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Huzhou History & Culture


huzhou history and culture
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Huzhou situated in north Zhejiang province is closed to Shanghai and Hangzhou. Huzhou is on the lakeside of Taihu Lake and nearby to Tianmu Mountain. It is opposite to Wuxi and Suzhou of Jiangsu province, and the only city named after lake among the surrounding cities of Taihu Lake Scenic Area. Huzhou is an ancient city with more than 2300 years of history. In Jiangnan region, Huzhou has picturesque natural landscape and diversity of historic and cultural landscapes. Ranked as one of 14 key opening cities in Yangtze River Delta, Huzhou is promoted and supported politically in the aspect of economic development. Huzhou administrates two districts: Wuxing and Nanxun, three counties:Deqing, Changxing and Anji, and in total 12 communities and 44 towns. Huzhou has a large downtown area and an advantageous geographic location. 75 kilometers from Hangzhou, 130 kilometers from Shanghai, 220 kilometers from Nanjing, and many national expressways and railways go across Huzhou like Hangzhou-Nanjing Highway, No.318 National Highway, Xuancheng-Hangzhou Railway, Changhu Lake Waterway known as Oriental Rhine, Shanghai-Jiangsu-Zhejiang-Anhui Expressway, Shanghai-Jiaxing-Huzhou-Hangzhou Expressway and Hangzhou-Nanjing Passenger Line. Additionally, Huzhou is also in possession of the domestically famous inland transportation.

Huzhou History

Huzhou is a Jiangnan ancient city with over 2000 years of history. In 248 BC, when Huzhou was administrated by King Kaoliewang of Chu State, the famous lord named Huang Xie, whose historic nickname was Lord Chunshen, built up a town over here. This town was named Gucheng Town. In Sui Dynasty (602), it was a prefecture and officially named Huzhou after Taihu Lake. The historical timeline hereinafter:

Xia period(Century 21 BC), Lord Fangfeng(防风氏) established a state in the area of today’s Deqing County. Shang period(Century 12 BC), Lord Taibo and his young brother named Zhongyong went to south China, and established a tribe called Gou Wu(勾吴), and Huzhou was under its administration. .Lord Taibo developed Wu region, and was historically called San Wu(Three Wu Regions, 三吴), including Suzhou, Wujiang and Huzhou. In 334 BC, Yue State was occupied by Chu State, and since then, Huzhou was administrated by Chu State. In 248 BC, King Kaoliewang administrated Chu State, Lord Chunshen moved to this place and built up a town called Gucheng(菰城), due to this area full of a kind of grass named Gu. In 223BC, Qin occupied Chu, and changed Gucheng to be Wucheng (乌程). In 206 BC, Xiang Yu started his riot in Wuzhou(ancient name of Huzhou), and called himself Xi Chu Ba Wang(西楚霸王) , and he established a town called Xiangwang Town. In 129, it was under the reign of Yongjian in East Han Dynasty, Huzhou was under the administration of Wujun prefecture. In 266, Wuxing Perfecture was established by Wu State during Three Kingdoms Period. In Sui Dynasty (602), this site was officially named Huzhou. In Ming and Qing Dynasties, this site was administrated as a prefecture.

Huzhou Tourist Attractions  

Huzhou is rich in tourist attractions, and has six calling cards of tourism, that is, Taihu Lake, Bamboo Forest, Noted Hills, Wetland, Great Mansion, and Ancient Ecology. The Feiying Pagoda(飞英塔) is the key cultural site under the national protection. The iron-made Kwan-yin Statue of Iron Buddha Temple is known as the oriental Venus. Anji County is famous for its bamboo forest, Longwang Mountain is known as the origin of Huangpu River, Tianhuangping Pumping and Energy-storing Power Plant is known for a nationwide industrial tourist demonstration site, the Bamboo Exhibition Garden of China is domestically largest one, Mogan Mountain as a summer resort is as famous as Lushan Mountain, Beidahe River and Jigong Mountain. Deqing Xiazhu Lake is the largest Wetland Scenic Area in Jiangnan region, and also is the newly-developed natural eco-park. Nanxun is an ancient town as famous as Wuzhen and Zhouzhuang. Together with Xinshi Ancient Town, Nanxun becomes an important tourist destination to show the elegance and enchantment of Jiangnan Water Town. Changxing is a county located at the connection of three provinces. And its famous tourist attractions include ten-mile gingko exhibition, living-fossil alligator of Yangtze River, Jindingzi known as a site of the second ice age as well as Zisun Tea(紫笋茶) plantation known as the tribute of Tang Dynasty.

