The Urban Space of the City takes up about 617 Square kilometers (238.2 sq miles), whereas the entire City Prefecture of Nanchang has a totall surface area of 7.402 square kilometers (2,857.9 sq miles).
Population: The Total Urban Population of Nanchang City totals around 4 Million Citizens (3,934,445) with an additional 1.0 Million living in the rural area's of the City Prefecture. The Total population of the entire Nanchang City Prefecture area is thus around 4.9 million souls (4,990,184).
Nanchang is the Capital City of Jiangxi Province in South-Central China. The City is located 240 kilometers due South-West of Wuhan in neighboring Hubei Province and quite some distance due South-West of the coastal City of Shanghai on South China sea coast and the Yangtze River.
The City of Nanchang is situated some 60 kilometers south of the Yangtze River and some 40 kilometers West of the shores of Chinas largest inland Lake, the much admired Poyang Hu.
For the Chinese People the name of the City of Nanchang is mainly associated with Revolutionary History. Apart from this, Nanchang is nationally famous as an exporter of fish taken from the nearby Poyang Hu.
The Cities main eye-catchers are the Monuments comemmorating the so-called ′ Nanchang Uprising′ of 1927 AD, which according mostly to the official propaganda line laid the first foundations for the establishment of what today is China′ s National Army and one very ancient wooden tower dated to the early Tang Dynasty (618 AD - 907 AD) which survived to this day as a National Relic. Other than these, there are very few historical landmarks in the City due to the fact that it was bombed out with fire-bombs during American Air Raids in the year 1944 AD.
Thus, although today quite modern and certainly a busy and growingly affluent city Nanchang is described in most tourist guides as disinteristing and not a place to prioritize for a visit. Few bother to describe the city of Nanchang in any detail.
Much more famous are surrounding towns such as Luotiancun, Shuinan, Jingtai, spectacular Wuyuan and the famous resort of Lushan, famed from its Lushan Giant Buddha as well as the political conference of Lushan in 1959 AD (Officially the 8Th Plenum of the Central Committee) in which Mao Zedong fought Marshal Peng Dehuai.
The main river that flows through Nanchang City is the Gan River (Gan Jiang), along which banks the city sprawls. The River enters the City in the south-west and leaves in the north-east. The Xinjian District of the City is located on the western bank, as is the Wanli District adjacent and further west. The main districts of Xihu, Xinyongpu and Qingshanhu Districts are all located on the eastern bank.
The main sights in the City are but few. The oldest Monuments is the Tengwang Tower or Tengwang Pavilion, a 7Th century early Tang Period wooden tower. Nearby Youmin Temple is the other historic relic of bygone days. Of more modern times date the obligatory Peoples Square, with in this case an over emphasized Monument to the Martyrs of the Revolution. Quite spectacular, especially for fans of Stalinist Era architecture, is the Exhibition Hall (Zhanlang Guan) on the west of the Square and the Hall of the Martyrs on the North end. There is a Museum of the Nanchang Uprising however the Jiangxi Provincial Museum is a much more worthwhile place to spend an afternoon.
Although a city with considerable history, the number of historical landmarks and monuments to be found in Nanchang is surpisingly low. The main reasons for this are the frequent floodings of the Yangtse River in history, several wars that passed through town culminating in a fire-bombing by the American Airforce in 1944 AD and last but not least the turbulent years of the Cultural Revolution (1966 AD - 1976 AD) in which the four olds were eliminated.
Among the most well-known tourist sites within Nanchang the first and foremost is the Tengwang Pavilion, which is a towering pavilion dating to the year 653 AD in the very beginnings of the Tang Dynasty (618 AD - 907 AD). Located on the East Bank of the main river in Nanchang, the Gan River this spectacular old tower is regarded and ranked as one of "the Four Great Towers of China". Enthusiast for Chinese Pagodas and wooden towers must have a look.
