|Administration Type||Prefecture-level city|
|City Seat|| Guangling District|
- Urban center
- Urban center
- Per Capita
¥131.1 billion (2007)
|Major Nationalities|| Han - 99.57%|
Hui - 0.28%
|CPC Committee Secretary||Ji Jianye (季建业)|
|Mayor||Wang Yanwen (王燕文)|
|Postal Code|| 225000, 225100|
225200, 225600, 225800
|License Plate Prefix||苏K|
Yangzhou (former spellings: Yang-chou, Yangchow; literally "Rising Prefecture") is a prefecture-level city in central Jiangsu province, People's Republic of China. Sitting on the northern bank of the Yangtze River, it borders the provincial capital of Nanjing to the southwest, Huai'an to the north, Yancheng to the northeast, Taizhou to the east, and Zhenjiang across the river to the south.
Under the 2nd Emperor Yangdi (604-617) of the Sui Dynasty (581-617), was the southern capital of China and called Jiangdu upon the completion of the Jinghang (Grand) Canal until the fall of the Dynasty. It has been a leading economic and cultural center and major port of foreign trade and external exchange since the Tang Dynasty (618-907). There lived many Arab and Persian merchants, but they were massacred in 760 AD during the An Shi Rebellion (Perkins).
In 1280 AD, Yangzhou was the site of a massive gunpowder explosion when the bomb store of the Weiyang arsenal had caught fire accidentally. This blast killed over a hundred guards, launched debris of the buildings into the air that landed 10 li away from the site of the explosion, and could be felt 100 li away as tiles on roofs shook (refer to gunpowder article).
Marco Polo served there under the Mongol emperor Kubilai Khan in the period around 1282-1287 (to 1285, according to Perkins). Although some versions of Polo's memoirs imply that he was the governor of Yangzhou, it is more likely that he was an official in the salt industry, as it is very unlikely that a foreigner would be made a governor of one of the most important cities in the country. The discovery of the 1342 tomb of Katarina Vilioni, member of an Italian trading family in Yangzhou, suggests the existence of a thriving Italian community in the city in the 14th century.
Until the 19th century Yangzhou acted as a major trade exchange center for salt, (a government regulated commodity), rice and silk. The Mings (1368-1644) are largely responsible for building the city as it now stands and surrounding it with 9 km of walls.
The Yangzhou riot in 1868 was a pivotal moment of Anglo-Chinese relations during the late Qing Dynasty that almost led to war. The crisis was fomented by the gentry of the city who opposed the presence of foreign Christian missionaries there. The riot that resulted was an angry crowd estimated at eight to ten thousand who assaulted the premises of the British China Inland Mission in Yangzhou by looting, burning and attacking the missionaries led by Hudson Taylor. No one was killed, however several of the missionaries were injured as they were forced to flee for their lives. As a result of the report of the riot, the British consul in Shanghai, Sir Walter Henry Medhurst took seventy Royal marines in a Man of war and steamed up the Yangtze to Nanjing in a controversial show of force that eventually resulted in an official apology from Viceroy Zeng Guofan and financial restitution made to the injured missionaries.
From the time of the Taiping Rebellion (1853) to the end of the Communist revolution (1949) Yangzhou was in decline, due to war damage and neglect of the Jinghang Canal as railways replaced it in importance; unfortunately, initial plans for railways connecting Yangzhou were deemed to be unimportant, and its status as the leading economic centre of China declined rapidly into a city of little importance. With the canal now partially restored, Yangzhou is once again an important transportation and market center. It also has some industrial output, chiefly in cotton and textiles. In 2004, a railway linked Yangzhou for the first time with Nanjing.
