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For other uses, see Handan (disambiguation).
Prefecture-level city
Location of Handan City jurisdiction in Hebei
Location of Handan City jurisdiction in Hebei
Handan is located in Hebei
Location of the city centre in Hebei
Coordinates: 36°36′N 114°29′E / 36.600°N 114.483°E / 36.600; 114.483
Country People's Republic of China
Province Hebei
 • Prefecture-level city 12,068 km2 (4,659 sq mi)
 • Urban 142 km2 (55 sq mi)
 • Metro 2,466 km2 (952 sq mi)
Population (2010 census[1])
 • Prefecture-level city 9,174,683
 • Density 760/km2 (2,000/sq mi)
 • Urban 941,427
 • Metro 2,845,790
 • Metro density 1,200/km2 (3,000/sq mi)
Time zone China Standard (UTC+8)
Licence plate prefixes D
Website hd.gov.cn
Handan (Chinese characters).svg
"Handan" in Simplified (top) and Traditional (bottom) Chinese characters
Traditional Chinese 邯鄲
Simplified Chinese 邯郸

Handan (Chinese: 邯郸) is a prefecture-level city located in the southwestern part of Hebei province, China. It borders Xingtai on the north, and the provinces of Shanxi on the west, Henan on the south and Shandong on the east. At the 2010 census, its population was 9,174,683 inhabitants whom 2,845,790 lived in the built-up (or metro) area made of 3 urban districts, Handan and Yangyan counties, and Shahe City in Xintai municipality, largely being conurbated now.


Handan, whose name has not changed in its entire history (unlike most other Chinese cities), was the capital of the State of Zhao during the Warring States period (475−221 BCE), after the capital moved from Zhongmu. King Wuling of Zhao turned Zhao into one of the Qin state's most stalwart foes, pioneering the use of walls to secure new frontiers (which would inspire the eventual construction of the Great Wall of China). The city was conquered by the State of Qin after the virtual annexation of Zhao by Qin except for the Dai Commandery. The first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang was born in Handan, the child of a statesman from the state of Qin and after successfully conquering Zhao he ordered all enemies of his mother to be buried alive. The conquest of Zhao, particularly the Qin siege of Handan, is featured extensively in Chen Kaige's classic film, The Emperor and the Assassin.

Handan was still regarded as a cultural and commercial centre during the Western and Eastern Han dynasties (206 BCE−220 CE). It slowly declined, perhaps because of the numerous battles that ravaged northern China following the Han Dynasty, but maintained a reputation for its fine Cizhou ware well into the Qing dynasty (1644–1911). It was also the birthplace in the 19th century of Yang-style t'ai chi ch'uan, one of the five major schools of tai chi in China.

Though much of Handan's ancient history is no longer visible, it still has some attractions, most derived from Zhao folklore such as the road into which Lin Xiangru, courier of the precious jade He Shi Bi, backed in order to let his nemesis Lian Po pass first, as well as the location in which Lian Po begged for Lin Xiangru's forgiveness. Modern-day Congtai Park is located on the site of the historical Zhao court. Next to Congtai Park is the legendary "Xuebu Qiao" (学步桥), or "Learning to Walk Bridge". Legend has it that a noble from the state of Yan heard of a particularly elegant manner of walking unique to Handan. Arriving in Handan, he spent weeks trying to master the Handan style of walking on a bridge, only to fail. In the process, however, he had forgotten how to walk normally and had to crawl back to Yan. This story inspired the Chinese expression, 邯郸学步, which means learning something difficult too intensely, thereby forgetting the basics in the process.

The nearby Xiangtangshan Caves contain massive Buddha statues carved into the mountainside, some dating to the 6th century. Many of these statues were severely vandalised by occupying Japanese forces during World War II. Handan was prized by the Japanese invaders for its coal reserves.


The population at the 2010 census was 941,427 for the 3 urban districts, 2,845,790 for the built up area and 9,174,683 for the entire Prefecture-level city area of 12,068 km2 (4,659 sq mi).

The municipal executive, legislative and judiciary are situated in Congtai District (丛台区, Cóngtái Qū), as well as the CPC and Public Security bureaux.

Name Chinese Pinyin Population (2004 est.) Area (km²) Density (/km²)
Congtai District 丛台区 Cóngtái Qū 330,000 28 11,786
Hanshan District 邯山区 Hánshān Qū 310,000 32 9,688
Fuxing District 复兴区 Fùxīng Qū 250,000 37 6,757
Fengfeng Mining District 峰峰矿区 Fēngfēng Kuàngqū 500,000 353 1,416
Wu'an City 武安市 Wǔ'ān Shì 720,000 1,806 399
Handan County 邯郸县 Hándān Xiàn 400,000 522 766
Linzhang County 临漳县 Línzhāng Xiàn 590,000 744 793
Cheng'an County 成安县 Chéng'ān Xiàn 370,000 485 763
Daming County 大名县 Dàmíng Xiàn 750,000 1,052 713
She County 涉县 Shè Xiàn 390,000 1,509 258
Ci County 磁县 Cí Xiàn 640,000 1,035 618
Feixiang County 肥乡县 Féixiāng Xiàn 310,000 496 625
Yongnian County 永年县 Yǒngnián Xiàn 860,000 898 958
Qiu County 邱县 Qiū Xiàn 200,000 448 446
Jize County 鸡泽县 Jīzé Xiàn 250,000 337 742
Guangping County 广平县 Guǎngpíng Xiàn 250,000 320 781
Guantao County 馆陶县 Guǎntáo Xiàn 290,000 456 636
Wei County 魏县 Wèi Xiàn 810,000 862 940
Quzhou County 曲周县 Qǔzhōu Xiàn 410,000 667 615


Handan has a cold semi-arid climate (Koppen BSk) Year meaning temperature is 13.5℃(56℉) The record hottest temperature in Handan is 42.5℃(108℉) and the record low temperature is -19℃(-1℉)


Industrial growth in the city was due to its communication and transport activities. Coal mines at Fengfeng provide power for Handan's iron, steel and textile mills. Chemical and cement plants along with other industries also benefit. The GDP per capita in Renminbi (), aka yuan () was estimated at ¥13,449 in 2005.

Air pollution[edit]

According to a survey by "Global voices China" in February 2013, Handan is one of China's most polluted cities due to heavy industrial outputs.[2]



Ethnic minorities[edit]

According to Handan government in 2007, 40 ethnic groups were present in Handan. Ethnic minorities represent 50,000 people, among which 48,000 Hui. There are 22 Hui schools and 5 Hui junior high schools in Handan.[3]


The most widespread religions in Handan (邯郸宗教) are Chinese folk religions including Taoism, and Buddhism.

In 2013, there were more than 150.000 Catholics in Handan according to the Catholic Church, in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Yongnian.[4] Mother of Grace Cathedral in Daming County was built in 1918. The most recent church was built in 2007.[5]

There are also 300.000 Protestants. The largest Protestant church is on Qianjin Avenue (邯郸市西堂) and was built in 1997.[6] The oldest church was on Congtai Street and was built in 1920 by Americans. The church was destroyed 2009 by the local government.[7] A new church was built in 2011.[8]

According to the local government 30.000 Hui Muslims live in the prefecture of Handan.[9]

Notable people[edit]

Twin cities[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°36′N 114°29′E / 36.600°N 114.483°E / 36.600; 114.483