Nanjing Facts

Basic Nanjing Facts

Chinese Name: 南京 nán jīng
Administration Type: Vice-provincial City
Area: 971.62 sq. km (375.1 sq. mi)
Resident Population: 8,436,200
Area Code: 025
Zip Code: 210000
Location: Southwestern Jiangsu Province, lower reaches of Yangtze River (31°14″-32°37″ N, 118°22″-119°14″ E)

Top 10 Nanjing Facts You Should Know

1. Capital of Ten Dynasties

Nanjing boasts the history of being the capital of six consecutive dynasties, including Kingdom of Wu (222-280), Eastern Jin (317-420), Southern Song (420-479), Southern Qi (479-502), Southern Liang (502-557) and Southern Chen (557-589). During this period, Nanjing was the largest city in the world and experienced the unparalleled prosperity both in handicraft industry and commerce. People enjoyed the rich materials such as grains, silks, porcelains and paper. Thousands of merchant ships both domestic and from abroad anchored along the quay, so that even the ores, western spices and foreign treasures were common in Nanjing at that time.

The other four dynasties when Nanjing was made capital are Southern Tang (937-975), Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Taiping Kingdom of Heaven (1853-1864) and Republic of China (1921-1949).
Read More: Nanjing History

2. Abundant Historical Relics

As a city of nearly 2,600 years’ history and 500 years’ capital history, Nanjing has abundant historical and cultural relics.

In the Confucius Temple (Fuzimiao), tourists will get close to Confucianism and know how it affects Chinese civilization. Moreover, Fuzimiao was the first imperial college and the place to hold imperial examinations. Thus, it is a good place to understand the anicent Chinese educational system.
For those curious about the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Xiaoling Mausoleum of Ming Dynasty and Nanjing City Wall are highly recommended. The former was built for Zhu Yuanzhang, the founding emperor of Ming, and his empress. Acclaimed as the most representative royal mausoleum, this attraction enables tourists to feel the august atmosphere through 32 huge stone carvings. The potency of the Ming Dynasty can be also represented through its military fortification, the City Wall. Upon walking on it, which undulates along the Qinhuai River and Purple Mountain, every tourist will be immersed in this dynasty’s ancient glory.
Nanjing also witnesses the ebbs and flows of Chinese modern history. The Presidential Palace and Dr. Sun Yet-sen’s Mausoleum will bring you back to the Republic of China (1921-1949) through architectural remains and other historical materials.

3. Located in the Wealthy Yangtze River Delta

Nanjing’s prosperity has a strong bearing on its favorable geographic location. The Yangtze River Delta has China’s most robust economic rim and accounts for twenty percent of China’s GDP. Radiated by Shanghai, together with Wuxi, Suzhou and other cities, Nanjing is fully able to take advantage of Yangtze Delta’s sound industrial base, leading commodity economy, convenient water and land transport, and the foreign trading capacity.

4. A Beautiful Garden City

Nanjing is characterized by the harmony of mountains, waterscapes and classical gardens.

Purple Mountain and Qixia Mountain are two most famous mountains in Nanjing. Because of the meandering shape linked by three peaks, Purple Mountain is described as a dragon guarding Nanjing city. As for Qixia Mountain, it is reputed for the widespread red maple trees in autumn.
As for waterscapes, Qinhuai River is hailed as the mother river of Nanjing. It is a tributary, at the lower reaches, of the Yangtze River and now one of the most prosperous scenic spots in Nanjing. Many tourists will take a boat at night to appreciate the charm of this beautiful river. Another worth-visiting waterscape attraction is Xuanwu Lake. It is the largest royal lake in China and interspersed with five islands. Various flowers such as cherry blossom, lotus and chrysanthemum can be found here.
Last but not least, the title of “Landscape Garden City” can be best embodied through Zhanyuan Garden and Xuyuan Garden. When wandering in these two typical classical gardens, tourists will be captivated by their delicate layout of pavilions, corridors, creeks and rockeries.

5. Numerous Duck Delicacies

The most interesting Nanjing fact you should know is that Nanjing is the city of duck. As it is mentioned above, Nanjing enjoys a rich waterscape. And this has created a favorable condition for local people to raise ducks and make duck delicacies. Except for duck feathers, nearly all parts of the duck can be made into delicacies. Thus, a duck feast should be on your list! The popular duck dishes include Duck Blood and Vermicelli Soup, Nanjing Salted Duck, Nanjing Roast Duck, Dried Salted Duck, Duck Oil Sesame Seed Cake, and so on!
Read More:
15 Best Nanjing Foods You Should Try

Top 10 Nanjing Restaurants

6. The Most Convenient Travel Way: Metro

This piece of Nanjing fact is of great use for tourists. Nanjing has very convenient public transportation. Compared with city bus, the ten metro lines in operation encompass nearly all the famous scenic spots in Nanjing. Tourists can readily arrive at the destinations as soon as they get off the metro station. Only Zhongshan Mountain National Park may take you some time by foot. The metro ticket fare can be paid in cash or by mobile, isn’t it convenient?
 See also: Nanjing Metro

7. Best Time to Visit Nanjing

March to May in spring and September to November in autumn are the best times to visit Nanjing. The congenial weather enables tourists to enjoy the attractions leisurely. In spring, the fresh air and beautiful cherry blossoms will definitely cheer you up. Also, the cuisines of wild vegetables in this season are worth trying. When the brisk autumn wind starts to blow, tourists can appreciate the red maples on stretching mountains and listen to the rustle of shedding phoenix tree leaves.

8. Historical Landmark: Yangtze River Bridge

Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge is the first bridge of double-deck structure for both railway and highway use in China. When walking along this bridge, tourists can appreciate more than two hundred iron reliefs embedded on the banister, which portray the various landscapes in China. Once standing here, everyone can enjoy a plain view of incessant cars and ships, and listen to the rumbling of trains. It is also recommended to appreciate the glimmering Yangtze River at the sunrise and sunset. In the evening, thousands of lamps shine along the bridge, truly like a string of luminous pearls floating on the river.

9. New Landmark: Nanjing Eye Footbridge

Nanjing Eye Footbridge is a new landmark and the very embodiment of modern vitality in Nanjing. It is 800m (875yd) long and features with two gigantic circular rings at an angle, held in place by cables. Viewed from a distance, the inclined cables are just like the strings of a harp. Tourists’ steps along the bridge are the notes playing a pleasant melody. When night falls, the lights on the bridge change into different colors.

10. Nanjing Massacre is the forever trauma of the city.

Despite the present prosperity, the historic trauma of this city should not be forgotten. On December 13th 1937 the Japanese army launched a 6-week attack on Nanjing and committed violence including massacre, rape, plunder and arson. The number of victims was over 300,000. In Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall, numerous historical materials are exhibited, such as on-site photographs, casualties’ bones, survivors’ testimonies, Japanese soldiers’ confessions and military supplies.

- Last updated on May. 18, 2020 -
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