In brief, the representative tourist attractions of Huzhou include: Canglong Waterfalls, Nanxun Ancient Town, Moganshan Mountain, Zhongnan Grass Garden, Anji Bamboo Exhibition Garden, China Huge Bamboo Sea, Huzhou Taihu Lake, Tea Plantation of Guzhu Hill, Tianhuangping Power Plant, Xizhu Lake Wetland, Jiayetang Private Library, Iron Buddha Temple, Longwang Mountain, Baijian Tower, The Former Residence of Zhang Shiming, Feiying Paogda, Tianfu Lake, Lotus Valley, Nine-Dragon Gorge of White Tea Valley, Hanshan Scenic Area.

The highlights of Huzhou tourist attractions is Eight Classic Views of Wuxing(吴兴八景): Daochang Jixiao(道场霁晓), Cangbian Qingqiu(苍弁清秋), Xisai Wanyu(西塞晚渔), Xiagu Changyan(下菰长烟), Longdong Yungui(龙洞云归), Hengshan Mulan(横山暮岚), Nanhu Yuyi(南湖雨意) and Jingai Chuyun(金盖出云). This essence emerged in early Ming Dynasty, exactly eight poems written by Zhang Yu, and the poetry was called Wuxing Bajing(Eight Views of Wuxing). Three Excellences of Huzhou(湖州三绝) are also the greatness of Huzhou tourist attractions themed with Feiying Pagoda(飞英塔), Chaoyin Bridge(潮音桥) and Fumiao Temple(府庙), also called City God Temple.

Huzhou Historic Celebrity

The famous historic figures include: Cao Buxing(曹不兴) known as China’s first painter written into the officially-composed history; Zhu Ran(朱然), a famous general of Wu Kingdom, Lu Xiujing (陆修静), a famous Taoist and the founder of South Tianshidao(天师道),a branch of Taoism, Lu Yu(陆羽)honored to be the Saint of Tea, Zhao Mengfu(赵孟頫), a great master of calligraphy and painting, Shen Wansan(沈万三), No.1 Rich Man of Ming Dynasty, Wu Changshuo(吴昌硕), a great painter, Yu Yue(俞樾), a great academician, Qian Sanqiang(钱三强), a great nuclear physical scientist, Xu Shunshou(徐舜寿), a famous founder of Chinese airplane design.

Huzhou Merchants were the famous businessmen next Huizhou Merchants and Jin Merchants in modern business history of China. During the later period of Qing Dynasty, the local merchants greatly developed their business via silk industry. The local people categorized the top Huzhou Merchants as Four Elephants, Eight Oxes, and Seventy-Two Gold Dogs(四象、八牛、七十二条金狗). By the way, Chinese modern history was deeply influenced by them, the success of Sun Yat-sen’s Revolution and Chiang Kai-Shek’s Republic of China were both largely financially supported by Huzhou Merchants. Besides, Huzhou Merchants were also the earlier people participating in the development of Shanghai.

Huzhou is a special tourist destination to know more about Chinese traditional culture, the tea culture and elite culture are both the essence of Huzhou culture. Huzhou is an important tea plantation, nearly everywhere, visitors can see the tea plantations, and the local people have a long tradition to make tea and drink tea, and the local teas are also productive. Lu Yu, a historic figure of Huzhou, firstly composed book about Tea, and local people called Sutra of Tea or Classics of Tea. Huzhou is also the center of Brush Production of China. As an important tool of elite’s study, brush is the best embodiment of China elite culture. Huzhou people also have a tradition of collecting books. Jiayetang Private Library is the most famous private library in southeast China, and currently is a branch of Zhejiang Museum.

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Editor: Julius from Mildchina
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