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Kaifeng

From Academic Kids

Kaifeng (Template:Zh-stpw), formerly Daliang (大梁), is a city in the Henan province of the People's Republic of China, located along the Huang He, 70 km from Zhengzhou, the provincial capital. Population: 4.3 million. The GDP per capita was 7906 (about US$960) in 2003, ranked 352nd among 659 Chinese cities.

History

Kaifeng was one of the ancient capitals of China.

In 364 BC, the state of Wei during the Warring States Period founded a city called Daliang as its capital in this area. During this period, the first of many canals in the area was constructed; it linked a local river to the Huang He. When the State of Wei was conquered by the Qin, Kaifeng was destroyed abandoned but for a mid-sized market town, which remained in its place.

Early in the 7th century, Kaifeng was transformed into a major commecial hub when it was connected to the Grand Canal as well as a canal running to western Shandong Province.

In 781AD (Tang Dynasty), a new city was reconstructed and named Bian (汴), which was expanded in 956 (Song Dynasty).

During the Song Dynasty, Kaifeng was the capital with a population of over 400,000, living both inside and outside the city wall. Typhus was an acute problem of the city.

In 1049, Youguosi Pagoda (佑國寺塔), or Iron Pagoda (鐵塔) as we call it today, was constructed, which measures 54.7 m in height. It has survived the destruction of wars and floodings and become the oldest landmark in this ancient city. Another Song Dynasty pagoda, Bo Ta (繁塔), from 974, has been partially destroyed. Another well-known sight was a clocktower by Su Song.

Kaifeng reached its peak of importance in the 11th century, when it was a commercial and industrial center at the intersection of four major canals. During this time, the city was surrounded by three rings of city walls and probably had a population of 600,000 to 700,000.

This period ended in 1127, when the city fell to Jurchen invaders and came subsequently under the rule of the Jin Dynasty. While it remained an important administrative center, only the city area inside the inner city wall of the early Song Dynasty remained settled and the two outer rings were abandoned.

At the beginning of the Ming Dynasty in 1368, Kaifeng was made the capital of Henan Province.

In 1642, Kaifeng was flooded by the Ming army with water from Yellow River to prevent the peasant rebel Li Zicheng from taking over. After this disaster, the city was abandoned again.


Under the celebrated Qing emperor Kangxi (1662), Kaifeng was rebuilt. However, another flooding occurred in 1841, followed by another reconstruction in 1843, which produced the contemporary Kaifeng as we know it.

Kaifeng is also known for having one of the last Jewish communities in China, the Kaifeng Jews.

See also: Capital of China

Colleges and Universities

[Public]

  • Henan University (河南大学) (founded 1912)

Note: Institutions without full-time bachelor programs are not listed.

Template:Henande:Kaifeng fr:Kaifeng ja:開封 zh:开封

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