Jinan City in China
Jinan City in China
Jinan is the capital of Shandong province in Eastern China, with a population of 9.2 million (including Laiwu), it is the second-largest city in Shandong after Qingdao.
The area of present-day Jinan has played an important role in the history of the region from the earliest beginnings of civilization and has evolved into a major national administrative, economic, and transportation hub.
The city has held sub-provincial administrative status since 1994.
Jinan is often called the "Spring City" for its famous 72 artesian springs.
Its population (including Laiwu City merged recently) was 9,202,432 as of the 2020 census.
Its built-up (or metro) area made of 6 out of 10 urban districts (but Jiyang, Zhangqiu, Laiwu and Gangcheng not yet conurbated) was home to 4,335,889 inhabitants as of the 2010 census.
Jinan is also one of the top 100 cities in the world for scientific research as tracked by the Nature Index according to the Nature Index 2020 Science Cities.
The city is home to several major universities, including Shandong Normal University, University of Jinan, and Qilu University of Technology. Notably, Shandong University is one of China's most prestigious universities as a member of the Project 985.
The city is rated Beta- (Global second-tier city) by the biannual GAWC ratings in 2020.
The area of present-day Jinan has been inhabited for more than 4000 years. The Neolithic Longshan culture was first discovered at Chengziya to the east of Jinan (Zhangqiu District) in 1928. One of the characteristic features of the Longshan culture are the intricate wheel-made pottery pieces it produced. Most renowned is the black "egg-shell pottery" with wall thicknesses that can go below 1 millimeter.
During the Spring and Autumn period (722–481 BCE) and Warring States period (475–221 BCE), the area of Jinan was split between two states: the state of Lu in the west and the state of Qi in the east. In 685 BCE, the state of Qi started to build the Great Wall of Qi across Changqing County.
Portions of the wall still remain today and are accessible as open air museums. Bian Que, according to the legend the earliest Chinese physician and active around 400–300 BCE, is said to have been a native of present-day Changqing County. Zou Yan (305–240 BCE), a native of Zhangqiu City, developed the concepts of Yin-Yang and the Five Elements. Joseph Needham, a British sinologist, describes Zou as "The real founder of all Chinese scientific thought.
During the times of the Han dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE), Jinan was the capital of the feudatory Kingdom of Jibei (simplified Chinese: traditional Chineseand evolved into the cultural and economic hub of the region. The Han dynasty tomb where the last king of Jibei, Liu Kuan, was buried at Shuangru Mountain was excavated by archaeologists from Shandong University in 1995 and 1996.
More than 2000 artifacts such as jade swords, jade masks, and jade pillows have been recovered within the 1,500 square meter excavation site, emphasizing the wealth of the city during the period.
Cao (155 – 220 CE) was an official in Jinan before he became the de facto ruler of the Han dynasty.
His son, Cao Pi, overthrew the last emperor of the Han and founded the Wei Kingdom (220 – 265 CE) of the Three Kingdoms Period.
Beginning in the 5th century CE, Buddhism flourished in Jinan. The Langgong Temple Lǎnggōng Sì, later renamed Shentong Temple, Shéntōng Sì, and now in ruins) in the southern county of Licheng was one of the most important temples in northern China at that time. The same period witnessed extensive construction of Buddhist sites in the southern counties of Licheng and Changqing such as the Lingyan Temple and the Thousand-Buddha Cliff. In particular, a large number of cave temples were established in the hills south of Jinan.
Jinan remained the cultural center of the region during the Song dynasty (960 – 1279 CE). The Song rulers promoted Jinan to a superior prefecture in 1116 CE. Two of the most important poets of the Southern Song were both born in Jinan: Li Qingzhao (1084–1151 CE), the most renown female poet in Chinese history, and Xin Qiji (1140–1207 CE), who was also a military leader of the Southern Song dynasty. Both poets witnessed a series of crushing defeats of the Song dynasty at the hands of the Jurchens who gained control over almost half of the Song territories and established the Jin dynasty in northern China.
After Jinan came under control of the Jin dynasty, both Li Qingzhao and Xin Qiji had to abandon their homes and reflected this experience in their works.
During the Civil War that followed the proclamation of Kublai Khan as Great Khan in 1260 CE, Jinan was at the center of a rebellion by Yizhou governor Li Tan against Mongol rule in 1262 CE. The rebellion was crushed in a decisive battle that was fought not far from Jinan in late March or early April 1262 CE. After losing 4000 of his troops in the battle, Li Tan retreated to Jinan to make his last stand. After defections of his defenders had made his position untenable, Li Tan tried to commit suicide by drowning himself in Daming Lake. However, he was rescued by the Mongols in order to execute him by trampling him to death with their horses.
Despite such violent conflicts, culture in Jinan continued to thrive during the Jin (1115–1234) and Yuan (1271–1368) dynasties: One of the most renowned artists of the Yuan dynasty, Zhao Mengfu (1254–1322) was appointed to the post of governor of Jinan in 1293 and spent three years in the city. Among the extraordinary art works he completed during his stay in Jinan, the best known painting is "Autumn Colors on the Qiao and Hua Mountains.
Geographer Yu Qin (1284–1333) also served as an official in Jinan and authored his geography book Qi Cheng there.
When Shandong province was established under the Ming dynasty, Jinan became its capital.
Jinan was the site of a siege during the Jingnan Campaign where the city was defended by loyalists of the Jianwen Emperor led by Tie Xuan against the rebel Prince of Yan Zhu Di's army.
In 1852, the northward shift of the Yellow River into a new bed close to the city triggered the modern expansion of Jinan. The new course of the Yellow River connected the city to the Grand Canal and regional waterways in northern Shandong and southern Hebei.
German influence in Jinan grew after the Qing dynasty ceded Qingdao to the German Empire in 1897. A German concession area was established to the west of the historical city center (in the vicinity of the Jinan Railway Station first established by the Germans). The Jiaoji (Qingdao–Jinan) railway was built by the Germans against local resistance.
Discontent over the construction of the railway was one of the sources fueling the Boxer Rebellion (1899–1901).
During the rebellion, foreign priests were evacuated from Jinan and Chinese Christians became a target of violence. The Jiaoji railway was completed in 1904, three years after the Boxer Rebellion had been put down, and opened the city to foreign trade.
The importance of Jinan as a transportation hub was cemented with the completion of the north–south Jinpu railway from Tianjin to Pukou in 1912.
Jinan became a major trading center for agricultural goods in northern China. Traded commodities included cotton, grain, peanuts, and tobacco.
Jinan also developed into a major industrial center, second in importance to Qingdao in the province.