Danyang (Simplified Chinese: 丹阳市; Traditional Chinese: 丹陽市; pinyin: Dānyáng Shì) is a county-level city administered by Zhenjiang in Jiangsu Province, in the People's Republic of China. However, it is actually located about halfway between Zhenjiang and Changzhou, and is easier to reach from Changzhou than Zhenjiang. During the Southern Dynasties it was the home town of the royal families of both the Southern Qi and Liang Dynasties. As a result, many of the emperors and princes of these royal families were buried here in elaborate tombs. Nowadays it is better known for its production of optical lenses used in sunglasses and eyeglasses. In 2012 Danyang received a new railway station, the North Station (Bei Zhan), on the Shanghai to Beijing high-speed railway line, making it possible to travel between Danyang and Shanghai's Hongqiao Station in only one hour and 10 minutes. There is also a new train station for regular rail service located in the downtown city center. Danyang has a total area of 1,059 km2 and a population of roughly 890,000. Danyang locals speak a dialect of Wu Chinese, and the city is on the linguistic borderline between Wu Chinese and Jianghuai Mandarin.
During the period of the four Southern Dynasties (Nan Chao) from 420 to 589 A.D. when China’s national capital was in Jiankang (modern Nanjing), Danyang was the hometown of the emperors of the Southern Qi (479-502) and Liang Dynasties (502-557), who were buried in the countryside outside the city. Today 11 of these Southern Dynasties imperial tombs can still be found to the east and northeast of the city. They are notable for their unique stone statues of mythical animals marking the sacred way (shen dao) leading to each imperial tomb. After 1,500 years it is amazing how many of these have survived.
As one of the key cities in the Yangtze River Delta open to foreign trade, Danyang has shown strong economic and standard-of-living growth since 2000. In 2007, the GDP and per capita GDP of Danyang reached 35.7 billion yuan ($4.7 billion USD) and 44,242 yuan ($6,061 USD) respectively.
Businesses from 32 countries and regions have invested in Danyang with accumulated paid-in capital of $1 billion USD. As a developing city within the Shanghai economic sphere of influence, Danyang has attracted domestic and foreign businesses.
The high-speed trains (typically, listed in schedules as G-series or D-series trains) take about one hour and a half to get to Shanghai and about 30 minutes to get to Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu Province, and the former national capital. Direct service to Beijing from Danyang North Station takes about 4 hours and 30 minutes.