Top 7 Ancient Capitals and Historic Cities in China
Posted in: Architecture,Cultural,Religious
On April 21, 2020

All city has some history associated with it. Same goes for China. There are many historic cities in China which are well known for their history as ancient capitals and are a popular tourist attractions. China has a long history of ancient civilization. The numerous ancient Chinese capitals have become historic cities which reflects the Chinese dynasties perfectly.

1. Beijing — the Greatest Historic City



Beijing is by far the greatest historic and cultural city in China. It has many noteworthy ancient Chinese sites which includes The Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven etc. Most of the imperial palaces and folk residences of the 860 years old capital have been preserved well. This city beings together the ancient Chinese culture and a modern journey to the hot destinations in China. Many of the historical sites are on the must- visit travel lists.

2. Xi’an — the First Capital When China Was United



Xi’an is considered as one of the most popular ancient historical places in China. With more ancient history and atmosphere than Beijing, it was the first imperial city of China and has one of the longest history among the ancient Chinese capital. There are many historic places in Xi’an such as Terracotta Army, the Ancient City Wall, etc. You can get an overview of the city while riding a bike along the Xi’an Ancient City Wall.

3. Nanjing — Ancient Capital from 265 AD



Nanjing was the ancient capital of Jin and other Chinese dynasties and was also the capital of Republic of China before and after World War II. It’s imperial historicity can not be ignored. It became infamous after the Nanjing massacre. Sun Yatsen’s Mausoleum, where the founder of modern China is buried is a famous tourist attraction in Nanjing. 

4. Luoyang — 13 Dynasties’ Capital



Luoyang too is a major ancient capital of China. The importance of Luoyang in the ancient Chinese culture lies in the fact that it was the city where Taoism was originated and Buddhism was first passed. It is the place where Confucianism was flourished. The Longmen Grottoes present along the shore of a river proves it’s imperial past where thousands of Buddhist and historical figures are carved. Apart from the Longmen Grottoes the other important historical attractions in Luoyang are Luoyang Museum, White Horse Temple and the Eastern Zhou Carriage Museum.

5. Hangzhou — A Landscaped Imperial Retreat



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Hangzhou have many great historical interest and ancient sites such as the imperial landscape and the Beijing emperor’s garden. The Dragon Well Tea Culture and West Lake Tour are some noteworthy historical places in China which you can find in Hangzhou.

6. Anyang — A Capital 3,000 Years Ago



The fact that Anyang is the earliest known capital makes it a very special among the Chinese ancient capitals. The main attractions which can be found here are the Shang Dynasty ruins. Many large bronze pots with other antiquities are displayed in the museums. The Book of Changes came from Anyang. The bones of tortoise shells with inscriptions on them was also found here which are considered to be the earliest Chinese writing.

7. Kaifeng — The City of Calligraphy



One of the Chinese historical and cultural birthplaces is the city of Kaifeng. It is also the birthplace of the famous Chinese painting ‘Ascending the River at Qingming Festival’. You may find many historical sites here such as the Song Dynasty Quarter, Dragon Pavilion, Iron Pagoda and of course the park of Ascending the River at Qingming Festival which is the original scenery of the famous painting. It is known as the ‘City of Calligraphy’ as many styles originated here. 

There are many ancient cities which tells the historical value of the country. The ‘Four Ancient Capitals’ that is Beijing, Xi’an, Nanjing and Luoyang have influenced Chinese history profoundly. The remaining three which are Hangzhou, Anyang and Kaifeng have numerous ancient ruins and sites and thus are places with great historical interest.

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