Wuhan's history dates back 3,500 years. It was once the center of the ancient State of Chu, and has always been an important spot on the mighty Yangtze River. From Wuhan, merchants followed the great river and extensive water networks to expand their businesses throughout the entire region.
During the Warring States Period, the area was designated as an important military base for its lookout points at Snake Hill and Turtle Hill. During the Three Kingdoms period, State of Wu Emperor Sun Quan established Wuchang City. Meanwhile, Hankou and Hanyang were established as important port zones during the Han Dynasty.
Wuhan is actually a conglomeration of what were once three independent cities: Hankou, Hanyang and Wuchang. Hanyang dates back to the Eastern Han Dynasty, when a town known as Queyue first developed on the site to the north of Turtle Hill. Wuchang's origins are in the Three Kingdoms period, when a town called Xiakou was established on the site of the modern Wuchang. These two developed slowly until the Tang and Song Dynasties. Hankou was established at the beginning of the Ming Dynasty.
The three towns took advantage of the intersection of the Yangtze River and Hanshui River, and Hankou underwent rapid development. In 1861, Hankou (known at that time in the West as Hankow) was opened to trade with foreign powers. In 1927, the National Government announced that Hankou, Wuchang and Hanyang were to be incorporated into the Jingzhao Region and named Wuhan. Wuhan was liberated on May 16, 1949, and was directly governed by the Central Government until June 1954. After that, it came under the jurisdiction of the Hubei Provincial Government.
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