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Shaoxing City Guide

lanting calligraphy
Shaoxing Lanting Calligraphy

Shaoxing, anciently called Kuaiji known as the most important political center of South China in ancient times, is worldwide famous city for culture. Historically, Shaoxing acted as the capital of Yue Kingdom in Spring and Autumn Period, Wu-Yue Kingdom and South Song Dynasty. Also used to be the provincial capital of Zhejiang province, Shaoxing is a city getting the UN’s award of the World’s Best Living Place. It is also the most vigorous city of domestic private economy. At present, Shaoxing is highly emphasized by China and planned to be constructed as an international city of southeast China. Shaoxing currently administrates Shaoxing county, Zhuji city, Shangyu city, Shengzhou city, Xinchang county and Yuecheng District. The downtown area of Shaoxing is 230 square kilometers, and the regional population is 2 million, and the rough revenue of each person annually is over 34,200 RMB, and it ranks the fifth place of China. The downtown area centering on Jinghu Lake is comprised of Yuecheng District, Paojiang District and Keqiao District. Shaoxing today is the important transportation hub, business and commercial logistics center, regional financial center, sunrise industry base, brand center and Didang new town of international culture & tourism.


Shaoxing History

Starting with metaphase of Neolithic Age, Shaoxing has more than 8000 years of history. The ancient capital of Yue Kingdom was set in Shaoxing in 490 BC, and up to today, it has more than 2500 years of history. Academically, Shaoxing among the historians is considered as the earliest capital of ancient China – the capital of Xia Dynasty. During the Spring and Autumn Period, Shaoxing was the capital of Yue Kingdom, which was one of Top Five Powers of the Spring and Autumn Period. In East Jin Dynasty, Shaoxing was the capital. During Three Kingdoms Period, Shaoxing was the east capital of Wu Kingdom. In Song Dynasty, Shaoxing was a metropolis and the political, economic and cultural center of southeast China. Shaoxing was the No.1 city famous for culture. In history, three times of official-bureaucrats’ southward remove shaped the tradition and glorified the history of Shaoxing. In this way, Shaoxing is also the center of Chinese elite culture.


Shaoxing Tourist Attractions

Shaoxing tourist attractions mostly feature the oneness of natural beauty and cultural enchantment. Shaoxing belongs in the first batch of national excellent tourist cities. It totally has 8 national and provincial scenic areas, and more than 3600 cultural legacies and national-level intangible cultural heritage sites. Many travel experts comment it as a fenceless museum. The highlights of Shaoxing tourist resources are its natural landscape, ancient city view and cultural landscape.

shaoxing east lake
Shaoxing East Lake Scenic Area

The Quintessence of Shaoxing Travel: The tourist attractions suiting for natural sightseeing include East Lake (Dong Hu), Orchid Pavilion (Lanting), Shen Family Garden-style Mansion, Penglai Pavilion, Surrounding-City River, Corridor Bridge, Cherry Blossom Forest and Jinghu Lake Scenic Area(Mirror Lake). The classic view of China include: Mausoleum of Emperor Yu, Warlords’ Relics of Spring and Autumn Period, Notability’s Tradition of Jin and Tang Dynasties. The humanistic views include the former residence of Lu Xun, the former residence of Zhou Enlai, The ancient street of Cangqiao, three cultural hills of downtown Shaoxing, Xianheng Drinkery, Qingteng Book-house, Dais of Yue-State King, and Temporary Imperial Palace of South Song Dynasty. The views of Religion include: Dashan Pagoda, Yingtian Pagoda, Longhua Temple, Xianglu Peak, Tiandou Palace, Jiezhu Temple, Yunmen Temple and Giant Buddha Temple.

