HOME

TheInfoList




Suzhou (; ; ,
Mandarin Mandarin may refer to: * Mandarin (bureaucrat), a bureaucrat of Imperial China (the original meaning of the word) ** by extension, any senior government bureaucrat A bureaucrat is a member of a bureaucracy and can compose the administration o ...
:
), alternately romanized as Soochow, is a major city in southeastern
Jiangsu Province Jiangsu (; ; formerly romanized Kiangsu) is an eastern-central coastal province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative regi ...

Jiangsu Province
of
East China East China () is a geographical and a loosely defined cultural region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitan ...

East China
, its city center being west of that of
Shanghai Shanghai (, , Standard Chinese, Standard Mandarin pronunciation: ) is one of the four Direct-administered municipalities of China, direct-administered municipalities of the China, People's Republic of China. The city is located on the sou ...

Shanghai
– and outer suburbs of the two global hubs meet. It is a major economic center and focal point of trade and commerce, and Jiangsu's second-largest, surpassed by its capital
Nanjing Nanjing (; , Mandarin pronunciation: ), Postal Map Romanization, alternately romanized as Nanking, is the capital of Jiangsu Provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China, a sub-provincial city, a megacity and the List ...

Nanjing
. The city's north waterfront is on a lower reach of the
Yangtze The Yangtze or Yangzi ( or ) is the longest , the in the world and the longest in the world to flow entirely within one country. It rises at Jari Hill in the (Tibetan Plateau) and flows in a generally easterly direction to the . It is ...
whereas it has its more focal south-western waterfront on
Lake Tai Taihu (), also known as Lake Tai or Lake Taihu, is a lake in the Yangtze Delta and one of the largest freshwater Fresh water (or freshwater) is any naturally occurring water Water is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, Transparen ...

Lake Tai
– crossed by several waterways, its district belongs to the
Yangtze River Delta The Yangtze Delta or Yangtze River Delta (YRD, or simply ) is a triangle-shaped megalopolis A megalopolis (), sometimes called a megapolis; also megaregion, city cluster or supercity, is a group of two or more roughly adjacent metropolitan a ...

Yangtze River Delta
region. Administratively, Suzhou is a
prefecture-level city A prefectural-level municipality (), prefectural-level city or prefectural city is an administrative division of the People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia. It ...
with a population of 4.33 million in the city proper, and a total resident population () of 10.58 million in its administrative area. Its urban population grew at an unprecedented rate of 6.5% between 2000 and 2014, which is the highest among cities with more than 5 million people. Founded in 514BC, Suzhou has had a long and productive history. Local museums host abundant displays of its relics and many sites of historical interest exist. Around AD100, during the
Eastern Han Dynasty#REDIRECT Han dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by the rebel leader Liu Bang and ruled by the House of Liu. Preceded by the short-lived Qin dynas ...
, it became one of the ten largest cities in the world mostly due to emigration from
Northern China Northern China () and Southern China () are two approximate regions within China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most ...
. Since the 10th-century
Song dynasty The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song Emperor Taizu of Song (21 March 927 – 14 November 976), personal name Zhao Kua ...
, it has been an important commercial center of China. During the
Ming The Ming dynasty (), officially the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , ''Mongolchuud'', ; russian: Монголы, ) are an eth ...

Ming
and
Qing The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last imperial dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n.''" Oxford University Press Oxford Univers ...
dynasties, Suzhou was a national economic, cultural, and commercial center, as well as the largest non-
capital city A capital or capital city is the municipality holding primary status in a Department (country subdivision), department, country, Constituent state, state, province, or other administrative region, usually as its seat of the government. A capita ...
in the world, until the 1860
Taiping Rebellion The Taiping Rebellion, also known as the Taiping Civil War or the Taiping Revolution, was a massive rebellion Rebellion, uprising, or insurrection is a refusal of obedience or order. It refers to the open resistance against the orders of an ...
. When
Li Hongzhang Li Hongzhang, Marquess Suyi ( zh, t=李鴻章; also Li Hung-chang; 15 February 1823 – 7 November 1901) was a Chinese politician, general and diplomat of the late Qing dynasty The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), w ...