Local landscape: Slender west lake, Ge garden, He garden, Da ming temple, Phoenix island, etc. Subtropical monsoon climate with humid changeable wind; longer winters for about 4 months, summers 3 months and shorter springs and autumns, 2 months respectively; frost-free period of 222 days and annual average sunshine of 2177 hours. Average temperature: 15 °C annually; the hottest in July of 27.6 °C and the coldest in January of 1.7 °C; maximum temperature of 39.8 °C and minimum −19 °C Rainfall: annual average of 1030 mm; rainy season from the middle of June to July
During a period of prosperity and Imperial favour, the arts of storytelling and painting flourished in Yangzhou. The innovative painter-calligrapher Shitao lived in Yangzhou during the 1680s and again from 1697 until his death in 1707. A later group of painters from that time called the Eight Eccentrics of Yangzhou are famous throughout China.
Former President of China Jiang Zemin was born and raised in Yangzhou. His middle school is located right across from the public notary's office in Yangzhou.
Poet Li Bai (c.700-762) wrote in Seeing Meng Haoran off to Yangzhou from Yellow Crane Pavilion:
Some of China’s most creative and eye catching dishes come from the Yangzhou school of cuisine called Huaiyang (also commonly known as the Weiyang school). Along with Sichuan cuisine, Cantonese cuisine, and Shandong cuisine, Huaiyang cuisine (淮扬菜) is a distinctive and masterful skill that locals are quite proud of.
Yangzhou is also very famous for its toy industry (especially stuffed animals). Many tourists from neighboring cities travel to the city for its good-quality and low-priced toys.
It is worth mentioning that the city is also famous for an ancient folk art called Yangzhou storytelling (扬州评话), which is like Xiangsheng - the traditional Chinese comedic performance. It rose as a performing act during the Ming Dynasty. In the performance, the artist details an interesting historical story to audiences, using Yangzhou dialect. These stories have been edited by artists, so they sound very soul-stirring and funny. The most well-know artist of Yangzhou storytelling was Wang shaotang. His most famous works are The 10 chapters of Wu Song (武十回), The 10 chapters of Song Jiang (宋十回), The 10 chapters of Lu Junyi (卢十回), and The 10 chapters of Shi Xiu (石十回).
Yangzhou Golden Eagle Shopping Center-Located on the south-west corner of Wenchang Pavilion Roundabout, Yangzhou Golden Eagle Shopping Center is the most up-market store in the city center and features a wide variety of clothes, electronics and jewellery.
Wanjiafu Department Store-Situated diagonally across Wenchangge from Golden Eagle, Wanjiafu Department Store boasts a favourable geographical position. It has a business area of 18,000 square meters with a good selection of clothes.
Times Square-Located on the west side of the Golden Eagle Shopping center, Times Square attracts thousands of citizens and covers an area of 23,000 square meters. Compared with the previous two shopping centers, Times Square is more like an "American" style mall, with a wide variety of clothing stores, appliances, restaurants, and a cinema. Many young people shop in the basement for cheap fashion. Also, a large book store is located on the top floor. English books could also be found. However, they are not orginals.
Living Mall or Living City-Recently Yangzhou did get an "American" style mall known as: Living City. The mall is located in the west of city, about 1 kilometre east of the railway station, across from the Yangzhou Museum. Living City targets high market customers with many global brands. This is perhaps the easiest place in Yangzhou to meet foreigners, what with a Starbucks, Dairy Queen and the highest concentration of restaurents catering to western tastes.
Besides big stores, there are many small clothing outlets lining most of the streets in the city center. Unlike the stores listed above, here you can bargin with the shopkeeper for a better price, and usually the prices are cheaper than for like items in Nanjing or Shanghai.
Tourist sights include Slender Western Lake and old residences in the moated town, such as the Wang Residence and the Daming temple. Yangzhou is famous for its many well preserved Suzhou style gardens.
This round, three-story pavilion in Yangzhou's eastern sector was built in 1585 and celebrates the city's rich cultural traditions. It is also the de facto center of the city.
Built during Ming dynasty, it is located on the cross of Wengchang Road and Wenhe Road. The whole building is about 79 foot high, and looks like Temple of Heaven in Beking. Today, boarded by many shopping stores, Wenchange had been a symbol of commercial center to residents.