Other places that offer a view into the rich History of Nanchang City and the surrounding regions of Jiangxi province are the Jiangxi Provincial Museum and Bada Shanren Exhibition Hall. For fans of the Communist Party and the Revolution, there is the central Peoples Square, which not only has a gargantuan monument to the Martyrs of the Revolution, but is flanked by a revolutionary Exhibition Hall as well as the Memorial Hall to the Martyrs of the Revolution, a museum dedicated to the propagation of the myth of the Nanchang Uprising, Zhou Enlai′ s supposed heroic leadership in case, and the rest that came after.
Done with sightseeing? Go shopping at thriving Zhongshan Lu, which is the road leading west off the Town′s Central Peoples Square.
A much more modern attraction, the Star of Nanchang, is another tourist magnet that offers a considerable but entirely different thrill. Make the journey to the Top on this huge ferrris wheel which was the world's tallest Ferris wheel from 2006-2008. You will get a great view of the City Scape below, that is a promise.
Just some 40 kilometers due East of Nanchang City is the Poyang Lake, the largest fresh water lake in China. The Lake is famous for its scenery and history. Among things, the deciding Batlle ffor the Throne of what would become the Ming Dynasty (1368 AD - 1644 AD) was fought on the lake as well as on its shores. Although in the last decennium severly poluted by agriculture, fish farms and a wide variety of Industries that have sprung up around the Lake, one still must go and visit. The Poyang Lake is also known as an important stop-over for migratory birds, although it is no longer "the Migratory Birds Paradise" the local tourism industry boasts of. However, the Poyang Lake ofers great natural scenery, wide horizons, and an abundance of birds and fish for anyone patient and calm enough to go look for them.
aturally, after visiting Poyang Hu, one might consider traveling up to Yangtze River as well. The distance to the city of Jiujiang and the waters of the mighty Yangtze is only around 60 kilometers and by any standard well worth your efforts.
A Full listing of Nanchang City Landmarks, Monuments, Hotspots and other sites of importance in alphabetical order. Search through the list to find your Full Report and Photo-Virtual Tour of each monument or landmark within the City, or Region of Nanchang in Jiangxi Province of China (PRC).
Public Transport in Nanchang
The Main and only Railway Station of Nanchang City is located in the City Center in the Hufangzhen neighborhood of Qingyanpu District. It sits at the south-western end of Bayi Avenue, just west of what is known as Fushan roundabout, surrounded by Hotels. As the arrival point for many, the Main Station is home to a number of essential Services.
There are daily express trains to Jingdezhen the city of ceramics to the north-east of Nanchang, and Jiujiang City on the Yangtze River.
The city of Nanchang lies off the main railway line from Shanghai to Guangzhou, and is connected to this line through a sub-branch.
Nanchang Changbei Airport is a fully modern facility located at some 28 kilometers due North of the City of Nanchang across the river. It sits at the beginning of what is called the Changjiu Expressway (G105).
Flights ferry passengers daily to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Xi′ an. The flight time to Shanghai is only one hour, a flight to Beijing takes two hours, and Hong Kong is about one and a quarter hour flying from Nanchang.
Nanchang has a one main Railroad Station and a National Airport at Changbei.
Nanchang is a city with considerable history. The area was first settled more than 3,000 years ago. During the Han Dynasty, Hanyang became a fairly busy port.
Not long after the fall of the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD), in the 3rd century AD one of the most famous battles in Chinese history and a central event in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms—the Battle of Red Cliffs—took place in the vicinity of the cliffs near Wuhan. Around that time, walls were built to protect Hanyang (AD 206) and Wuchang (AD 223). The latter event marks the foundation of Wuhan.
In the year 223 AD, 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 (608 AD - 907 AD), visited the building in the early 8th century; his poem made the building the most celebrated building in southern China.
