in Western China. According to the 2007 Public Appraisal for Best Chinese Cities for Investment, Chengdu was chosen as one of the top ten cities to invest in out of a total of 280 urban centers in China.

In the early 4th century BC, the 9th Kaiming king of the ancient Shu moved his capital to the city's current location from today's nearby Pixian. He was said to have been inspired to move his capital by the ancient story of King Tai of Zhou, Grandfather of King Wu of Zhou. History recorded King Tai of Zhou's move as "it took a year to become a town; it took three years to become a capital". Following this, the king of Shu named the new city as "Cheng Du", which means "become a capital" (In Chinese, the word "cheng" means "become", "du" means "capital"). There are, however, several versions of why the capital was moved to Chengdu, and more recent theories of the name's origin point to it as stemming from, or referring to, earlier non-Han inhabitants and/or their languages.


Chongqing formerly known as Chungking, is a major city in southwestern mainland China and one of the five national central cities. Administratively, it is one of the People's Republic of China's four direct-controlled municipalities (the other three are Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin), and the only such municipality in western China.

The municipality was created on 14 March 1997, succeeding the sub-provincial city administration that was part of Sichuan Province. In 2007, the municipality of Chongqing had a population of 31.4 million.It has jurisdiction over 19 districts, 17 counties, and four autonomous counties. With an area of 82,300 km² (31,800 mi²), it is the largest direct-controlled municipality, larger even than one province and an autonomous region, as well as Taiwan.It is possibly the world's largest municipality by population and one of the largest by area.

Chongqing is said to be the semi-legendary State of Ba that the Ba people supposedly established during the eleventh century BCE. By 316 BCE, however, it had been overrun by the State of Qin. The Qin emperor ordered a new city to be constructed, which was called Jiang and Chu Prefecture .

Chongqing was subsequently renamed in 581 CE (Sui Dynasty) and later 1102, to Yu Prefecture and then Gong Prefecture . It received its current name in 1189, after Prince Zhao Dun of the Southern Song Dynasty described his crowning as king and then Emperor Guangzong as a "double/repeated happy celebration". Hence, Yu Prefecture became Chongqing subprefecture to mark the occasion.


Datong is a prefecture-level city in the northern Shanxi Province in China, located a few hundred kilometres west by rail from Beijing with an elevation of 1090 meters. It has a population of approximately 3.11 million.

Near here was the Beidi kingdom of Tai which was conquered by the Zhou dynasty in 457BC. It bordered on the Hu nomads and traded in horses. Tai was later a commandery or county.

The town was founded as Píngchéng in 200 BC during the Han Dynasty, after the Battle of Baideng between the Han and the Xiongnu. Located near the Great Wall Pass to Inner Mongolia. It blossomed during the following period and became a stop-off point for Camel Caravans moving from China into Mongolia and beyond. It was sacked at the end of the Eastern Han Dynasty. Pingcheng became the capital of Northern Wei from 398 AD until 494 AD. The famous Yungang Grottoes were constructed during the later part of this period (460 – 494 AD).The city was renamed Datong in 1048 AD and sacked again at the end of the Ming Dynasty (1649 AD), but promptly rebuilt in 1652 AD.