|— Prefecture-level city —|
|Country||People's Republic of China|
|• Type||Prefecture-level city|
|• CPC Secretary|
|• Urban||2,080 km2 (800 sq mi)|
|• Metro||1,074 km2 (415 sq mi)|
|Elevation||1,042 m (3,419 ft)|
|Population (2010 census)|
|• Prefecture-level city||3,318,057|
|• Urban density||750/km2 ( 2,000/sq mi)|
|• Metro density||1,300/km2 ( 3,500/sq mi)|
|Time zone||China Standard (UTC+8)|
|Administrative division code||140200|
Datong (Chinese: 大同; pinyin: Dàtóng; Wade–Giles: Ta-t'ung) is a prefecture-level city in northern Shanxi province, People's Republic of China, located in a basin at an elevation of 1,040 metres (3,410 ft) and bordering Inner Mongolia to the north and west and Hebei to the east. It has a population of 3,318,057 at the 2010 census of whom 1,447,150 live in the built up area made of 3 out of 4 urban districts, namely Chengqu, Kuangqu and Nanjiao.
The town was founded as Píngchéng (平城) in 200 BC during the Han Dynasty, after the Battle of Baideng between the Han and the Xiongnu. Located near the Great Wall Pass to Inner Mongolia. It blossomed during the following period and became a stop-off point for Camel Caravans moving from China into Mongolia and beyond. It was sacked at the end of the Eastern Han Dynasty. Pingcheng became the capital of Northern Wei from 398 AD until 494 AD. The well-known Yungang Grottoes were constructed during the later part of this period (460 – 494 AD).
It was sacked again at the end of the Ming Dynasty (1649 AD), but promptly rebuilt in 1652 AD.
Datong is the northernmost city of Shanxi, and is located in the Datong Basin, with an administrative area spanning latitude 39° 03'–40° 44' N and longitude 112° 34'–114° 33' E. The urban area is surrounded on three sides by mountains, with passes only to the east and southwest. Within the prefecture-level city elevations generally increase from southeast to northwest. Datong borders Ulanqab (Inner Mongolia) to the northwest and Zhangjiakou (Hebei) to the east, Shuozhou (Shanxi) to the southwest and Xinzhou (Shanxi) to the south.
The well-known Datong Volcanic Arc lies nearby in the Datong Basin.
Datong has a continental, monsoon-influenced steppe climate (Köppen BSk), influenced by the 1,000 metres (3,300 ft)+ elevation, with rather long, cold, very dry winters, and very warm summers. Monthly mean temperatures range from −10.6 °C (12.9 °F) in January to 22.0 °C (71.6 °F) in July; the annual mean temperature is 6.97 °C (44.5 °F). Due to the aridity and elevation, nighttime lows are often significantly lower than daytime highs, with an annual mean diurnal temperature variation of 13.3 °C (23.9 °F). There barely is any precipitation during winter, and more than ¾ of the annual precipitation occurs from June to September. The area receives upwards of 60% (2670 hours) of the possible amount of sunshine per year.
|Climate data for Datong (1971−2000)|
|Average high °C (°F)||−3.4
|Average low °C (°F)||−16.6
|Precipitation mm (inches)||2.0
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)||2.0||2.5||4.5||4.1||7.0||9.8||13.5||12.2||8.8||4.8||2.8||1.9||73.9|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||184.1||189.4||222.3||243.5||272.5||265.7||244.8||233.9||234.6||226.8||185.8||167.5||2,670.9|
|Source: China Meteorological Administration|
Administrative divisions 
The Mining District (矿区, Kuàng Qū) is largely made up of separate mines throughout the metropolitan area.
|#||Name||Hanzi||Hanyu Pinyin||Population (2003 est.)||Area (km²)||Density (/km²)|
|3||Nanjiao District||南郊区||Nánjiāo Qū||280,000||966||290|
|4||Xinrong District||新荣区||Xīnróng Qū||110,000||1,006||109|
|5||Yanggao County||阳高县||Yánggāo Xiàn||290,000||1,678||173|
|6||Tianzhen County||天镇县||Tiānzhèn Xiàn||210,000||1,635||128|
|7||Guangling County||广灵县||Guǎnglíng Xiàn||180,000||1,283||140|
|8||Lingqiu County||灵丘县||Língqiū Xiàn||230,000||2,720||85|
|9||Hunyuan County||浑源县||Húnyuán Xiàn||350,000||1,965||178|
|10||Zuoyun County||左云县||Zuǒyún Xiàn||140,000||1,314||107|
|11||Datong County||大同县||Dàtóng Xiàn||170,000||1,501||113|
The Yungang Grottoes are a collection of shallow caves located 16 km (9.9 mi) west of Datong. There are over 50,000 carved images and statues of Buddhas and bodhisattvas within these grottoes, ranging from 4 centimeters to 7 meters tall. Most of these icons are around 1000 years old.
