Xianyang

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Xianyang
咸阳市
Prefecture-level city
咸阳马俑展览馆.JPG
Location of Xianyang Prefecture within Shaanxi
Location of Xianyang Prefecture within Shaanxi
CountryPeople's Republic of China
ProvinceShaanxi
Area
 • Prefecture-level city10,213 km2 (3,943 sq mi)
 • Urban523 km2 (202 sq mi)
Population (2010)
 • Prefecture-level city5,096,001
 • Density500/km2 (1,300/sq mi)
 • Urban945,420
 • Urban density1,800/km2 (4,700/sq mi)
 • MetroXian
Time zoneChina Standard (UTC+8)
Websitexianyang.gov.cn
 
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Not to be confused with Xiangyang.
Xianyang
咸阳市
Prefecture-level city
咸阳马俑展览馆.JPG
Location of Xianyang Prefecture within Shaanxi
Location of Xianyang Prefecture within Shaanxi
CountryPeople's Republic of China
ProvinceShaanxi
Area
 • Prefecture-level city10,213 km2 (3,943 sq mi)
 • Urban523 km2 (202 sq mi)
Population (2010)
 • Prefecture-level city5,096,001
 • Density500/km2 (1,300/sq mi)
 • Urban945,420
 • Urban density1,800/km2 (4,700/sq mi)
 • MetroXian
Time zoneChina Standard (UTC+8)
Websitexianyang.gov.cn
Xianyang
Traditional Chinese咸陽
Simplified Chinese咸阳
Postal MapSienyang

Xianyang (simplified Chinese: 咸阳; traditional Chinese: 咸陽; pinyin: Xiányáng; IPA: [ɕjɛ̌n.jɑ̌ŋ]) was the capital of China in the Qin dynasty. It is a prefecture in modern-day Shaanxi province, on the Wei River, and is located a few kilometers upstream (west) from Xi'an. Integrated into the Xi'an metropolitan area, one of the main urban agglomerations in inland China, with more than 7.17 million inhabitants, its built-up area made of 2 urban districts (Qindu and Weicheng) was 945,420 inhabitants at the 2010 census. It has a total area of 10,213 square kilometres (3,943 sq mi).

History[edit]

Xianyang was among the capital city's environs during the Western Zhou dynasty, and was made the capital of the state of Qin in 350 BC during the Warring States period before becoming the capital of China during the short-lived Qin dynasty.[1] Because the city lay south of the Jiuzong Mountains and north of the Wei River - both sunlight-rich (yang) orientations - it was named "Xianyang", meaning "fully yang".[1] Under Duke Xiao of Qin, minister Shang Yang designed Xianyang in 350 BC, which was then the capital for over 140 years. It was located in the modern day Shaanxi province on the northern bank of the Wei River, on the opposite side of which Liu Bang would later build the Han dynasty capital of Chang'an once he became emperor.

In 221 BC, Qin Shi Huang eliminated all six other vassal states to establish the first centralized empire in Chinese history. Xianyang became the centre of politics, economy and culture of the Qin empire. The Emperor had a lavish mausoleum built near the capital, complete with his Terracotta Army. This and other large undertakings required enormous levies of manpower and resources, not to mention repressive measures, which eventually led to the fall of the Qin dynasty and with it the original city of Xianyang.[citation needed]

Qin Shi Huang expanded Xianyang beyond the walls. Then he built replicas of the palaces of all the conquered states along the Wei River. In 220 BC, he built Xin Palace (新城, Xīnchéng) and later renamed it Apex temple (渭城) to be the earthly equivalent of the apex star (Polaris). He continued with the theme of earth as the mirror of heaven building a network of 300 palaces in the Wei valley connected by elevated roads. In 212, he built the Hilltop Palace (阿房宮, Ēfánggōng).

Shortly after the First Emperor's death in 210 BC revolts erupted. At the beginning of December 207 BC, then King of Qin Ziying surrendered to rebel leader Liu Bang. Liu Bang went on to capture Xianyang, but was forced to hand it over to another rebel leader, Xiang Yu, whose army greatly outnumbered Liu Bang's. Xiang Yu then killed Ziying and burned Xianyang in 206 BC,[2] thereby forever robbing humanity of some unique copies of the many "forbidden books" kept in the royal library.[citation needed]

In 202 BC, after defeating Xiang Yu, Liu Bang built a new city near the old Xianyang and named this new capital Chang'an. The Han-era town of Anling (安陵) was located nearby and houses some of the Han dynasty's mausoleums.

From the end of the 1950s until the middle of the 1990s, archaeologists discovered and excavated a large numbers of Qin era sites in Xianyang, including palaces, workshops and tombs.

Administrative divisions[edit]

Map
Xianyang mcp.png
#NameHanziHanyu PinyinPopulation (2004 est.)Area (km²)Density (/km²)
1Weicheng District渭城区Wèichéng Qū400,0002721,471
2Yangling District杨陵区Yánglíng Qū140,000941,489
3Qindu District秦都区Qíndū Qū450,0002511,793
4Xingping City兴平市Xīngpíng Shì560,0004961,129
5Sanyuan County三原县Sānyuán Xiàn400,000569703
6Jingyang County泾阳县Jīngyáng Xiàn500,000792631
7Qian County乾县Qián Xiàn560,000994563
8Liquan County礼泉县Lǐquán Xiàn460,0001,017452
9Yongshou County永寿县Yǒngshòu Xiàn190,000869219
10Bin County彬县Bīn Xiàn330,0001,202275
11Changwu County长武县Chángwǔ Xiàn170,000583292
12Xunyi County旬邑县Xúnyì Xiàn270,0001,697159
13Chunhua County淳化县Chúnhuà Xiàn200,000965207
14Wugong County武功县Wǔgōng Xiàn410,0003921,046

Chinese Bureau of Statistics lists the urban population of the city at 316,641 (1990 Census), rising to 814,625 (2000 Census), and 835,648 in 2010 Census.[3] Despite being a former national capital, the city suffers from extreme air pollution.

Economy[edit]

Transport[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Zhongguo Gujin Diming Dacidian 中国古今地名大词典, 2005. (Shanghai: Shanghai Cishu Chubanshe), 2134.
  2. ^ Cotterell. Page 29.
  3. ^ http://citypopulation.de/China-UA.html

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Luoyang
Capital of China
221 BC-206 BC
Succeeded by
Chang'an

Coordinates: 34°21′N 108°43′E / 34.350°N 108.717°E / 34.350; 108.717