Taiyuan (Chinese: 太原; pinyin: Tàiyuán [tʰâɪɥǎn]) is the capital and largest city of North China's Shanxi province. At the 2010 census, it had a total population of 4,201,591 inhabitants on 6,959 km2 (2,687 sq mi), from whom 3,212,500 are urban on 1,460 km2 (560 sq mi). The name of the city literally means "Great Plains", referring to the location where the Fen River leaves the mountains.
During the late Spring and Autumn period Taiyuan became the capital of Zhao. It was constructed by Zhao Jianzi (simplified Chinese: 赵简子; traditional Chinese: 趙簡子) in 497 BC. The city's original name in Zhao was "Jinyang" (simplified Chinese: 晋阳; traditional Chinese: 晉陽), but it was renamed "Taiyuan" following its conquest by Qin in 228 BC.
During the Later Han dynasty (25–220 AD), Taiyuan was the capital of Bing Province. The city was a secondary capital of the Eastern Wei (534–550) and Northern Qi (550–577) dynasties, during which it grew into a fairly large city and became a center of Buddhism. A new city was built in 562, which was later linked to the old city during the Tang dynasty (618–907), in AD 733.
The dynastic founder of the Tang dynasty, Li Yuan, was from Taiyuan. Li began his conquest of China with Taiyuan as a base, and relied heavily on the support of its local aristocracy. Li's successor, Li Shimin, was also from Taiyuan. The cave temples at Tianlong Mountain, just southwest of the city, were constructed during the mid-to-late Tang dynasty. Taiyuan was periodically designated as the Tang's northern capital under the name Beidu (北都) and grew into a heavily fortified military base as the dynasty progressed.
The old city was at Taiyuanzhen, a few miles east of the modern city. After the Song dynasty conquered China in 960, Emperor Taizong ordered the old city's destruction, but a new city was set up on the banks of the Fen River in 982. The city became a superior prefecture in 1059 and the administrative capital of Hedong (northern Shanxi) in 1107. It was destroyed by war in 1125, but was rebuilt. It retained its status as provincial capital, with minor changes in its name and status, until the end of the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368). At the beginning of the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) it was renamed "Taiyuan Fu" (府, fu, means "chief town"), and it retained this name until 1912. The city wall was reconstructed in 1568. During the Ming dynasty Taiyuan became the capital of Shanxi, and it remained Shanxi's capital during the subsequent Qing dynasty (1644-1911).
In 1900, during the Boxer Rebellion, seventy-seven unarmed Western missionaries were executed in front of the provincial governor. This incident became known as the Taiyuan Massacre. In 1907 the importance of Taiyuan was increased by the construction of a rail link to Shijiazhuang, Hebei, on the Beijing-to-Wuhan trunk line, but it began to suffer a serious economic crisis after around 1900. In the 19th century, the merchants and local banks of Shanxi had been of national importance, but the rise of modern banks led to the rapid decline of this system — with disastrous effects upon Shanxi and its capital.
The oldest existing building in the city is the Temple of the Goddess (simplified Chinese: 圣母殿; traditional Chinese: 聖母殿) inside the Jin Ci Complex: it was originally built in 1023 AD and reconstructed in 1102. Taiyuan was deliberately flooded several times, including in 453 BC and 969 AD.
The warlord Yan Xishan retained control of Shanxi from the Xinhai Revolution in 1911 to the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949. Taiyuan consequently flourished as the center of his comparatively progressive province and experienced extensive industrial development. It was linked by rail both to the far southwest of Shanxi and to Datong in the north. Until the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949 Yan's arsenal in Taiyuan was the only factory in China sufficiently advanced to produce field artillery. Because Yan succeeded in keeping Shanxi uninvolved in most of the major battles between rival warlords that occurred in China during the 1910s and 1920s, Taiyuan was never taken from Yan by an invading army until the Japanese conquered it in 1937.
