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Dec 20, 2006, 3:58 PM
With it's long history of over 2,300 years, Chengdu was proclaimed one of the cultural and historical cities by the China's Council at the first batch.

qintai Road


jinli Street















chunxi Road










Long Bridge


daci temple district

tianxia shuadu district

Early in the 4th century BC, Kaiming IX, king of ancient Shu, moved the capital to Chengdu. In 311 B.C, people of Qin Dynasty (221 BC-208 BC) built a protective wall around Chengdu city according to capital of Qin Dynasty. Thus, the wall was erected with a height of 3.5 meters and a perimeter of 6 kilometers, marking the beginning of Chengdu City.

The Dujiangyan Irrigation System was constructed under the lead of Li Bing, prefect of Shu Prefecture. The Dujiangyan brings the vast Chengdu Plain under irrigation and protects it against droughts and floods for over 2000 years. Chengdu plain was turned into the Land of Abundance with temperate climate and fertile soil.

In Western Han Dynasty (206 BC- AD 23), brocades produced in Chengdu enjoyed good popularity in China. The government assigned Jinguan (an official in charge of brocade production) to administrate the brocade production in Chengdu and the Jinguan City was constructed. So Chengdu is also called Jinguan City.

Through the history, Chengdu was a city densely covered by rivers and dotted with bridges, while trees grew in profusion and flowers bloomed all year around. Over 2,000 years, Chengdu has remained a city of military importance in Southwest China on politics, economy and military affairs.

Chengdu has also been a city with prosperous industry and booming business activities. In the Qin Dynasty (221 BC-206 BC) and the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD220), it was a well-known business center. In the Han Dynasty, it was one of the five best cities in China, the other four cities being Luoyang, Handan, Linzi and Wan. It ranked second, next only to Yangzhou in the Tang Dynasty (618-907), in the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127), next only to the capital city, Bianjing. Early in Tang Dynasty and Song Dynasty, the commerce and trade in Chengdu had outgrown the traditional family workshops, gradually developing into a modern city of sophistication.

Paper money appeared and was first used in China, Chengdu being its birthplace. At that time, workshops for paper money making were located in Jingchong Temple to the north of Chengdu city (today known as Wan-fu Temple, Temple of Ten Thousand Buddhas). The paper money made here was the earliest paper money ever used, which played a significant role in promoting trade, financial transaction, and economic development.

With a long history, the education in Chengdu is well developed. Early in 141 B.C, Wen Weng built schools to promote education, which was the first attempt in China for public education.


In November 2000, Dujiangyan Irrigation System and Qingcheng Mountain (the Taoist Mountain) were ranked as Cities of the World Cultural Heritage by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Dec 20, 2006, 9:43 PM
Awesome stuff. Sichuan, next.

Sometimes I just can't help to think that some ancient Chinese architecture looks very modern and recently built. I think I have to blame Xintiandi for that.

Dec 21, 2006, 12:58 AM
Sometimes I just can't help to think that some ancient Chinese architecture looks very modern and recently built. I think I have to blame Xintiandi for that.

I think the town of lijiang is the original model which constructs Chinese architecture to match with modern art. many cities in China started to imitate, and there is also a good result. Chengdu's jinli street is the outcome of that movement.

However the lijiang's small bridges upon the flowing water is the invaluable wealth that the common cities don't owns, which is probably the reson that too many chinese cities have chased lijiang, but none has surpassed it.

Dec 21, 2006, 2:55 AM
Good pictures! I really like Chinese's ancient architecture. I wonder if they could make a SUPER TALL Chinese ancient architecture?

Dec 21, 2006, 3:26 AM
I have to make it to Lijiang before it gets overrun by tourists.

Dec 21, 2006, 3:34 PM
I love those narrow brick streets and this patio:


Seems like a fun place to hang out!