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Hefei History & Culture


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Hefei anciently called Luzhou(庐州) is the capital of Anhui province. Located in middle of Anhui province and the region between Huai River and Yangtze River and partially surrounded by Chao Lake, the fourth largest freshwater lake in mainland China. Hefei is the largest city of Anhui province and the nationwide important education as well as science and technology research center, and will be the fourth regional centers of East China apart from Nanjing, Shanghai and Hangzhou.

In the aspect of administrative area, Hefei at present administrates Luyang District, Yaohai District, Shushan District, Baohe District, Chaohu county-level city, Feidong County, Feixi County, Changfeng County and Lujiang County, and also has many economic zones like Hefei High-Tec h Industry Development Zone, Hefei Economic and Technological Development Zone, Hefei Comprehensive Test Zone of New Station and Chaohu Economic Development Zone. Especially in 2011, the great change of Anhui Administration Area Reform benefits Hefei a lot. The former prefectural-level city, Chaohu was divided into several parts, and the administrators were all rearranged. Lujiang County and the downtown Chaohu are administrated by Hefei, and then the Chaohu Lake also becomes the urban lake of Hefei, which will be another super-megacity of China.

History of Hefei

Most of traditional city names of China are closely connected with the local geography, so is Hefei. Hefei used to be the converging site of two rivers respectively named Dongfei River(东淝河) and Nanfei River(南淝河), so this place is the unification site of two branches of Fei River, and it is called Hefei(合肥, which in traditional regional historical record is written into合淝). Hefei was initially appeared in Shi Ji(史记, The Record of The Grand Historian) and famous as a business center, and the conjunctive site selling the north products and south products. In the period of Qin and Han Dynasty, Hefei was under the administration of Jiujiang prefecture, or believed to be the Lujiang Prefecture(庐江郡, a vitally important regional prefecture of ancient China), in East Han Dynasty, Hefei was improved as a marquis state. In the period of Three Kingdoms, Hefei was under the administration of Yangzhou. And a historically famous battle named Xiaoyaojin Battle(逍遥津之战, General Zhang Liao of Wei Kingdom defeated 100 thousands troop of Wu Kingdom) happened in Hefei, and today there is a famous park named Xiaoyaojin Park. In Song Dynasty, Hefei was called Luzhou, and in Ming and Qing Dynasties, it was the administrative center of Luzhou. In 1945, the capital of Anhui province was moved to be Hefei, and in 1949, Hefei was officially established as a city. In 1952, Hefei was finally established as the provincial capital of Anhui province.

Historic Characters of Hefei

Fan Zeng(范增, BC277-BC204), the teacher and consultant of Liu Bang, the most powerful counterpart of Liu Bang, who was the founder of Han Dynasty.

Zhou Yu (周瑜, 175-210), the famous general of Wu Kingdom and got the vital victory in Chibi against Cao Cao’s southward attack, which was historically written as Battle of Red Cliff. And Zhou Yu was also the symbol of honorable and handsome officers with perfect cultural cultivation, and traditionally considered as the typical representative of man that girls should marry.

Bao Zheng(包拯, 999-1062), the most famous clean-handed official in ancient history of China. Traditionally, Bao Zheng was the aspect of justice and selflessness, and historically called Bao Qing Tian(包青天, Qing Tian, or blue sky, is a sign of peaceful and prosperous period) as well. Besides, he was also a famous reformist. In folk legend, Bao Zheng was also a godlike figure, who judged the humankind’s cases at daytime and judged the ghosts’ case at nighttime.

Li Hongzhang(李鸿章, 1823-1901), the premier of China in late Qing Dynasty and also the most famous official in late Qing Dynasty, and he was the student of Zeng Guofan(曾国藩) and the founder and marshal of Huai Troop and Beiyang Navy(the largest navy in the world at the time), and he also was the promoter of Chinese Westernization Movement, mainly in the aspect of technology and science learning. Due to the failures in Jiawu Sea War (or the First China-Japanese War) and domestic reform, Li Hongzhang in the 20th century was seriously condemned as the national betrayer, but in the century 21, the criticism on him is apt to objective and reliable.

Liu Mingchuan (刘铭传, 1836-1896) was a historically famous and patriotic general of Qing Dynasty in the aspect of protecting Taiwan. And he also made a great contribution to the modernization of Taiwan.

Duan Qirui (段祺瑞, 1865-1936), a famous politician in the period of Republic of China and one of three most outstanding marshals of Beiyang Troops. He was quite economical and respected by people.

Feng Yuxiang(冯玉祥, 1882-1948), a great patriot and democratic establisher. He was a warlord but was quite welcome in people. For China, he retreated and moved his military power to the Republic of China

Sun Liren(孙立人, 1900-1990), a great patriotic general of China, graduated from Tsinghua University of China as well as Purdue University and Virginia Military Institute of U.S.A(West-point Military School), and the alumnus of George Marshall and George Smith Patton. He fought together with allies of Britain and USA army against Japanese troops in south Asia, and was highly commented as Oriental Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel by westerners and Japanese.

Wei Lihuang(卫立煌, 1897 - 1960) was a great patriotic general and senior officer of the Republic of China. Mr. Wei was quite talented and brilliant, and made a great contribution to fighting against Japanese, and he made Japanese troop in endless scare, and Japanese people called him the Tiger-like General of China. In the civil war period, he sympathized the people of China, and was not willing to fight against the troops of Communist Party of China led by Lin Biao, who actually was one of Mr. Wei’s bosom friends.

Zhang Zhizhong(张治中, 1890-1969), a great patriotic general of the Republic of China, with his efforts, Kuomintang and Communist Party had several negotiations peacefully. He was the figure both highly respected by two parties of China.

Yang Zhenning(杨政宁) is the first Chinese Nobel Prize Winner and Yang Yuanqing(杨元庆) is the CEO of Lenovo, a famous international company. Moreover, Li Kenong(李克农) was the King of Secret Service of China Communist Party. Wu Bangguo is the second leader of today’s mainland China.

The Legacy of Hefei

Hefei is a national key educational center and Science and Technology Research Center, and a lot of famous universities like University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), Hefei University of Technology and Anhui University and research institutes like many branches of Chinese Academy of Sciences are located here.

The representatives of tourist attractions in Hefei include Longquan Temple, Mingjiao Temple, Lord Bao Memorial Temple, Baolian Temple, City God Temple, Lord Yao Temple, Yuetan Nunnery, Kaifu Temple, King Wu Temple, Xilu Temple, Qingfu Temple, Yugengshan Mountain National Forest Park, Zipengshan Hill Scenic Area, Sanhe Ancient Town, Chaohu Lake Scenic Area, Yefushan Mountain Forest Park, Zhou Yu Tomb, Anhui Museum, Former Residence of Li Hongzhang, Former Residence of Liu Mingchuan, Stone-carvings of Wufu Mausoleum, Liujiafan Ancient Residential Building Complex. Anhui Museum of Science and Technology, Hui Park, Yaohai Park, Xiaoyaojin Park, Mingzhu Square, Peace Square and Hefei Botanical Park. The famous snacks or cuisines are Mabing(麻饼), Honggao(烘糕), Cunjin(寸金) and Baiqie(白切), four of which are considered as the top most famous snacks of Hefei.

As for the transportation of Hefei, there is no any difference from Nanjing, Shanghai and Hangzhou, and as one of the important cities in East China, Hefei has a perfect traffic system. The Luogang International Airport, Hefei Railway Station providing the service of high-speed trains, the city metros are under the construction. And all the aspects of the transportation can meet the diverse needs of passengers.

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Editor: Julius from Mildchina
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