Li Hongzhang
and
Charles George Gordon Major-General Charles George Gordon CB (28 January 1833 – 26 January 1885), also known as Chinese Gordon, Gordon Pasha, and Gordon of Khartoum, was a British Army officer and administrator. He saw action in the Crimean War The Crimean ...
recaptured the city three years later, Shanghai had already taken its predominant place in the nation. Since major economic reforms began in 1978, Suzhou has become one of the fastest growing major cities in the world, with GDP growth rates of about 14% in the past 35 years. With high life expectancy and per capita incomes, Suzhou's
Human Development Index The Human Development Index (HDI) is a statistic composite index of , (mean years of schooling completed and expected years of schooling upon entering the education system), and indicators, which are used to rank countries into four tiers ...
ratings is roughly comparable to a moderately developed country, making it one of the most highly developed and prosperous cities in China. Suzhou is also one of the top 50 major cities in the world by scientific research outputs as tracked by the
Nature IndexThe Nature Index is a database, that tracks institutions and countries and their scientific output since its introduction in 2016. Each year, Nature Index ranks the leading institutions (which can be companies, universities, government agencies, rese ...
, and home to multiple major universities in China, including Soochow University, Suzhou University of Science and Technology, and Changshu Institute of Technology. The city's canals, stone bridges,
pagoda A pagoda is an n tiered with multiple common to , , , , and other parts of . Most pagodas were built to have a religious function, most often but sometimes , and were often located in or near s. The pagoda traces its origins to the of a ...

pagoda
s, and meticulously designed
gardens A garden is a planned space, usually outdoors, set aside for the display, cultivation, or enjoyment of plant Plants are mainly multicellular organisms, predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other ...

gardens
have contributed to its status as one of the top tourist attractions and liveable cities in China. The
Classical Gardens of Suzhou The Classical Gardens of Suzhou ( Chinese: 苏州园林; pinyin ''Hanyu Pinyin'' (), often abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese, Standard Mandarin Chinese in mainland China, Taiwan (ROC), and Singapo ...
were added to the list of the
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous orga ...

UNESCO
World Heritage Site A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for h ...
s in 1997 and 2000. Suzhou is often dubbed the "
Venice of the East The following is an incomplete list of places which have been nicknamed Venice of the East List See also * Venezuela, country whose name means "Little Venice" * Venice of the North * Little Venice (disambiguation), Little Venice * Paris of the E ...
" or "Venice of China".


Names

During the
Zhou Dynasty The Zhou dynasty ( ; Old Chinese Old Chinese, also called Archaic Chinese in older works, is the oldest attested stage of Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China ( ...
, a settlement known as Gusu after nearby Mount Gusu () became the capital of the
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...
of Wu. From this role, it also came to be called Wu as well. In 514BC,
King Helü of Wu of the King of the Romans King of the Romans ( la, Rex Romanorum; german: König der Römer) was the title used by the German king following his election An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population choos ...
established a new capital nearby at Helü City and this grew into the modern city. During the
Warring States period The Warring States period () was an era in ancient Chinese history characterized by warfare, as well as bureaucratic and military reforms and consolidation. It followed the Spring and Autumn period The Spring and Autumn period was a period i ...
, Helü City continued to serve as the local seat of government. From the areas it administered, it became known as Wuxian (. "
Wu County Wu County or Wuxian (; 221 B.C. – December 2000) is a former county and city located in modern Suzhou Suzhou (; ; , Mandarin Mandarin may refer to: * Mandarin (bureaucrat), a bureaucrat of Imperial China (the original meaning of ...
") and Wujun ("
Wu Commandery Wu Commandery was a commandery In the Middle Ages, a commandery (rarely commandry) was the smallest administrative division of the European landed estate, landed properties of a Military order (religious society), military order. It was also the n ...
"). Under the
QinQin may refer to: Dynasties and states * Qin (state) (秦), a major state during the Zhou Dynasty of ancient China * Qin dynasty (秦), founded by the Qin state in 221 BC and ended in 206 BC * Daqin (大秦), ancient Chinese name for the Roman Empi ...

Qin
, it was known as Kuaiji after its greatly enlarged commandery, which was named for the reputed resting place of
Yu the Great Yu the Great (大禹) was a legendary king in ancient China The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 BC), during the king Wu Ding's reign, who was me ...
near modern
Shaoxing Shaoxing (; ) is a prefecture-level city A road sign shows distance to the "Huangshi urban area" () rather than simply " Yangxin County from the neighboring Xianning), but still from the Huangshi main urban area. A prefectural-level muni ...

