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Lanzhou and Around

Located in the central part of Gansu, Lanzhou is the political, economic, cultural, and commercial center of the province and a transportation hub in Northwest China. Lanzhou has an area of 130,000 square kilometers with a population of 2.88 million.


One of China's ancient cities, Lanzhou was known as Jincheng Prefecture in the Han Dynasty and Lanzhou Prefecture in both the Sui (581-618) and Qing dynasties. In 1941, it was given the status of municipality.

As, on the map, Lanzhou appears to lie very much in the middle of China, it is sometimes referred to as the heart of the country. The Yellow River runs through the city from west to east. Lanzhou is in the semi-arid area with a continental monsoon climate. Annual and day temperatures vary greatly. The average annual temperature is between 6¢XC and 9¢XC. Lanzhou receives an average annual precipitation of 327.7 millimeters and has a frost-free period of 168 days. Lanzhou is an old city with roots stretching back more than 2,000 years. It was a vital point on the trade route that linked China with Central and Western Asia, Africa, and Europe in ancient times.

Lanzhou is the second largest city in Northwest China with petrochemical, textile, and machine-building industries in the lead. Lanzhou abounds in fruit and is often referred to as the town of fruit. It offers more than 20 fine varieties of fruit including peaches, Elizabeth's melons, Lanzhou melons, and zuigua (drunken melons).

Wuquanshan Park

Located at the northern foot of the Gaolan Hills south of Lanzhou, Wuquan Park is a scenic spot with a history of some 2,000 years. Standing 1,600 meters above sea level and extending over an area of 267,000 square meters, the park boasts five excellent springs and more than a dozen groups of temple structures, which, mostly built during the Ming and Qing dynasties, contain over 1,000 rooms with a total floor space of more than 10,000 square meters.

The park was established in 1955 and has since become one of the most frequented tourist attractions in Lanzhou. On Buddha's birthday, which falls on the eighth day of the fourth lunar month, apart from Buddhist rituals, a temple fair featuring a flower exhibition, folk arts, and cultural activities is held in the park. In addition, fancy lanterns are displayed there during the Spring Festival every year.

Baitashan (White Pagoda Hill) Park


Rising 1,700 meters above sea level and covering an area of three million square meters. Baitashan was turned into a park in 1958.

The hill took its name from the white pagoda in Baitasi (White Pagoda Temple) on its summit. The pagoda was built to commemorate a Tibetan lama of the Sa-skya-pa Sect of Tibetan Buddhism who died in Lanzhou on his way to Mongolia for an audience with Genghis Khan. Towering 17 meters, the pagoda is a solid brick structure.

Baitasi boasted three treasures-a drum made of elephant skin, a bronze bell, and a shiny-leafed yellow horn. The tree was planted by Yunxuan, abbot of Ci'ensi (Temple of Grace) but died for lack of water long ago. The other two treasures are still extant.

Popularly known as the Zhongshan Iron Bridge or the Yellow River Iron Bridge, it is located at the foot of Baitashan Hill and the middle section of Binhe Road in Lanzhou. It is the oldest bridge in Lanzhou and the first bridge ever built across the Yellow River.

The bridge is 233.33 meters long and 7.5 meters wide. It is a five-arch bridge resting on five piers.

Formerly, there was no bridge on the Yellow River. At the suggestion of Peng Yingjia, magistrate of Lanzhou Circuit, Shengyun, governor of Gansu, decided to build an iron bridge over the Yellow River with public fund. The project was contracted to a German firm. Construction began in February 1907 and was completed in June 1910.

The Gansu Provincial Museum


Located directly across the street from the Friendship Hotel on western Xijin Road in Lanzhou's Qilihe District, the Provincial Museum was built after the founding of the People's Republic.

The museum covers more than 6.6 Hectares of land and has a total floor space of 18,000 square meters. Built in Russian architectural style, the museum is shaped like the letter "E." It's main buildings are linked to each other by corridors.

The Gansu Provincial Museum is among the best of China's provincial museums. It has more than 100,000 historical and cultural relics as well as plant, animal, and mineral specimens in its collection. Among its more than 75,000 historical and cultural relics the most notable are painted pottery, cultural relics dating from the Han and Tang periods found along the Silk Road, and objects of Buddhist art.

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