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Guangzhou fireworks display at night

Guangzhou (Template:Zh-stpw; Jyutping: Gwong2zau1; Yale: Gwngjaū) is the capital of the Guangdong Province in southern China. Its international name was formerly Canton, after a French language corruption of Guangdong. As of 1999, the population of the city is about 4.05 million while the urban population is about 6.85 million.



The Chinese abbreviation of Guangzhou is Sui (穗; pinyin: si; Jyutping: seoi6; Yale: seuīh). This city has the nicknames of Wuyangcheng (city of five rams), Yangcheng (city of rams), Huacheng (city of flowers), or Suicheng.

Canton, the French diplomatic romanisation for Europeans who could not understand ideographic characters at that time, when pronounced in French, is a closer oral rendering of the name in its original Cantonese. Guangdong is a Mandarin pronunciation of the Han ideographs.


Guangzhou has direct jurisdiction over ten districts: Yuexiu, Liwan, Haizhu, Tianhe, Baiyun, Huangpu, Huadu, Panyu, Nansha, and Luogang; and two county-level cities: Conghua, and Zengcheng.

As of April 28, 2005, the districts of Dongshan and Fangcun have been abolished and merged into Yuexiu and Liwan respectively; at the same time the district of Nansha is established out of parts of Panyu, and the district of Luogang is established out of parts of Baiyun, Tianhe, Huangpu, and Zengcheng.


It is believed that the first city was built in 214 BC, named Panyu (番禹; the locals pronounced this in Cantonese as Poon Yu) and has had a continuous occupation since that time.

In 206 BC, it became the capital of the Nanyue Kingdom (南越), and the city was expanded.

Han Dynasty annexed Nanyue in 111 BC, and Panyu became a provincial capital and remains so until this day. In 226 AD, Panyu became the seat of the Guang Prefecture (廣州; Guangzhou). Therefore, "Guangzhou" was the name of the prefecture, not of the city. However, people had grown accustomed to calling the city Guangzhou, instead of Panyu.

Guangzhou was sacked by Arabs ¹ and Persians in AD 758, ² according to a local Guangzhou government report on October 30 758, which corresponded to the day of Guisi (癸巳) of the ninth lunar month in the first year of the Qianyuan era of Emperor Suzong of the Tang Dynasty. ³

During the Song Dynasty, Su Shi, a celebrated poet, visited Baozhuangyan Temple (founded in AD 537), and left in his handwriting "liu rong" (six banyan trees) to the temple; hence the name "Liu Rong Temple".

In 1711, the British East India Company established a trading post in Guangzhou.

1888 German map of Hong Kong, Macau, and Canton (now Guangzhou)
1888 German map of Hong Kong, Macau, and Canton (now Guangzhou)
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Guangzhou city map today

Guangzhou was one of the five Chinese treaty ports opened by the Treaty of Nanjing (signed in 1842) at the end of the First Opium War between United Kingdom and China. The other ports were Fuzhou, Xiamen, Ningbo and Shanghai.

In 1918, "Guangzhou" became the official name of the city, when an urban council was established in Guangzhou. Panyu became a county's name south of Guangzhou. In both 1930 and 1953, Guangzhou was promoted to the status of a Municipality, but each promotion was cancelled within the year. Japanese troops occupied Guangzhou between October 12, 1938 and September 16, 1945.


Guangzhou is located at 11257'E to 1143'E and 2226'N to 2356'N. The Municipality is part of the Pearl River Delta.


The Pearl River Delta is one of mainland China's leading economic regions and a massive manufacturing centre.

The GDP per capita was 38568 (ca. US$4660) in 2003, ranked no. 8 among 659 Chinese cities.

The Chinese Export Commodities Fair, also called Canton Fair, is held each spring and autumn. Inaugurated in the spring of 1957, the Fair is a major event for the city.


Guangzhou's main airport is Baiyun International Airport, a hub for China Southern Airlines. The New Baiyun International Airport in Huadu District opened on 5 August 2004.

The Guangzhou Metro opened in 1999.

Guangzhou is connected to Hong Kong by train and bus services. Express trains leave Hong Kong from the Hung Hom KCR station. They cover the 182km route in approximately two hours.


Touristic highlights

Other buildings

Plans are also underway to build what will become the world's tallest free-standing TV tower.

Sister Cities

Guangzhou keeps sister city relationships with the following cities:

Colleges and Universities



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

Astronomical phenomena

The previous total solar eclipse as seen from Guangzhou (downtown) was Solar eclipse of 1814-Jul-17 (July 17, 1814).


¹ Frank Welsh, A Borrowed Place: The History of Hong Kong, Maya Rao (editor), p. 13, ISBN 1568361343
² Joseph Needham, Science & Civilisation in China, 1, pp.179 - Cambridge University Press 1954
³ Sima Guang, Zizhi Tongjian, ch. 220.

See also

External links

Template:Guangdongca:Guangzhou de:Guangzhou es:Guangzhou eo:Kantono (Ĉinio) fr:Canton (Chine) id:Guangzhou nl:Guangzhou ja:広州 pl:Guangzhou pt:Canto fi:Guangzhou sv:Guangzhou zh:广州


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