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Home Chinese Cities and Province Information Changsha, Hunan Province

China City and Province Information

Changsha Basics
Area:   11,800 square km
Population:   6.37 million (2006)
Postal Code:   410000
Phone Area Code:   0731
Local Time  
A Brief Introduction of Changsha

Changsha, as the capital of Hunan Province in south central China, Changsha is at the center of a rich agricultural region amid the Hunan plains and bordering the Xiang River. The site has a 3,000-year history of occupation, and was an important center of the southern Chu State culture in the Warring States period (5th-3rd c. BC). The lacquerware and silk textiles recovered from a Western Han (2nd century BC) tomb at Changsha are an indication of the richness of local craft traditions. In 1904 Changsha was opened to foreign trade, and large numbers of Europeans and Americans settled there. Mao Zedong was born in nearby Shaoshan, and he studied and taught at Changsha. Today Changsha is an important commercial center and river port, with abundant light industrial production.

Yueyang Tower (Yueyanglou)

Yueyang Tower (Yueyanglou)
Yueyang Tower is one of the most famous structures in China, renowned for its ancient literary associations. It stands on the northeastern shore of Lake Dongting in Hunan Province in the riverside city of Yueyang, where the Yangzi River intersects with the lake via canals. Originally built in 716, the present tower was rebuilt in 1045 on another site, and restored in the early Qing and again as recently as 1983. In the Tang period, at the height of Chinaís literary glory, the original tower was a meeting place for famous poets such as Li Bai, Du Fu, and Bai Juyu. In the early Song period the tower was associated with the literary man Fan Zhongyan (989-1052). The three-story tower is 20m (66 ft.) high, constructed without cross-beams or nails. It includes four main halls and 24 outer and 12 inner rooms. Three upward-curving roofs covered with glazed yellow tiles are supported by huge red pillars. The top of the Tower offers broad vistas of Lake Dongting.

Mawangdui: Spirit-World of a Han Dynasty Noblewoman

The early Han period (early 2nd century BC) tombs of a noble family excavated at Mawangdui are among the most important archaeological discoveries of the past quarter-century. The astonishing state of preservation of one of the tombs, including the mummified corpse of the occupant, and vulnerable materials such as lacquer-painted wood and silk textiles, are only part of the story.

The intact contents of the tomb offers unparalleled insights into burial practices and beliefs in the after-life for the far southern culture of early imperial China. In addition, the tomb contains manuscript texts of versions of classic scriptures from early Chinese philosophical schools, shedding important light on the development of early Chinese thought. Further, the tombs contained silk funerary paintings, which offer insights into early imperial period mythologies and cosmological beliefs.

Clothes from 2000 years ago - excavated at Mawangdui

The tombs were discovered in 1972 during construction work at Mawangdui, about 4 km northeast of Changsha, and excavation was completed in 1974. The best preserved, and entirely undisturbed tomb, was that of the Marquess of Dai, or Xin Zui, buried about 180 BC, whose husband was a minor nobleman in charge of administering the region of Changsha. Their sonís tomb was nearby.

The tombs were marked only by two earthen mounds above ground; the actual tomb chambers were 16 meters underground, accessed from the north via a sloping passageway. The tomb walls were surrounded by layers of charcoal and pounded clay, which seem to have been instrumental in keeping the moisture level constant and preventing the decay of the corpse and other tomb contents.
Among many other remarkable finds, a painted T-shaped silk funerary banner, a so-called spirit robe, was laid over the innermost coffin. The banner has a cord, which may indicate that it was carried in a funerary procession before being draped over the coffin. Since silk is a perishable material, the discovery of a silk painting with well-preserved ink and brilliant color designs near 2,200 years old was a major event, matched by only a very few other painted silks of comparable age.

Juzizhou Islet, Changsha

Located in the central part of Xiangjiang River in south China, Juzizhou Islet is known all over China because of Mao Zedong's poem 'Qin Yuan Chun Changsha'. The islet is a picturesque park with beautiful pavilions and corridors. It has had free admission since April 2009.

Since June 1 of 2010, all parks in Changsha City, Hunan Province have been free to the public, including the well-known Yueli Mountain scenic attraction. (source:


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