Yan was aware of the threat posed by the Japanese; and, in order to defend against the impending Japanese invasion of Shanxi, Yan entered into a secret "united front" agreement with the Communists in November 1936. After concluding his alliance with the Communists he allowed agents under Zhou Enlai to establish a secret headquarters in Taiyuan. Yan, under the slogan "resistance against the enemy and defense of the soil" attempted to recruit young, patriotic intellectuals to his government from across China, so that by 1936 Taiyuan became a gathering point for anti-Japanese intellectuals who had fled from Beijing, Tianjin, and Northeast China. A representative of the Japanese army, speaking of the final defense of Taiyuan, said that "nowhere in China have the Chinese fought so obstinately".
From the Japanese occupation of Taiyuan to the Japanese surrender in 1945, the Japanese continued to develop Taiyuan's industries and resources. After the Japanese army in Shanxi surrendered to Yan Xishan, 10,000-15,000 Japanese troops, including both enlisted men and officers, decided to fight for Yan rather than return to Japan. Yan also retained the services of experienced and foreign-educated Japanese technicians and professional staff brought into Taiyuan by the Japanese to run the complex of industries that they had developed around Taiyuan.
Taiyuan was the last area in Shanxi to resist Communist control during the final stages of the Chinese Civil War. The city fell on April 22, 1949, after the Communists surrounded Taiyuan and cut it off from all means of land and air supply, and taking the city required the support of 1,300 pieces of artillery. The fall of Taiyuan was one of the few examples in the Chinese Civil War in which Nationalist forces echoed the defeated Ming loyalists who had, in the 17th century, brought entire cities to ruins resisting the invading Manchus. Many Nationalist officers committed suicide when the city fell. The dead included Yan's nephew-in-law, who was serving as governor, and his cousin, who ran his household. Liang Huazhi, the head of Yan's "Patriotic Sacrifice League", had fought for years against the Communists in Shanxi until he was finally trapped in the massively fortified city of Taiyuan. For six months Liang led a savage resistance, leading both Yan's remaining forces and those of the warlord's thousands of Japanese mercenaries. When Communist troops finally broke into the city and began to occupy large sections of it, Liang barricaded himself inside a large, fortified prison complex filled with Communist prisoners. In a final act of self-sacrifice, Liang set fire to the prison and committed suicide as the entire compound burned to the ground.
Since 1949, Taiyuan has developed a large industrial base with heavy industry (notably iron and steel) of prime importance; local coal production is considerable. Taiyuan is also an engineering center, as it produces cement, and has a large chemical-industrial complex. It is also a center of education and research, particularly in technology and applied science.
|This section requires expansion. (April 2013)|
Taiyuan is one of the great industrial cities of China and lies on the Fen River in the north of its fertile upper basin. It is centrally located in Shanxi and commands the north-south route through the province, as well as important natural lines of communication through the Taihang Mountains to Hebei in the east and (via Fenyang) to northern Shanxi in the west.
Taiyuan experiences a semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSk). Spring is dry, with frequent dust storms, followed by early summer heat waves. Summer tends to be warm to hot with most of the year's rainfall concentrated in July and August. Winter is long and cold, but dry and sunny. Because of the aridity, there tends be considerable diurnal variation in temperature, except during the summer. Conditions are much cooler than comparable-latitude cities, such as Shijiazhuang, due to the moderately high altitude. The monthly 24-hour average temperature range froms −5.5 °C (22.1 °F) in January to 23.4 °C (74.1 °F) in July, while the annual mean is 9.96 °C (49.9 °F).
|Climate data for Taiyuan (1971−2000)|
|Average high °C (°F)||1.8
|Average low °C (°F)||−11.6
|Precipitation mm (inches)||3.2
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)||1.9||2.9||4.4||4.3||5.7||9.3||12.4||11.2||8.1||5.4||3.3||1.4||70.3|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||173.4||174.0||202.3||229.8||265.1||250.9||228.6||223.8||209.6||206.9||174.6||162.6||2,501.6|
|Percent possible sunshine||57||58||55||59||61||57||51||53||56||60||57||55||56.6|
|Source: China Meteorological Administration|
According to the 2005 statistical book issued by the National Bureau of Statistics, Taiyuan scored the fourth worst among China's main cities in air quality, with only 224 days (2004) of ambient air quality equal to or above grade II, after Lanzhou (worse, 204), Jinan (210) and Changsha (219), with 0.175 milligrams/m2 of particulate matter (the most/worst of all main cities) and 0.087 milligrams/m2 of sulphur dioxide (4th worst).