Shaoxing
in
Zhejiang Zhejiang (, ; , Chinese postal romanization, also romanized as Chekiang) is an East China, eastern, coastal Provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China. Its capital and largest city is Hangzhou. Zhejiang is bordered ...

Zhejiang
. The name "Suzhou" was first officially used for the city in AD 589 during the
Sui dynasty The Sui dynasty (, ) was a short-lived Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China of pivotal significance. The Sui unified the Northern and Southern dynasties and reinstalled the rule of ethnic Han Chinese, Han in the entirety of ...

Sui dynasty
. ''Su'' ( or ) in its name is a contraction of the old name Gusu. It refers to the mint
perilla ''Perilla'' is a genus consisting of one major Asiatic crop species ''Perilla frutescens ''Perilla frutescens'', commonly called perilla or Korean perilla, is a species of '' Perilla'' in the mint family Lamiaceae. It is an annual plant nativ ...

perilla
(''
shiso ''Perilla frutescens'' var. ''crispa'', also known by its Japanese name shiso, is a cultigen A cultigen (from the Latin ''cultus'' – cultivated, and ''gens'' – kind) or cultivated plant is a plant that has been deliberately altered or selecte ...
''). The ''zhou'' originally meant something like a province or county (cf.
Guizhou Guizhou (; alternately Kweichow) is a landlocked province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational enti ...

Guizhou
), but often came to be used metonymously for the capital of such a region (cf.
Guangzhou Guangzhou (, ; ; or ; ), also known as Canton and alternatively romanized as Kwongchow or Kwangchow, is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the ...

Guangzhou
,
Hangzhou Hangzhou (, , Standard Mandarin Standard Chinese, in linguistics known as Standard Northern Mandarin, Standard Beijing Mandarin or simply Mandarin, is a Mandarin Chinese#Subgrouping, dialect of Mandarin that emerged as the lingua franc ...

Hangzhou
, etc.). Suzhou is the
Hanyu Pinyin ''Hanyu Pinyin'' (), often abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese, Standard Mandarin Chinese in mainland China and to some extent in Taiwan and Singapore. It is often used to teach Standard Mandarin, w ...
spelling of the Putonghua pronunciation of the name. Prior to the adoption of pinyin, it was variously
romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign lan ...
as Soo-chow, Suchow, or Su-chow.


History

Suzhou, the cradle of Wu culture, is one of the oldest towns in the
Yangtze The Yangtze or Yangzi ( or ) is the longest , the in the world and the longest in the world to flow entirely within one country. It rises at Jari Hill in the (Tibetan Plateau) and flows in a generally easterly direction to the . It is ...
Basin. By the
Spring and Autumn period#REDIRECT Spring and Autumn period The Spring and Autumn period was a period in Chinese history The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty (c. 1600–1046 BC), during the ...
of the Zhou, local tribes named the Gou Wu are recorded living in the area which would become the modern city of Suzhou. These tribes formed villages on the edges of the hills above the wetlands surrounding
Lake Tai Taihu (), also known as Lake Tai or Lake Taihu, is a lake in the Yangtze Delta and one of the largest freshwater Fresh water (or freshwater) is any naturally occurring water Water is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, Transparen ...

Lake Tai
.
Sima Qian Sima Qian (; ; ) was a Chinese historian of the early Han dynasty#REDIRECT Han dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by the rebel leader Liu B ...

Sima Qian
's ''
Records of the Grand Historian The ''Records of the Grand Historian'', also known by its Chinese name ''Shiji'', is a monumental history of ancient China and the world finished around 94 BC by the Western Han Dynasty official Sima Qian after having been started by his father ...