Within the city itself, there are a few surviving sites of historical interest such as the Nine-Dragon Wall, the Huayan Monastery (华严寺; Huáyán Sì), and the Shanhua Temple (善化寺; Shànhuà Sì). Further afield is the Hanging Temple (悬空寺; Xuánkōng Sì) built into a cliff face near Mount Heng. Most of the historical sites in this region date to the Tang and Ming dynasties, but the Hanging Temple dates to the Northern Wei dynasty (386-534).
The railway locomotive works (see below) began to attract increasing numbers of railway enthusiasts from the 1970s. When construction of steam locomotives was phased out, the authorities did not want to lose this valuable tourism market, and pondered the possibility of developing a steam railway operating centre as an attraction. A number of study visits were undertaken to the East Lancashire Railway at Bury, and a twinning arrangement was concluded with that town.
In 2010, work began on reconstructing the city's 14th century Ming dynasty defensive wall. The reconstruction is expected to reach completion in 2012.
The GDP per capita was ¥17,852 (US$2,570) per annum in 2008, ranked no. 242 among 659 Chinese cities. Coal mining is the dominant industry of Datong. Its history and development are very much linked to this commodity.
Development zones Datong Economic and Technological Development Zone
Due to its strategic position it is also an important distribution and warehousing center for Shanxi, Hebei and Inner Mongolia.
Datong is an old fashioned coal mining city, and still sits on significant reserves of this commodity. Consequently it has developed a reputation as one of China’s most polluted cities. The Datong Coal Mining Group is based here and is China’s third largest such enterprise. Datong is indeed however an emerging economy, as the city seeks to loosen its dependence on coal, introduce more environmentally friendly and efficient methods of extraction and move into other areas of business services. Local government has continued to upgrade its pillar coal sector (and related industries like coal chemicals, power and metallurgy), while also developing "substitute industries" such as machinery manufacturing, tourism and distribution, warehousing and logistics services. This has had some impact. Datong's GDP grew by 5.1 percent in 2008 to RMB56.6 billion.
While coal will continue to dominate, Datong has been identified as one of the key cities requiring redevelopment, with part of this being in environmental cleanup, rehabilitation and industrial refocusing. Datong is a pilot city for rehabilitation studies following years of pollution. To this end it has already struck up strong relationships with other cities worldwide with similar backgrounds, and has begun plans, for example, to develop a tourism base focused on steam engine technology with antique locomotives to be used along designated tracks.
Datong has a large railway locomotive works 'Datong locomotive factory', where the 'Aiming Higher'[clarification needed] class of steam locomotive was built as late as the 1970s, steam locomotive production ended in the late 1980s and the plants main products (as of 2010) is main line electric locomotives
Main enterprises 
- Datong Coal Mine Group(The third biggest coal-mining enterprise in China)
- Datong Electric Locomotive Co.,Ltd, (DELC) (The second biggest Elec-Locomotive enterprise in China)
- Shanxi Diesel Engine Industries Corporation,Ltd,CNGC
- Shanxi Synthetic Rubber Group Co.,Ltd,CNCC
- GD Power Datong No.2 Power Plant
- GD Power Datong Power Generation Co., Ltd
- Shanxi Datang International Yungang Co-generation Co., Ltd.
- China National Heavy Duty Truck Group Datong Gear CO.,LTD
- China National Highway 208
- China National Highway 109
- Jingda Expressway
- Dayun Expressway
- Huda Expressway
- Datong Airport
Colleges and universities 
- Datong University (大同大学)
Major schools 
- Datong No.1 Middle School(大同市第一中学)
- Datong No.2 Middle School(大同市第二中学)
- Datong No.3 Middle School(大同市第三中学)
- BeiYue Middle School
- Datong Experimental Secondary School(大同市实验中学)
- The No.1 Middle School of DCMG(Datong Coal Mine Group)(同煤一中)
- Datong No.14 Elementary School(大同市第十四小学)
- Datong No.18 Elementary School(大同市第十八小学)
- Datong Experimental Elementary School(大同市实验小学)
South of Datong, there is a VLF-transmitter of the Chinese Navy located at Template:Convert/56. The station has as interesting feature that 4 of its masts look like an inverted "V"-letter.
International relations 
Twin towns — sister cities 
Datong is twinned with:
See also 
Further reading 
- Cotterell, Arthur (2008). The Imperial Capitals of China: An Inside View of the Celestial Empire. Pimlico, London. ISBN 978-1-84595-010-1.
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