||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (October 2012)|
|— Prefecture-level city —|
|Hengyang East Railway Station, Laiyan Pagoda, Dongzhou Island Temple, Shigu Academy, and Dragon Tower|
|Nickname(s): Wild Goose City, Bright Pearl in Southern China|
|Prefecture seat||Yanfeng District|
|• Prefecture-level city||15,279 km2 (5,899 sq mi)|
|• Urban||722 km2 (279 sq mi)|
|• Metro||543 km2 (210 sq mi)|
|Population (2010 census)|
|• Prefecture-level city||7,141,462|
|• Density||470/km2 ( 1,200/sq mi)|
|• Urban density||1,300/km2 ( 3,400/sq mi)|
|• Metro density||1,600/km2 ( 4,200/sq mi)|
|Time zone||China Standard (UTC+8)|
Its former name was Hengzhou (衡州, p Héngzhōu). This was the capital of a prefecture in the Tang Dynasty's Jiangnan and West Jiangnan circuits. Li Jingxuan was banished to superintendence of Hengzhou after feigning an illness and attempting to usurp control of the legislative bureau at Chang'an against the Gaozong Emperor's wishes in AD 680. Following the AD 705 coup that removed the Empress Wu Zetian from power, her ally Li Jiongxiu was also briefly demoted to superintendence of this province. During the reign of Emperor Muzong, the chancellor Linghu Chu was also demoted to this province for his underlings' alleged corruption.
In the 750s, the superintendent of Hengzhou Chen Xi'ang not only ruled his own region but also used his private army to dominate his nominal superior, the military governor Zhang Weiyi headquartered in Jing Prefecture (modern Jingzhou). Upon Zhang's replacement by the former chancellor Lü Yin in 760, however, Chen was placated and then killed in a surprise attack.
During the reign of the Tang emperor Xizong, Zhou Yue overthrew first the prefect of Hengzhou Xu Hao in 881 and then the agent of the rebel Qin Zongquan in the capital of the Qinhua Circuit at Tan Prefecture (modern Changsha) in 886. Xizong confirmed Zhou Yue in all his posts, renaming his circuit Wu'an. Xizong's brother then gave him additional authority over West Lingnan Circuit (modern Guangxi). Shortly after, in 893, Deng Chune and Lei Man attacked and killed him.
After initially falling to agrarian rebels under Yang Shiyuan, Hengzhou was recovered by the lord of Wu'an Ma Yin and formed part of his power base during the collapse of the Tang. He initially supported the Later Liang, then declared himself king in his own right during the 5 Dynasties and 10 Kingdoms Period.
During the Revolt of the Three Feudatories, Wu Sangui declared himself Emperor of the Great Zhou and established an imperial court at Hengzhou in 1678 before dying of illness later that year. His grandson Wu Shifan then retreated to Yunnan, and the Ming recovered Hengzhou the next year.
In the 19th century, Hengzhou was known in English as Hengchow. A Roman Catholic diocese of Hengzhou was established, although periodically suppressed. This was suffragan to the Archbishop of Changhsha following its elevation in 1946.
Hengyang has an area of 15,279 km² and a population of 7,141,162. There are 886,424 people in the built-up area of 522 km² in the 4 central urban districts. Hengyang is a busy and growing industrial city and the leading transportation centre of Hunan, linking water, rail, and highway routes. Manufactures include chemicals, agricultural and mining equipment, textiles, paper, and processed foods. Lead, zinc, coal, and tin mines are nearby.
Known as the 'Bright Pearl in Southern China' and as 'Wild Goose City' (the latter because of wild geese that used to rest here while flying south for the winter), Hengyang has been the birthplace of many historical figures, such the revolutionist Luo Ronghuan and a noted Ming scholar Wang Fuzhi. The city was badly damaged during World War II and few historical buildings survive in diverse stage of reconstruction, including Shigu Academy, Dragon Tower, Confucian School on the Dongzhou Island and Laiyan Pagoda. Mount Heng, one of the Five Sacred Mountains, lies 45 kilometres north from the city proper.
|Climate data for Hengyang (1971−2000)|
|Average high °C (°F)||9.0
|Average low °C (°F)||3.5
|Precipitation mm (inches)||80.0
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)||16.2||15.3||19.7||18.5||16.9||13.4||9.6||10.5||8.8||11.9||9.8||9.5||160.1|
|Source: Weather China|
Administrative divisions 
The city is divided into the old and new districts. The latter offer citizens and businesses the chance to move from the bleak and polluted city centre to newly-constructed housing estates.
- Yanfeng District (雁峰区)
- Zhuhui District (珠晖区)
- Shigu District (石鼓区)
- Zhengxiang District (蒸湘区)
- Nanyue District (南岳区)
- Changning City (常宁市)
- Leiyang City (耒阳市)
- Hengyang County (衡阳县)
- Hengnan County (衡南县)
- Hengshan County (衡山县)
- Hengdong County (衡东县)
- Qidong County (祁东县)
Two bus terminals are located in the city. One is Hengyang Western Terminal which is located in the city centre and operates provincial lines and intra-metro lines in northern and western directions. Another is LingHu Terminal which operates lines of southern and eastern directions and locates on the edge of the city.
Hengyang is an important transport hub in southern China. The Beijing–Guangzhou Railway and Hunan–Guangxi Railway intersect at Hengyang. Hengyang railway station is one of the ten largest railway stations in China and is recognized as one of the extra-premium level stations.
More than 100 trains pass by and stop at Hengyang Railway Station, making it one of the busiest stations all over the country and connecting it to most cities of China.
To reach the station, people can take city bus line 1, K1, 7, 16, 18, 25, 24, 27, 36, 37, K38.
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