The city of Nanchang has long been renowned as a center for the arts (especially poetry) and for intellectual studies. Under the Mongol rulers of the Yuan Dynasty (1271 AD - 1368 AD), 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 17Th Century, Nanchang, among things, became a base for Foreign Christians attempting to convert a Chinese populace. About halfway during the century Nanchang had its own Christian Church which was a base for missionaries of the Jesuit order, sent there via Rome from countries as diverse as Spain, Portugal, Italy and Belgium. Most well recorded is the visit and stay of father Prospero Intorcetta (1625 AD - 1696 AD) who arrived in Nanchang in the year 1659 AD, after first studying the Chinese Language in Macau (Macao) for two years. Father Intorcetta stayed in the city for 6 years until in 1665 AD an Imperial Decree was issued to arrest all Christians within the large Empire. Subsequently, all members of the Nanchang jesuit mission were rounded up, arrested and transported to the Capital Beijing where their ultimate fate was to be decided at a later time. It was a giant hick-up in otherwise friendly albeit it slowly developping relations with the Chinese Imperial Court.
What is most important to the story of father Intorcetta and the Court is that eventhough the father spent a lenghty time in prison, and later escaped from Chinese Authority to flee overseas back to Macao, he later returned to China and actually met the man who had him imprissoned, the legendary Emperor Kangxi himself. Although historical details are sketchy due to the extreme remoteness of the posting at the time as well as Chinese Court secrecy, it is commonly believed that father Intorcetta, through his relation with the Kangxi Emperor, played a key role in the later reversal of fortunes for the Christians in China, the issueing of an Imperial Decree expressing religious tolerance and creating a legal place for the new and foreign religion under the political protection of the court.
As for Father Intorcetta and the city of Nanchang; he never returned to this posting during his further lifetime. Instead, upon his return to China Intorcetta chose to go to the City of Huangzhou, currently the Capital of Zhejiang Province famed for its west lake scenery, to found the first Jesuit Missionary School for boys in that City in the year 1676 AD. It was in the year 1677 AD that Intorcetta met the Emperor Kangxi who was then on an inspection tour of the Southern Provinces. Father Intorcetta died some 20 years later in Huangzhou, on October the 3rd of 1696 AD to be precise, leaving a legacy as a top political negotiator as well as a considerable work in Chinese translations, among which most notably the first western translation of the ′Book of the Mean′ by Confucius known as the ′Sinarum Scientia Politico Moralis′. It was the first time in history that a (very) limited western public could hear and learn of the principles of Eastern (Chinese) political phylosophy as founded upon the views and theories of Confucius. This is still important information to have today. In Western History Intorcetta is therefor most well known as the first translator of Confucius.
As an interesting detail to this story, the book ′Sinarum Scientia Politico Moralis′ itself was produced in printed in China, combining the skills of western printers with those of Chinese printers, leaving a unique and never before seen product. Copies of this book are regarded priceless antiques and go as emblems of the early cross cultural connections between Europe (Italy) and the Far East.
Officially, there are 37 of the total 56 Ethnic Groups in China represented within the City of Nanchang and its Prefecture, which is mainly accounted for by modern migrations from rural regions to the City. In reality however the City and Prefecture are by no means known for having any ethnic encalves or communities.
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In 1959 AD, after being banished from the Capital of Beijing, Mao′s third wife Guiyuan (He Zizhen) lived in Nanchang for a short period. At the time of what is known as the ′Lushan Conference′ (officially the 8th Plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China), Mao Zedong, whom she had not seen or spoken to in 21 years suddenly felt the urge to see her. Already frail and with a history of mental ilness, the abused woman was rushed to Lsuhan under false pretences. Reportedly, upon being confronted with Mao, Guiyuan had a total mental collapse, after she was forcobly taken back from Lushan to Nanchang. Guiyuan lived on in Nanchang a broken woman. It is said that she no longer recognized her own daughter, nor washed or ate. For a long time after she seems to have been psychotic and suffering from delusions.
In 1967, civil strife struck the city in the Wuhan Incident as a result of tensions arising out of by the Cultural Revolution (1966 AD - 1976 AD).
