|The Northern Part of my journey-Capitals, Capitals, Capitals
This part of my tour had many historical sights. Beijing, the
capital of today, is of course a important place to visit. It's a
rather "new" capital though, not established until the 13th
century and there are several older capitals scattered around this
Henan Province-Anyang, Luoyang,
North of Zhengzhou, in Henan Province, are the oldest findings of
Chinese high culture. Here the Shang Dynasty established the very first
Chinese capital, Anyang, in 1700 BC. One millennia later, during the
following Zhou dynasty, the capital was moved to Luoyang.
Still in Henan Province Luoyang lies west of Zhengzhou, just north of
the Shaolin temple. Luoyang was later again a capital for several times,
of which the latest time was in the 10th century, in between the Tang
and Song Dynasty.
During the 10th century there was even a third capital in this close
area, Kaifeng, east of Zhengzhou. Kaifeng had its glorious days until
the power was moved to Beijing.
Shaanxi Province-The Emperor in Xian
In Xian, in the neighboring province Shaanxi, is maybe the most well known historical findings of
China, the magnificent
Terracotta Army. Here in Xian the King of
established the first capital of the united China in the year 221 BC.
After defeating all surrounding ancient states the King of Qin became
the first Emperor of China.
Actually, the word Qin, that former was transcribed as Chin,
is the word that the westerners derived the name China from. As you know
the Chinese don't call themselves Chinese but the Middle Kingdom People,
Zhong Guo Ren.
On the way from Beijing to Pingyao there is even a sixth capital of this
area, Datong in Shanxi Province. Just for a short while, but anyway, it
was the capital in around the 5th century.
Continuing down south you find another old center of power in Pingyao. Pingyao was never a capital though, but during the middleage Ming
Dynasty it became an important economical center with a bank system that
had influence far down into Sichuan Province.