Learn more about Hangzhou
|Administration Type||sub-provincial city|
|Mayor|| Sun Zhonghuan|
- Per Capita
|Postal Code|| 310000|
|License Plate Prefix||浙A|
|City Flower||Sweet Osmanthus|
|City Tree||Camphor tree|
Chinese: 杭州; pinyin: Hángzhōu; Postal map spelling: Hangchow) is a sub-provincial city in China and the capital of Zhejiang province. Located 180 km southwest of Shanghai, the population in the city proper is now around 1.75 million. By the end of 2003, Hangzhou had a registered population of 6.4 million including an urban registered population of 3.9 million. As one of the most renowned and prosperous cities of China for much of the last 1,000 years, Hangzhou is also well-known for its beautiful natural scenery, with the West Lake (Xī Hú, 西湖) as the most noteworthy location.(
The city of Hangzhou was founded about 2,200 years ago during the Qin Dynasty, it is listed as one of the Seven Ancient Capitals of China, but the city wall was not constructed until the Sui Dynasty (591).It was the capital of the Wuyue Kingdom from 907 to 978 during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. Named Xifu at the time, it was one of the three great centers of culture in southern China during the tenth century, along with Nanjing and Chengdu. Leaders of Wuyue were noted patrons of the arts, and especially of Buddhism and associated temple architecture and artwork. It also became a cosmopolitan center, drawing scholars from throughout China and conducting diplomacy not only with neighboring Chinese states, but also with Japan, Korea, and the Khitans.
In 1089, Su Shi constructed a 2.8 km long dike across the West Lake, which Qing Emperor Qianlong considered particularly attractive in the early morning of the spring time. The lake, which itself is artificial, is largely surrounded by mountains. The Baoshi Pagoda sits on one of these hills to the north.
Hangzhou was the capital of the Southern Song Dynasty from the early 12th century until the Mongol invasion of 1276, and was known as Lin'an (臨安). It served as the seat of the imperial government, a center of trade and entertainment, and the nexus of the main branches of the civil service. During that time, the city was the gravity centre of Chinese civilization as what used to be considered the "central China" in the north was taken by the Jin, an ethnic minority dynasty. Numerous philosophers, politicians, and men of literature, including some of the most celebrated poets in Chinese history such as Su Shi (苏轼), Lu You (陆游), and Xin Qiji (辛弃疾) came here to live and die.
During the Southern Song Dynasty, commercial expansion, an influx of refugees from the conquered north, and the growth of the official and military establishments, led to a corresponding population increase and the city developed well outside its 9th century ramparts. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, Hangzhou had a population of over 2 million at that time, while Historian Jacques Gernet has estimated that the population of Hangzhou numbered well over one million by 1276. (Official Chinese census figures from the year 1270 listed some 186,330 families in residence and probably failed to count non-residents and soldiers.) It is believed that Hangzhou was the largest city in the world from 1180 to 1315 and from 1348 to 1358. 
The Venetian Marco Polo visited Hangzhou in the late 13th century and referred to the city as "beyond dispute the finest and the noblest in the world." Although his exaggerations that the city was over one hundred miles in diameter and had 12,00 stone bridges, he still presented elegant prose about the country. "The number and wealth of the merchants, and the amount of goods that passed through their hands, was so enormous that no man could form a just estimate thereof."
Because of the large population and densely-crowded (often multi-story) wooden buildings, Hangzhou was particularly vulnerable to fires. Major conflagrations destroyed large sections of the city in 1132, 1137, 1208, 1229, 1237, and 1275 while smaller fires occurred nearly every year. The 1237 fire alone was recorded to have destroyed 30,000 dwellings. To combat this threat, the government established an elaborate system for fighting fires, erected watchtowers, devised a system of lantern and flag signals to identify the source of the flames and direct the response, and charged more than 3,000 soldiers with the task of putting out fires.
The city remained an important port until the middle Ming Dynasty when its harbor slowly silted up.