While the city remains heavily polluted, the situation has improved as a result of factory shutdowns arising from China's hosting of the Olympic Games and the global economic downturn.
Administrative divisions 
|Map||#||Name||Hanzi||Hanyu Pinyin||Population (2003 est.)||Area (km²)||Density (/km²)|
|1||Xinghualing District||杏花岭区||Xìnghuālǐng Qū||530,000||170||3,118|
|3||Yingze District||迎泽区||Yíngzé Qū||490,000||117||4,188|
|2||Xiaodian District||小店区||Xiǎodiàn Qū||470,000||295||1,593|
|4||Jiancaoping District||尖草坪区||Jiāncǎopíng Qū||330,000||286||1,154|
|5||Wanbailin District||万柏林区||Wànbǎilín Qū||500,000||305||1,639|
|6||Jinyuan District||晋源区||Jìnyuán Qū||180,000||287||627|
|7||Gujiao City||古交市||Gǔjiāo Shì||210,000||1,540||136|
|8||Qingxu County||清徐县||Qīngxú Xiàn||300,000||607||494|
|9||Yangqu County||阳曲县||Yángqǔ Xiàn||140,000||2,062||88|
|10||Loufan County||娄烦县||Lóufán Xiàn||120,000||1,290||93|
The Taiyuan - Yuci built up area is home to nearly 4,000,000 inhabitants in 2010.
In 2008, Taiyuan's nominal GDP was 146.8 billion yuan, a growth of 8.1% from the previous year. Taiyuan's primary, secondary, and tertiary industries were worth 2 billion yuan, 63.9 billion yuan, and 59.6 billion yuan respectively in 2007. Taiyuan is the largest coal mining center in China. It also houses several large corporations in Taiyuan, such as the Taiyuan Iron and Steel Company (TISCO) which is the largest stainless steel producing plant in Asia. Also, the Shanxi Heavy Machinery Factory and Fenxi Machinery Factory are major manufacturers for the People's Liberation Army and Navy, producing submarine missiles for them. The largest local bank of Taiyuan is ICBC( Industrial and Commercial Bank of China).
Residential Area 
The most populated area in Taiyuan is Yinze District which is the downtown of Taiyuan City. Wanbailing and Xinhualing Districts are the other major residential districts. Apartments in high rises are the most common residence for the civics. Rare houses occupied by the government officials can be found along part of the Fen River and the suburbs except the northern area of the city for the high density of heavy industry in the north. The city's most expensive housing area currently is the part of Beidajie Avenue between Fen River and Wuyi Road for the CBD (Central Business District) of the metropolis is being built along the street. The Taiyuan area's most luxurious hotels and restaurants have been built along the avenue with some shopping malls and huge supermarkets surrounding. The City Revenue Agency, the City Procurator Fiscal, City Hall, and several telecommunication companies, such as China Telecom and China Mobile are located along the avenue. The housing price has reached 20000 RMB/m, roughly equal to $300/ft.
Inner City transportation The Fen River flows through the city from north to south, dividing the city into two parts: Qiaoxi (West of the Bridge) and Qiaodong (East of the Bridge). As of 2007, there are five bridges across the Fen River within the city limits: the Shengli Bridge (1970), the Yifen Bridge (1990), the Yingze Bridge (1954), the Nanneihuan Bridge (1988), and the Changfeng Bridge (2001). About ten kilometers to the north of the Shengli Bridge, there is the Chaicun Bridge. Two more bridges are being planned: Beizhonghuan Bridge and Nanzhonghuan Bridge.
Air The primary airport of the city is Taiyuan Wusu Airport. The airport has been expanded for the landing of Airbus A380.
- A highway circling the metropolis of City of Taiyuan has been built.
- China National Highway 208
Railway The newly constructed Shijiazhuang–Taiyuan High-Speed Railway has shortened the travel time between Taiyuan and Beijing to less than three hours on a distance of 600 km (370 mi).
