|This article does not cite any references or sources. (July 2012)|
|Country||People's Republic of China|
|• Water||1,636 km2 (632 sq mi)|
|Time zone||China Standard Time (UTC+8)|
Yiyuan (Chinese: 沂源; pinyin: Yí'yuán; Wade-Giles: iyüan) is a county in the centre of China's Shandong province and is located in the deep Tai-yi Mountains, and is the southernmost county under the jurisdiction of Zibo City. It had a population of 549,500 in 2010, of which 104,200 lives in the county town. Yiyuan has the nickname of “Roof of Shandong” because of its highest average altitude among all counties within the province, although it does not contain the provincial highpoint of Mount Tai.
Yiyuan is located in the middle of Shandong Province, approximately 100 km (62 mi) away from Jinan and Zibo and 170 km (110 mi) away from Qingdao. The county town is located beside one of the most important rivers in the province- the Yi River, and the name "沂源" literally means "the beginning of (the) Yi (River)".
Yiyuan County is generally mountainous, with the highest peak, the Lu Mountain, having an altitude of 1,108 m (3,635 ft). The land covered with forest in this county proportioned to 51.3%, who has helped the County Town to win the honour of "National Garden County-level City" as well as The National Model Prize for Residential Environment.
With findings on local apemen fossils, Yiyuan was considered as the original place of Shandong Ancient Apemen. Yiyuan people are also pround of local phicically cultural findings left by the Palæolithic and Neolithic Ages as well as all cultural findings from since the Shang Dynasty.
Yiyuan is also known nationwide because it was where a famous Chinese fairy tale originated, being the cowboy and the Spinning Maid story. Relevant relics are found within the county, which helps attract tourists come because of the respect for its fame. While another fact is, three other places in china also claim that they are the origin of this beautiful fairy. Vehement debating about this is still on.
Within the whole nation, the county is also noted because its contribution to the Anti-Japanese War, during when over 23,000 brave Yiyuan People participated in the war to help protect the country.
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