As late as the latter part of the 16th and early 17th centuries, the city was an important center of Chinese Jewry, and may have been the original home of the more well-known Kaifeng Jewish community.
Hangzhou was ruled by the Kuomintang under Chiang Kai-shek (Jiang Jieshi 蒋介石) from 1928 to 1949. On May 3, 1949, the People's Liberation Army entered Hangzhou and the city came under Communist control.
 Geography and climate
Hangzhou is located in northern Zhejiang province, eastern China, at the southern end of the Grand Canal of China, on the plain of the mid-lower reaches of the Yangtze River (Cháng Jiāng). The prefecture-level region of Hangzhou extends west to the border with the hilly-country Anhui Province, and east to the flat-land Hangzhou Bay. The city centre is built around the eastern and northern sides of the West Lake, just north of the Qiantang River.
Hangzhou has a mild climate, with four distinctive seasons. The average annual temperature in Hangzhou is 16.2 degrees Celsius. The summers are hot and humid, while winters are relatively cool and dry. In July, the hottest month, the average temperature is approximately 33.8 degrees Celsius; in January the average temperature is about 3.6 degree Celsius. Hangzhou receives an average annual rainfall of 1450 mm. In mid-summer, Hangzhou, along with other cities in Zhejiang province, suffer typhoon storms.<ref>Hangzhou. China Today. Retrieved 22 August 2006.</ref>
Hangzhou is renowned for its historic relics and natural beauty. It has been ranked as one of the ten most scenic cities in China.<ref>Hangzhou Today: Tourism. China Pages. Retrieved 22 August 2006.</ref> Although Hangzhou has been through many recent urban developments, it still retains its historical and cultural heritage. Today, tourism remains an important factor for Hangzhou's economy.<ref>Hangzhou Today: General Survey. China Pages. Retrieved 22 August 2006.</ref>
- One of Hangzhou's most popular sights is West Lake. The lake covers an area of 60 square kilometres and includes some of Hangzhou's most famous historic and scenic places. The area includes historical pagodas, cultural sites, as well as the natural beauty of the lake and hills.<ref>Hangzhou Today: Tourism. China Pages. Retrieved 22 August 2006.</ref>
- The oldest Buddhist temple in the city is believed to be Lingyin Si ("Soul's Retreat"), which, like most of the other landmarks in this city, has gone through numerous destruction and reconstruction cycles. The contemporary building was finished in 1910.
- Jingci Temple
- Liuhe Pagoda
- Baochu Pagoda
- Yue-Wang Miao (岳王庙, "King Yue's Temple") near the West Lake was originally constructed in 1221 in memory of General Yue Fei, who lost his life due to political persecution.
- Xixi National Wetland Park
- Hangzhou Botanical Gardens
- Dreaming of the Tiger Spring
- Hangzhou Zoo
- Leifeng Pagoda
Tea is produced on the outskirts of town at Longjing (龙井) or Dragon Well. It is among the only remaining places where tea is still baked by hand and is said to produce one of the finest green teas in all of China.
The GDP per capita was ¥38247 (ca. US$4620), ranked no. 8 among 659 Chinese cities.
Hangzhou is one of China's most popular tourist destinations. Tourism is an important part of the local economy. The West Lake has been a leisure destination for many centuries.
Tea is an important part of Hangzhou's economy and culture. Hangzhou is best known for originating Longjing, a famous variety of green tea. Furthermore, there are many types of Longjing tea, the most famous being Xi Hu Long Jing. Known as the best type of Long Jing tea, Xi Hu Long Jing is grown near Xi Hu in Hangzhou, hence its name.<ref>Xi Hu Long Jing Tea Tea Spring. Retrieved 23 August 2006.</ref>
Hangzhou is serviced by the Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport, which has direct flights to Japan, Hong Kong and Macao, as well as numerous domestic routes. Hangzhou Railway Station (colloquially the "City Station" 城站) and the significantly less modern Hangzhou East Railway Station (colloquially "East Station" 东站) serve the city centre, from which one can catch a train to Shanghai and almost anywhere in China. A Shanghai-Hangzhou Maglev Train Line has been proposed. North, east, south and west long-distance bus stations offer regular large and small coach services to towns within Zhejiang province and surrounding provinces.