Records of the Grand Historian
'' records traditional accounts that the
ZhouZhou may refer to: Chinese history * King Zhou of Shang () (1105 BC–1046 BC), the last king of the Shang dynasty * Predynastic Zhou (), 11th-century BC precursor to the Zhou dynasty * Zhou dynasty () (1046 BC–256 BC), a dynasty of China ** Weste ...
lord
Taibo Taibo ()(circa 1150 BCE) or Wu Taibo was the eldest son of King Tai of ZhouKing Tai of Zhou () or Gugong Danfu () was a great leader of the predynastic Zhou, Zhou clan during the Shang dynasty. His great-grandson King Wu of Zhou, Fa would later c ...
established the
state of Wu Wu (; Old Chinese Old Chinese, also called Archaic Chinese in older works, is the oldest attested stage of Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a cou ...
at nearby Wuxi during the 11th centuryBC, civilizing the local people and improving their agriculture and mastery of irrigation. The Wu court later moved to Gusu within the area of modern Suzhou. In 514BC, King Helü of Wu relocated his court nearby and called the settlement Helü City after himself. His minister
Wu Zixu :''Note: names are in simplified characters followed by traditional and Pinyin transliteration.'' Wu Yun (died 484 BC), better known by his courtesy name Zixu, was a general and politician of the Wu (state), Wu kingdom in the Spring and Autumn per ...
was closely involved with its planning and it was this site that grew into present-day Suzhou. The height of his tower on Gusu Hill (''Gusutai'') passed into Chinese legend. In 496BC, King Helü was buried at Tiger Hill. In 473BC, Wu was defeated and annexed by Yue, a kingdom to its southeast; Yue was annexed in turn by
Chu Chu or CHU may refer to: Chinese history * Chu (state) (c. 1030 BC–223 BC), a state during the Zhou dynasty * Western Chu (206 BC–202 BC), a state founded and ruled by Xiang Yu * Chu Kingdom (Han dynasty) (201 BC–70 AD), a kingdom of the Han ...
in 306BC. Remnants of the ancient kingdom include pieces of its 2,500-year-old city wall and the gate through it at Pan Gate. The city was originally laid out according to a symbolic three-by-three grid of nine squares, with the royal palace occupying the central position. During the Warring States period, Suzhou was the seat of Wu County and Commandery. Following the
Qin Empire The Qin dynasty, or Ch'in dynasty in Wade–Giles romanization, was the first Dynasties in Chinese history, dynasty of Imperial China, lasting from 221 to 206 BC. Named for its heartland in Qin (state), Qin state (modern Gansu and Shaanxi), ...
's conquest of the area in 222BC, it was made the capital of
Kuaiji Commandery Kuaiji Commandery (Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most pop ...
, including lands stretching from the south bank of the
Yangtze The Yangtze or Yangzi ( or ) is the longest , the in the world and the longest in the world to flow entirely within one country. It rises at Jari Hill in the (Tibetan Plateau) and flows in a generally easterly direction to the . It is ...
to the unconquered interior of
Minyue Minyue () was an ancient kingdom in what is now the Fujian Fujian (; alternately romanized as Fukien or Hokkien) is a province on the southeastern coast of China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a countr ...
in southern Zhejiang. Amid the collapse of the Qin, Kuaiji's governor Yin Tong attempted to organize his own rebellion only to be betrayed and executed by
Xiang Liang Xiang Liang (died 208 BC) was a military leader who led a rebellion against the Qin dynasty. Early life Xiang Liang was from Xiaxiang (下相; present-day Suqian, Jiangsu) and was a descendant of a family who served the Chu (state), Chu state in ...
and his nephew
Xiang Yu Xiang Yu (, –202 BC), born Xiang Ji (), was the Hegemon-King (Chinese: 霸王, ''Bà Wáng'') of Western Chu Chu (, Hanyu Pinyin: Chǔ, Old Chinese: ''*s-r̥aʔ'') was a Zhou dynasty ancient Chinese states, vassal state. Their firs ...

Xiang Yu
, who launched their own rebellion from the city. When the
Grand CanalGrand Canal can refer to multiple waterways: * Grand Canal (China) in eastern China * Grand Canal (Ireland), between the River Shannon and Dublin in Ireland * Grand Canal (Venice) in Venice, Italy * Grand Canal d'Alsace in eastern France *Grand Cana ...
was completed, Suzhou found itself strategically located on a major trade route. In the course of the
history of China The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty The Shang dynasty (), also historically known as the Yin dynasty (), was a Chinese dynasty Dynasties in Chinese h ...

history of China
, it has been a metropolis of industry and commerce on the southeastern coast of China. During the
Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an interregnum An interregnum (plural interregna or interregnums) is a period of discontinuity or "gap" in a government, organiza ...
, the great poet
Bai Juyi Bai Juyi (also Bo Juyi or Po Chü-i; ; 772–846), courtesy name A courtesy name (), also known as a style name, is a name bestowed upon one at adulthood in addition to one's given name. This practice is a tradition in the East Asian cult ...

