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Modern and ancient

Wuhan (Template:Zh-stp) is the capital of Hubei province, and is the most populated city in central China. It lies at the confluence of the Yangtze and Han Rivers. It has a population of approximately 7,000,000 people.



The metropolitan area consists of three parts - Wuchang, Hankou, and Hanyang, commonly called the "Three Towns of Wuhan" (hence the name "Wuhan", combining "Wu" from the first city and "Han" from the other two). These three parts face each other across the rivers and are linked by bridges, including one of the first modern bridges in China, known as the First Bridge. It is simple in geographical structure - low and flat in the middle and hilly in the south, with the Yangtze and Han rivers winding through the city.


View from the Yellow Crane Tower
View from the Yellow Crane Tower

The area was first settled more than 3,000 years ago. During the Han Dynasty, Hanyang became a fairly busy port. In the 3rd century AD, walls were built to protect Hanyang (AD 206) and Wuchang (AD 223). The latter event marks the foundation of Wuhan. In AD 223, the Yellow Crane Tower (黄鹤楼) was constructed on the Wuchang side of the Yangtze River. Cui Hao, a celebrated poet of Tang Dynasty, visited the building in the early 8th Century; his poem made the building the most celebrated building in southern China. The city has long been renowned as a center for the arts (especially poetry) and for intellectual studies. Under the Mongol ruler (Yuan Dynasty), Wuchang was promoted to the status of provincial capital. By approximately 300 years ago, Hankou had become one of the country's top four trading towns.

In the late 1800s railroads were extended on a north-south axis through this city, which then became an important transhipment point between rail and river traffic. At this time foreign powers extracted mercantile concessions, with the riverfront of Hankou being divided up into various foreign controlled merchant districts. These districts contained trading firm offices, warehouses, and docking facilities.

In 1911, Sun Yat-sen's followers launched the Wuchang Uprising that led to the collapse of the Qing Dynasty and the establishment of the Republic of China. Wuhan was the capital of a leftist Kuomintang government led by Wang Jingwei in opposition to Chiang Kai-shek during the 1920s.

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First Bridge at Whuhan. This view is upstream, toward the distant Three Gorges and Chongqing

The First Bridge at Wuhan was built over the Yangtze River (Chang Jiang) in 1957, carrying the railroad directly across the river between Snake Hill (on the left in the picture above) and Turtle Hill. Before this bridge was built it could take up to an entire day to barge railcars across. Including its approaches, it is 5,511 feet (1680 m) long, and it accommodates both a double-track railway on a lower deck and a four lane roadway above.

The Yellow Crane Tower, which had been destroyed and reconstructed numerous times, was burned again in 1884. Reconstruction took place in 1981. The reconstruction utilized modern materials and even includes an elevator, yet in outward appearance and detail is true in spirit to the traditional design of the tower through the centuries.

The city has been subject to numerous devastating floods, hoped to be controlled by the ambitious Three Gorges Dam, recently completed and plagued by environmental, reliability and social issues.

Tourist sites

Replica instruments of ancient originals are played here. A spectacular set of bronze concert bells is in the background and a set of stone chimes is to the right
Replica instruments of ancient originals are played here. A spectacular set of bronze concert bells is in the background and a set of stone chimes is to the right

  • The Hubei provincial museum and especially its excavated tomb artifacts which include a magnificent and unique concert bell set. A dance and orchestral show is given here, using reproductions of the original instruments.
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Yellow Crane Tower
  • The Yellow Crane Tower, modern in structure, ancient in lore and legend.
  • The Rock and "Bonsai" museum includes a magnificent mounted platybelodon skeleton, many unique and finely figured rocks, a giant quartz crystal (as large as an automobile) and an outdoor garden with miniature trees in the penjing ("Chinese Bonsai ") style.
  • Some luxury Riverboat tours begin here after a flight from Beijing or Shanghai, with several days of flatland cruising and then climbing through the Three Gorges with passage upstream past the Gezhouba and Three Gorges dams to the metropolis of Chongqing. With the completion of the dam a number of cruises now start from the upstream side and continue east, with tourists traveling by motor coach from Wuhan. Although there is no longer the excitement of fast water cruising through the three gorges, and some of the historic wall carvings are now underwater, much of the drama of the high cliffs and narrow passages remains.


Wuhan is a sub-provincial city. The GDP per capita was RMB16,206 (ca. US$1,960) in 2003, ranked no. 114 among 659 Chinese cities.

Colleges and universities



  • Wuhan University of Science & Technology (武汉科技大学) (founded 1898)
  • Hubei University (湖北大学)
  • Jianghan University (江汉大学)
  • Hubei University of Technology (湖北工业大学)
  • Wuhan Institute of Chemical Technology (武汉化工学院)
  • Wuhan Polytechnic University (武汉工业学院)
  • Humbei College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (湖北中医学院)
  • Wuhan Conservatory of Music (武汉音乐学院)
  • Hubei Institute of Fine Arts (湖北美术学院)
  • Wuhan Institute of Physical Education (武汉体育学院)

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

Popular foods

  • Re Gan Mian is a kind of noodle which is very popular in this city.
  • Ya Bo Zi (鸭脖子) is a local version of this popular Chinese dish, made of duck necks and spices.

Famous people

External links

Template:Hubeide:Wuhan fr:Wuhan ja:武漢 pl:Wuhan pt:Wuhan zh:武汉


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