Shanxi, especially Taiyuan, has the most famous noodle cuisine in China. Also,Taiyuan's local specialties include:
- Local Dish:Guo You Rou (过油肉 stir fried meat)
- Wheat-made Food: Liang Fen (see Grass jelly), Mian Pi (面皮)
- Noodles: Dao Xiao Mian (刀削面, Knife Sliced Noodles), Lamian, Mao Er Duo (猫耳朵, Cat Ear shaped Noodle), Xi Hong Shi Chao Ji Dan Mian (西红柿炒鸡蛋面), Noodles with Tomato and Scrambled Eggs), Ti Jian (剔尖, Scraped Noodles)
- Tou Nao (头脑, "Brain" Soup): Contains mutton, rice wine and vegetables in the soup. This dish was first created by Chinese polymath Fu Shan, who was proficient in medicine, for his old and illness-ridden mother as a food substitute for the ancient medicine Bazhen Tang (literally "Soup of Eight Treasures") using only locally available food materials that have similar effects as the original medicine.
- Yang Za Ge,Lamp soup (羊肉汤): a kind of soup which is made of mutton. Served during the wintertime
- Wan Zi Tang (丸子汤): meatball soup
- Vinegar: There are four kinds of famous vinegar in China, among which Shanxi mature vinegar or Lao Chen Cu in Chinese is considered the best.
Several tourist attractions in and around Taiyuan include the Liu Xiang Lane, which contains ancient Chinese houses of important heritage, and several temples, such as the Chongshan Monastery, the Jinci Temple, the Twin Pagoda Temple, and the Shaunglin Monastery Longtan Park and Yinze Park are also popular tourist destinations.
Major schools 
- The Affiliated High School of Shanxi University(山西大学附属中学)
- Taiyuan No. 5 Secondary School (太原五中)
- Shanxi Experimental Secondary School (山西省实验中学)
- Taiyuan Foreign Language School (太原外国语学校)
Colleges and universities 
- Shanxi College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (山西中医学院)
- Shanxi Medical University (山西医科大学)
- Shanxi University (山西大学)
- Shanxi University of Finance and Economics (山西财经大学)
- Taiyuan Normal University (太原师范学院)
- Taiyuan University of Science and Technology (太原科技大学)
- Taiyuan University of Technology (太原理工大学)
- North University of China (中北大学)
See also 
- Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center is one of China's few stations for rocket launch.
International relations 
- Launceston, Tasmania, Australia
- Douala, Cameroon
- Chemnitz, Germany
- Himeji, Hyōgo, Japan
- Saratov, Syktyvkar, Russia
- Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
- 先秦史籍中的“太原” (Chinese)
- 宋太宗平毁太原 盗墓史上那些挖别人祖坟的事(4)
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- Gillin, Donald G. Warlord: Yen Hsi-shan in Shansi Province 1911-1949. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. 1967. p.263.
- Feng Chongyi and Goodman, David S. G., eds. North China at War: The Social Ecology of Revolution, 1937-1945. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield. 2000. ISBN 0-8476-9938-2. Retrieved June 3, 2012. pp.157-158
- Gillin, Donald G. Warlord: Yen Hsi-shan in Shansi Province 1911-1949. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. 1967. pp.272-273.
- Gillin, Donald G. and Etter, Charles. "Staying On: Japanese Soldiers and Civilians in China, 1945-1949." The Journal of Asian Studies. Vol. 42, No. 3, May, 1983. Retrieved February 23, 2011. p.500, 506-508.
- Gillin, Donald G. Warlord: Yen Hsi-shan in Shansi Province 1911-1949. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. 1967. p.288.
- Spence, Jonathan D. The Search for Modern China, W.W. Norton and Company. 1999. ISBN 0-393-97351-4. p.488.
- "中国地面国际交换站气候标准值月值数据集（1971－2000年）" (in Simplified Chinese). China Meteorological Administration. Retrieved 2009-03-17.
- "Ambient Air Quality in Main Cities (2004) in China Statistics 2005". Retrieved 2011-04-10.
- Kathleen E. McLaughlin (30 May 2010 (updated)). "Bad economy, better lungs?". Global Post. Retrieved 21 March 2012.
- Taiyuan Attractions
- "Foreign Exchanges". Doing Business in Shanxi. China.org.cn. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
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