Bai Juyi
constructed the Shantang Canal (better known as "") to connect the city with Tiger Hill for tourists. In AD1035, the Suzhou Confucian Temple was founded by famed poet and writer
Fan Zhongyan Fan Zhongyan (5 September 989 – 19 June 1052) from Wu County Wu County or Wuxian (; 221 B.C. – December 2000) is a former county and city located in modern Suzhou City, Jiangsu Jiangsu (; Postal romanization, formerly romanized Kian ...

Fan Zhongyan
. It became a venue for the imperial civil examinations and then developed into the modern
Suzhou High School Suzhou High School, officially the Suzhou High School of Jiangsu Province (), is a Chinese public high school A secondary school describes an institution that provides and also usually includes the building where this takes place. Some second ...
in the 1910s. In February 1130, the advancing Jin army from the north ransacked the city. This was followed by the
Mongol invasion The Mongol invasions and conquests took place during the 13th and 14th centuries, creating history's largest contiguous empire - The Mongol Empire, which by 1300 covered large parts of Eurasia. Historians regard the Mongol devastation as one of ...

Mongol invasion
in 1275. In 1356, Suzhou became the capital of
Zhang Shicheng Zhang Shicheng ()(birth name: Zhang Jiusi (), 1321-1367) was one of the leaders of the Red Turban Rebellion in the late Yuan dynasty of China. Later, he established the ''Kingdom of Dazhou'' with reigning name Tianyou (). Life Zhang Shicheng wa ...

Zhang Shicheng
, one of the leaders of the
Red Turban Rebellion The Red Turban Rebellions () were uprisings against the between 1351 and 1368, eventually leading to the overthrow of Yuan rule in . Background Factional strife In the early 1300s, the was split between two factions on how best to govern . ...
against the
Yuan dynasty The Yuan dynasty (), officially the Great Yuan (; xng, , , literally "Great Yuan State"), was a successor state Successor is someone who, or something which succeeds or comes after (see success and succession) Film and TV * ''The Succe ...
and the self-proclaimed King of Wu. In 1367, Zhang's
Nanjing Nanjing (; , Mandarin pronunciation: ), Postal Map Romanization, alternately romanized as Nanking, is the capital of Jiangsu Provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China, a sub-provincial city, a megacity and the List ...

Nanjing
-based rival
Zhu Yuanzhang The Hongwu Emperor (21 October 1328 – 24 June 1398) Zhu Yuanzhang (), was the founding emperor of the Ming dynasty, reigning from 1368 to 1398. As famine, plagues and peasant revolts swept across China China, officially the Pe ...
took the city after a 10-month siege. Zhu who was soon to proclaim himself the first emperor of the
Ming Dynasty The Ming dynasty (), officially the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol The Mongols ( mn, Монголчууд, , ''Mongolchuud'', ; russian: Монголы, ) are an eth ...

Ming Dynasty
demolished the royal city in the center of Suzhou's walled city and imposed crushing taxes on the city and prefecture's powerful families. Despite the heavy taxation and the resettlement of some of Suzhou's prominent citizens' to the area of Hongwu's capital at Nanjing, Suzhou was soon prosperous again. During the early Ming, Suzhou Prefecture supervised the Yangtze
shoal A tidal sandbar connecting the islands of Waya and Wayasewa of the Yasawa Islands, Fiji In oceanography Oceanography (from the Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the cl ...
s which later became
Shanghai Shanghai (, , Standard Chinese, Standard Mandarin pronunciation: ) is one of the four Direct-administered municipalities of China, direct-administered municipalities of the China, People's Republic of China. The city is located on the sou ...

