Jingzhou, or Jiangling City, is an ancient city in the south-central part of Hubei Province and the middle reaches of the Yangtze River. In Eastern Zhou Dynasty (770 BC-221 BC), it was the capital city of Chu State for over 400 years and the cradle of Chu culture. Because of its strategic location, many battles were fought here during the Three Kingdoms Period (220 - 280). In 1982, the Chinese State Council named Jingzhou as one of the 24 famous historical and cultural cities.

City Wall

City Wall of Jingzhou
City Wall of Jingzhou
The City Wall of Jingzhou has a history of over 2,000 years. The enceinte was built during Qing and Han Dynasties (221 BC-220), and the wall itself was built during the Five Dynasties and Ten States Period (907-960). It had been damaged and repaired multiple times during the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties. The one in existence now was built in the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911).

The wall has three parts: inner earth city, middle brick city and outer water city. Measuring 30 feet high, the city wall has 1,567 battlements and 28 emplacements. The water city is the moat of the city wall and its first line of defense. Seven miles long, 33 yards wide and 13 feet deep, the moat connects Tai Lake in the west to the Grand Canal in the east. A boat can sail from here to Wuhan.

Among China's seven ancient city walls, the City Wall here is rated as the second best. Compared with other famous city walls such as that in Nanjing and Shanxi, the wall is the largest and best preserved.

Jingzhou Museum

Bronze Vessels, Jingzhou Museum
Bronze Vessels in the museum
Many cultural relics and treasures have survived the long history of Jingzhou. Over the years, many items have been excavated and housed in the Jingzhou Museum. Among these are the sword of Gou Jian (the king of Yue State during the Eastern Dynasty) and the man corpse of Western Han Dynasty (206 BC - 24 AD). The sword, although buried under the earth for three thousand years, still looks new and is fairly sharp. The man corpse, buried in 167 BC, was once an official in Jiangling. There are also silks and lacquer wares from the Warring States Period on display here.

Relics of Three Kingdoms

As Jingzhou was the battle-field during the Three Kingdoms Period, many relics found here are related to this period. Romance of the Three Kingdoms, one of the four classic Chinese novels, is still very popular here and was written based on the history and stories of this period.

 Further Reading:

- Last updated on Aug. 13, 2019 -
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