History of Shijiazhuang

History of Shijiazhuang

With the discovery of ancient ashes in the present day suburbs of Shijiazhuang, the history in this area can be traced back as much as 7,000 years. During the Han Dynasty, the Taihang Mountain area west of Shijiazhuang was always an important source of metallurgy bases. The area, then referred to as "Smelting River", produced weapons, battle armors and implements for production. During the Han and Tang Dynasties, Chinese Buddhism and Taoism gradually flourished and the states of Heng and Zhao left their mark on Chinese religious history.

Bailin Temple in Zhao County is said to have been built during the Eastern Han Dynasty. It is the oldest Buddhist temple in Hebei Province. Anji Bridge, also from Zhao County, is recognized as the earliest ancestor of large, open-shoulder arched stone bridges and marks a crowning engineering achievement of Sui and Tang Dynasty culture. The city's origin can be traced back to the early part of the Ming Dynasty when it served as a distribution center for goods to and from Yan, Zhao and San Jin Prefectures. The city quickly gained a reputation as being "the thoroughfare between north and south, the throat of Yan (Shandong Province) and Jin (Shanxi Province)".

Shijiazhuang was a small village until the 20th century, and was declared a city in 1925. Its period of rapid growth and industrialization started in the 1950s. On November 12th, 1947, Shijiazhuang was one of the first major cities liberated by the People's Liberation Army. From May 1948 to March 1949, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and Chinese People's Liberation Army set up its headquarters in the city of Xibaipo. From here, Chairman Mao Zedong and the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China commanded the three major battles against the Kuomintang. In 1968, the capital city of Hebei province was relocated from Baoding to Shijiazhuang.

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