Shanghai
's
Chongming Island Chongming, formerly known as Chungming, is an alluvial island at the mouth of the Yangtze River The Yangtze or Yangzi ( or ) is the longest river in Asia, the third-longest in the world and the longest in the world to flow entirely with ...
."Chongming County" in the ''Encyclopedia of Shanghai'', pp. 50 ff.
Shanghai Scientific & Technical Publishers (Shanghai), 2010. Hosted by the Municipality of Shanghai.
For centuries the city, with its surroundings as an economic base, represented an extraordinary source of tax revenue. When the shipwrecked Korean official
Choe Bu Choe Bu (, 1454–1504) was a Korean official during the early Joseon Dynasty. He is most well known for the account of his shipwrecked travels in China from February to July 1488, during the Ming dynasty (1368–1644). He was eventually banished ...
had a chance to see much of Eastern China from Zhejiang to Liaoning on his way home in 1488, he described Suzhou in his travel report as exceeding every other city. Many of the area's private gardens were constructed by the gentry of the Ming and
Qing The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last imperial dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n.''" Oxford University Press Oxford Univers ...
dynasties. The Taipings captured the city in 1860, however, and many of its former buildings and gardens were "almost... a heap of ruins" by the time of their recovery by Charles Gordon's Ever-Victorious Army in November 1863. Nonetheless, by 1880, its population was estimated to have recovered to about 500,000, which remained stable for the next few decades. In the late 19th century, the town was particularly known for its wide range of silks and its Chinese-language publishing industry. The town was first opened to direct foreign trades by the
Treaty of Shimonoseki #REDIRECT Treaty of Shimonoseki #REDIRECT Treaty of Shimonoseki#REDIRECT Treaty of Shimonoseki The , also known as Treaty of Maguan () in China and in the period before and during WWII in Japan, was a treaty signed at the , Shimonoseki, Japa ...

Treaty of Shimonoseki
ending the
First Sino-Japanese War The First Sino-Japanese War (25 July 1894 – 17 April 1895) was a conflict between the Qing dynasty of China and the Empire of Japan primarily over influence in Joseon Korea. After more than six months of unbroken successes by Japanese lan ...

First Sino-Japanese War
and by the
most favored nation In international economic relations and international politics, most favoured nation (MFN) is a status or level of treatment accorded by one state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly maga ...
clauses of earlier
unequal treaties Unequal treaty is the name given by the Chinese to a series of treaties signed between China (mostly referring to the Qing dynasty The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last Dynasties in Chinese history, dynasty in t ...
with the . The new expatriates opened a European-and-Chinese school in 1900 and the Suzhou railway station, connecting it with
Shanghai Shanghai (, , Standard Chinese, Standard Mandarin pronunciation: ) is one of the four Direct-administered municipalities of China, direct-administered municipalities of the China, People's Republic of China. The city is located on the sou ...

Shanghai
, opened on 16 July 1906. Just prior to the
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
, there were 7000 silk looms in operation, as well as a cotton mill and a large trade in rice. As late as the early 20th century, much of the city consisted of islands connected by rivers, creeks, and canals to the surrounding countryside. Prior to their demolition, the city walls ran in a circuit of about with four large suburbs lying outside. The Japanese invaded in 1937, and many gardens were again devastated by the end of the war. In the early 1950s, restoration was done on the
Humble Administrator's Garden The Humble Administrator's Garden (; Suzhou Wu: ) is a Chinese garden in Suzhou, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most famous of the gardens of Suzhou. The garden is located at 178 Northeast Street (东北街178号), Gusu District. A ...
and the .


Administrative divisions

The urban core of Suzhou is informally called the "Old Town". It is
Gusu District Gusu District () is one of five urban District (China), districts and the main district of Suzhou, Jiangsu province, China. It was created on 1 September 2012 by the merger of the three former districts of Canglang District, Canglang, Pingjiang Dist ...
.
Suzhou Industrial Park The China–Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park (), or Suzhou Industrial Park for short, abbreviated as SIP, is a county-level administrative area located in Suzhou, Jiangsu with a little Singaporean influence. Background Image:(SIP) Science & Techn ...

Suzhou Industrial Park
is to the east of the old town, and Suzhou High & New Technology Development Zone is to the west. In 2000, the original Wu County was divided into two districts including Xiangcheng and Wuzhong. They now form the northern and southern parts of the city of Suzhou.In 2012, the original Wujiang City became Wujiang District of Suzhou City. Suzhou is one of the most prosperous cities in China. Its development has a direct correlation with the growth of its
satellite cities Satellite cities or satellite towns are smaller municipalities A municipality is usually a single administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnation ...

satellite cities
, including
Kunshan Kunshan is a county-level city in southeastern Jiangsu Province, Jiangsu province with Shanghai bordering its eastern border and Suzhou on its western boundary. It is under the administration of the prefecture-level city of Suzhou. Name Ther ...