The recommended tourist attractions to foreign travelers: The orchid pavilion(兰亭) is the cultural center of Chinese calligraphy, and used to be the site that Wang Xizhi created the most classic masterpieces of calligraphy named Lanting Xu or Preface to the Orchid Pavilion. Shenyuan or Shen Family’s Garden-Style Mansion(沈园), is a typical garden building of Song Dyansty, the classic love story of Lu You and Tang Wan(Lu You was a great talented and patriotic poet of south Song Dynasty and Tang Wan was an elegant and educated lady. They fell in love since childhood, but Lu You’s mother broke up their love. They left their love letters to each other in the form of Ci, a literary type popularized in Song Dynasty. the titles of their love letter are both named Chaitoufeng, 钗头凤) . Xiyuan(西园, West Garden) used to be the imperial gardens of Five-dynasty period and features the classic poetic imagery. City Square is a tourist complex comprised of ancient outdoor opera performance stage, Dashan Pagoda(大善塔, Grand Kind-Heartedness Pagoda ), large themed bass0-relievo and art gallery. Ancient Street of Cangqiao(仓桥直街) wins the United States’ Heritage Protection Award. Kuaiji Hill is a tourist complex consisting of Dayu Mausoleum, Xianglu Peak and Stone Inscription (Known as Li Shi Stele, namely inscribed by Li Si, the premier of Qin Dynasty). Lv Family Mansion(吕府) used to be a former residence of Lv Ben(吕夲), the Minister of Personnel Department of Ming Dynasty , and belongs to list of Key Cultural Site Under the National Protection. Jishan Scenic Area(蕺山景区) is made up of Jishan Academy said to be the origin of Zhejiang-style Academics, Wenbi Pagoda, Jiezhu Temple and Former Residence of Wang Xizhi. Fushan(府山) Scenic Area consists of Dais of Yue-State King, Ancient City Wall, Ancient Cypress of South Song Dynasty, Temporary Palace of South Song Dynasty, Feiyi Tower and Cliff Inscriptions. Bazi Qiao(八字桥) was China’s earliest cloverleaf junction. Guyue Library(古越藏书楼) is modern China’s first public library. Six Mausoleums of South Song Dynasty(宋六陵) is the imperial relic garden of South Song Dynasty. Jinghu Lake Wetland(镜湖湿地) belongs in the first batch of national wetland park, and the whole park full of plum blossoms and aigrettes. Yunmen Temple(云门寺) is an imperial palace established by East-Jin Emperor Andi, and the former residence of Wang Xianzhi, the son of Wang Xianzhi. From Jin Dynasty to Ming and Qing Dynasties, there were used to dozens of Emperors inscribed for this temple.

dayu statue
The Statue of Da Yu
xiuxi festival
Xiuxi Festival

The Typical Tourist Attractions nearby Downtown Shaoxing: the first representative is Caoe Miao(曹娥庙, Caoe Temple). Cao E was said to be the goddess of Caoe River. Caoe Temple boasts the No.1 Temple of Jiangnan for its famous carvings, frescos, couplets and calligraphic masterpieces, and the famous Caoe Stele is the oldest logogriph of China. East Hill(东山) famous for an idiom, Dong Shan Zai Qi(东山再起, Recommencement from East Hill, is connected with Xie An, a great politician and literary masters of East Jin Dynasty), later on, it brings a lot of fascinating stories and also becomes a famous hill in southeast China, and plenty of great poets like Li Po, Huo Zhizhang, Liu Changqing, Su Dongpo and Lu You left lots of poems. Xinchang Great Buddha Temple has the No.1 Buddha Statue in Jiangnan region. Hometown of Beauty Xi Shi(西施故里) is a key side under the national protection. Hometown of Liangzhu(梁祝故里)is the origin of love story of Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai, also called the Butterfly Lovers.

The representatives of the unique festivals in Shaoxing include: China Shaoxing Yellow Wine Festival, China Yue Opera Festival, China Lanting International Calligraphy Festival, China Lu Xun Literature Award Ceremony, China Weaving Exposition, International Cherry Blossom Festival and National Ceremony for Worshipping Dayu. By the way, Shaoxing is also the hometown of Yue Opera, a famous classic opera of China.




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