The city has been subject to numerous devastating floods, which are supposed to be controlled by the ambitious Three Gorges Dam. That project is set to be completed in 2011 AD.
Mao Zedong with red armband waving at the Red Guards gathered in Tiananmen Square for the start of the Cultural Revolution in 1966 AD.
Hotels in Nanchang are numerous and of all ranges.
Near the Main Train Station (Nanchang Zhan) one finds most hotels on the west side. These are Palace Hotel, Jinchang Hotel, the Guo En Hotel, Milan Holiday Hotel, the Xi Tian Di Hotel, and last Nanchang Singleton Dormatory for the budget travelers. Sanjiang Business Hotel is just around the corner of the Bayi Avenue roundabout.
Zhou Enlai as photographed in 1924 AD.
Hè Zǐzhēn (贺子珍, also 贺自珍) - Guiyuan, Mao′s third wife.
In the late 1800′s railroads were extended on a north-south axis through Nanchang city, which then became an important transshipment 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 AD, Sun Yat-sen's followers launched the Wuchang Uprising that within a short time led to the collapse of the Qing Dynasty (1644 AD - 1911 AD) and the establishment of the First Republic of China. Subsequently Wuhan was the capital of a leftist Kuomintang government led at the Time by Wang Jingwei, in opposition to Chiang Kai-shek during the 1920s.
In the second half of 1927 AD some 20.000 en of what was then the largest Red Army Force available in China were stationed in the City and the vicinity of Nanchang. On the 1st of August of 1927 AD these troops launched a mutiny under the military leadership of Zhou Enlai, Ma Zedong′s superior and the later Premier. The order for the uprising had come from Moscow and the KomIntern and significantly, was thus a blatant (albeit secret) intervention of the Soviet Union in Chinese Affairs.
As the uprising amounted to but a minor incident in the blood-soaked period and the army subsequently left town and marched to its doom, the whole affair would be historical hair-splitting if it weren′t for the later importance of the date. Even though no such particular date exists, as many times over several different regions, provinces and city saw the rise of Communist Armies and Bases, today it is held that the ′Nanchang Uprising′ (of 1927 AD) was the event that saw the founding of the First Red Army (group) in history, as mentioned led by Politburo Member and main Moscow-line representative Zhou Enlai. Thus, August the 1st is known as ′Red Army Day′, and through the perpetuation of this small myth, the name of the City of nanchang is associated with the establishment of the PLA, the Peoples Liberation Army.
Ironically, the army which was established on orders of the KomIntern and Moscow and was supposed to move southward to Swatow (Shantou) 600 kilometers to the South in Guangdong Province in order to receive Soviet resuplies from ships, nearly entirely vanished within a few months.
To begin with, as the plan was wild and not too well thought through, within the 1st three days already one third of the force had deserted. Other went ill from drinking unclean water from rice fields and ponds in the searing heat of August. Soon ammunition supplies dwindled, and since the Soviet Union did not sent resupplies, it was the end of exercise. the Army disintegrated and Zhou Enlai made it out to fight another day.
In the very next year, 1928 Mao Zedong would lead another Army to the edges of the City of Nanchang, again on orders from the Chinese Communist Party and its master Stalin in Moscow. It seemed as if his comrades had left Mao no choice but to attack the city. However, when the army reached Nanchang just after 25Th of Juli, only a few shots were fired on the outskirts of the City, after which Mao directed the army on to Changsha, to use it for his own larger political purposes. Mao was going after the much stronger and better organized army of Peng Dehuai (later Marshal), which Mao hoped to join and then take political control of. Thus, Nanchang was spared a terrible bloodshed.
In 1938 AD, Wuhan and the surrounding region became the battlefield of the Battle of Wuhan, a major conflict in the Second Sino-Japanese War. After being taken by the Japanese in 1938, Wuhan became a major Japanese logistics center for operations in southern China.
In December 1944, the city was largely destroyed by U.S. firebombing raids conducted by the Fourteenth Air Force.