Lies on the south bank of the Yangtze River, Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu Province, is one of the most delightful of Chinese cities. Known as the Capital City of Six or Ten Dynasties in China's history, it has a brilliant cultural heritage.
Yuecheng, the first recorded military defense constructed in early 472 B.C., opened the long history of Nanjing. In the following years, the city reached its height of splendor at various times. In 229, Sun Quan, one of the three heroes in China's Three Kingdoms Period (220 - 280), to strengthen his influence in the middle valley of the Yangtze River, moved the capital of his kingdom to Jianye - present Nanjing. From that time on, the city served as the capital for several dynasties in China's history. In 1356, in a peasant rebellion, Zhu Yuanzhang, later the Emperor Taizu of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644), conquered the city and renamed it Yingtian Fu. In 1368, Zhu established the Ming Dynasty - the last feudal dynasty ruled by the native Han people - and gave Yingtian Fu the new name of Nanjing. Ten years later, the emperor made Nanjing the capital of the country. The mausoleum of Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang is perching on the southern slope of the Mount Zijinshan in the northeastern part of the city.
Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum
Following officials' advice of "building walls and producing grain to consolidate the rule", the emperor ordered the construction of city walls. Today's majestic walls in Nanjing, the longest of its kind in the world, are the result of that phase of construction. Zhonghua Gate, simply meaning 'Chinese Gate', is a noted attraction for tourists in the present city center.
In spite of its glorious times, the city also witnessed the hardest moment of this nation. In 1839, the Opium War burst out after Lin Zexu, an assiduous official, burnt twenty thousand boxes of opium in Humen. On a battleship in Nanjing's Xiaguan, the corrupt Qing government, under threat by Britain troops, signed the notorious Nanjing Treaty, the first of the 'Unequal Treaties' which ceded Hong Kong away from China for more than hundred years. Following this treaty, invasions and colonial rule of the western countries intensified and China sank into a harder and darker time.
Peasant groups of Taiping rebelled against the Qing government in 1853 and established the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom in Jinling, Nanjing's name at that time, and formed an army. Unfortunately, the peasant regime was short-lived and in 1864, troops of Qing government won the city back. Nowadays, in Xuyuan Garden , one can still see part of the palace of Heavenly King of Taiping Heavenly Kingdom.
Like most major cities in China, Nanjing is developing rapidly. Great changes have taken place in the city. Modern highways and railways connect the city with most major cities throughout the country and it is becoming a sparkling metropolis akin to Shanghai and Beijing with skyscrapers, luxury hotels, fashion shopping malls, supermarkets and highly-developed economic zones throughout the city. Transport in the city is very convenient with the new metro service in addition to taxis, public buses, tourist special lines and other means of transport. Modern amenities in luxury hotels make your trip a comfortable one. Dazzling shopping malls and department stores can be found in the commercial areas of the city with stocked plenty of international brand names. Nanjing is also home to several colleges and universities and a large foreign population. The city is become an international metropolis with new faces every day.