Handan was the capital of the state of Zhao during the Warring States period, after the changing of its capital from Zhongmu. The city was conquered by Qin after the virtual annexation of Zhao by Qin except for the Dai Commandry. Qin Shi Huang visited the city once and ordered all enemies of his mother to be buried alive.
Handan was still regarded as a commercial centre during the western and eastern Han dynasties, but slowly it declined, perhaps because of the numerous battles ravaging northern China after the Han.
Handan is now mainly an industrial city. It still has some attractions, most coming from Zhao folklore, like the road in which Lin Xiangru backed into in order to let his nemesis, Lian Po, pass first, and the place in which Lian Po begged for Lin Xiangru's forgiveness. .