Public transport within Hangzhou city is primarily in the form of an extensive public bus network. As the city area is so flat, bicycles were traditionally very popular, and are still popular with the less well-off residents, though many now use electric bicycles and scooters. Taxis are also very common. The construction of a subway system had long been planned, and recently received approval from the central government. The completion of the first two lines is expected in 2010.
Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport located just outside of the city in the Xiaoshan district is one of the major secondary international airports in China, with regular passenger flights to most destinations in China and also Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand and Singapore.
 Colleges and universities
- Zhejiang University of Technology (浙江工业大学)
- Zhejiang University of Science & Technology (浙江科技学院)
- Zhejiang Sci-Tech University (浙江理工大学)
- HangZhou DianZi University (杭州电子科技大学)
- Zhejiang University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (浙江中医药大学)
- China Jiliang University (中国计量学院)
- Zhejiang University of Finance and Economics (浙江财经学院)
- Hangzhou University of Electronics Engineering (杭州电子工业大学)
- Hangzhou Teachers College (杭州师范学院) 
- Hangzhou University of Commerce (杭州工商大学)
- Zhejiang Shuren University (浙江树人学院)
- City College, Zhejiang University(浙江大学城市学院)
Note: Institutions without full-time bachelor programs are not listed.
Hangzhou appears in the Chinese saying:
Another saying is:
"In heaven, there is paradise. On earth, there are Suzhou and Hangzhou." (上有天堂，下有苏杭)
 Sister cities
- Image:Flag of the United States.svg Boston, Massachusetts, United States
- Image:Flag of Japan.svg Fukui, Japan
- Image:Flag of Japan.svg Sayama, Saitama, Japan
- Image:Flag of the United Kingdom (3-5).svg Leeds, United Kingdom
- Image:Flag of Spain.svg Oviedo, Spain
- Image:Flag of France.svg Nice, France
 See also
 Cited references
 General references
- Gernet, Jacques. Daily Life In China On the Eve of the Mongol Invasion: 1250-1276. H.M. Wright, translator. Stanford: University Press, 1962. ISBN 8047-0720-0 (This work focuses almost exclusively on life in Hangzhou in the period described.)
 External links
- Official Hangzhou Municipal Website
- Official Hangzhou Government Website - English
- Hangzhou Link Resources
- Classifieds and Community Portal for Internationals in Hangzhou
- Satellite photo from Google Maps
- Hangzhou travel guide from Wikitravel
|Capital of China (as Lin'an)|
Beijing (as Khanbalig)
| Prefecture-level divisions of Zhejiang
|List of Zhejiang County-level divisions|
|Major cities of Greater China|
|People's Republic of China||Direct-controlled municipalities (4)||Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai, Tianjin|
|Sub-provincial cities (15)|| Changchun, Chengdu, Dalian, Guangzhou, Hangzhou,|
Harbin, Jinan, Nanjing, Ningbo, Qingdao,
Shenyang, Shenzhen, Wuhan, Xiamen, Xi'an
|Special administrative regions (2)||Hong Kong, Macau|
|Republic of China (Taiwan)||Direct-controlled municipalities (2)||Kaohsiung, Taipei|
de:Hangzhou et:Hangzhou es:Hangzhou eu:Hangzhou fr:Hangzhou ko:항저우 id:Hangzhou it:Hangzhou nl:Hangzhou ja:杭州市 no:Hangzhou ug:خاڭجۇ شەھىر pl:Hangzhou pt:Hangzhou ru:Ханчжоу fi:Hangzhou sv:Hangzhou vi:Hàng Châu zh:杭州市