Kunshan
,
Taicang Taicang is a county-level city A county-level municipality (), county-level city or county city, formerly known as prefecture-controlled city (1949–1970: ; 1970–1983: ), is a Administrative divisions of China#County level (3rd) ...
,
Changshu Changshu (; Suzhounese: /d͡ʐan¹³ ʐoʔ²³/) is a county-level city A county-level municipality (), county-level city or county city, formerly known as prefecture-controlled city (1949–1970: ; 1970–1983: ), is a Administr ...
, and
Zhangjiagang Zhangjiagang (), formerly Shazhou County (), is a under the administration of , , China and one of the many along the . With 1,246,762 inhabitants as of the 2010 census, the city is now part of Jiangyin-Zhangjiagang-Jingjiang built-up or metr ...
, which together with the city of Suzhou form the Suzhou prefecture. The Suzhou prefecture is home to many high-tech enterprises.


Geography

Suzhou is on the Lake Tai Plain south of the Yangtze River, about to the west of Shanghai and just over east of Nanjing.


Climate

Suzhou has a four-season
humid subtropical climate A humid subtropical climate is a zone of climate characterized by hot and humid summers, and cool to mild winters. These climates normally lie on the southeast side of all continents, generally between latitude In geography Geograp ...
with hot, humid summers and cool, cloudy, damp winters with occasional snowfall (
Köppen climate classification The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used systems. It was first published by German-Russian (1846–1940) in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen, notably in 1918 and 1936. Later, the climatologist (1894- ...
''Cfa''). Northwesterly winds blowing from
Siberia Siberia (; rus, Сибирь, r=Sibir', p=sʲɪˈbʲirʲ, a=Ru-Сибирь.ogg) is an extensive geographical region, constituting all of North Asia, from the Ural Mountains in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east. It has been a part of R ...

Siberia
during winter can cause temperatures to fall below freezing at night, while southerly or southwesterly winds during the summer can push temperatures above . The hottest temperature recorded since 1951 was at on 7 August 2013, and the lowest at on 16 January 1958.


Cityscape and environment

File:Suzhou from Beisi Pagoda.jpg, Suzhou as viewed from
Beisi Pagoda The Beisi Pagoda (; Suzhou Wu: Poh zy thaeh, ) or North Temple Pagoda is a Chinese pagoda Chinese Pagoda, Birmingham The Chinese Pagoda is a landmark in Birmingham Birmingham ( ) is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and metropolit ...
File:Near-Pingjiang-Road.JPG, File:Changmen at Night.jpg, Changmen at night File:Humble Administrator's Garden1.jpg, The
Humble Administrator's Garden The Humble Administrator's Garden (; Suzhou Wu: ) is a Chinese garden in Suzhou, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most famous of the gardens of Suzhou. The garden is located at 178 Northeast Street (东北街178号), Gusu District. A ...
File:Youyicun garden.jpg, An entrance to the Youyicun Garden File:Xuanmiao Guan (Temple of Mystery), Suzhou.jpg, Xuanmiao Temple File:Suzhoupic1.jpg, A canal in Suzhou File:20090926 Suzhou Pan Men 5941.jpg, Picture of the Land and Water Gate File:Panmen Scenic Area 1.jpg, View of Panmen Scenic Area and Ruiguang Pagoda


Classical Gardens of Suzhou

Suzhou is famous for its over 60 Classical Gardens, collectively a
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous orga ...

UNESCO
World Heritage Site A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for h ...
. The city has the most UNESCO-recognized gardens in the world. The
Humble Administrator's Garden The Humble Administrator's Garden (; Suzhou Wu: ) is a Chinese garden in Suzhou, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most famous of the gardens of Suzhou. The garden is located at 178 Northeast Street (东北街178号), Gusu District. A ...
and are among the four most famous classical gardens in China. The
Canglang Pavilion The Canglang Pavilion (; Suzhou Wu: Tshaon laon din, ), variously translated as the Great Wave Pavilion, Surging Wave Pavilion, or Blue Wave Pavilion, is one of the Classical Gardens of Suzhou The Classical Gardens of Suzhou ( Chinese: 苏州园林 ...
, Lion Grove Garden, Humble Administrator's Garden and Lingering Garden, respectively representing the garden styles of the
Song A song is a musical composition Musical composition can refer to an piece or work of , either or , the of a musical piece or to the process of creating or writing a new piece of music. People who create new compositions are called s ...
, Yuan, Ming, and
Qing The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last imperial dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n.''" Oxford University Press Oxford Univers ...
dynasties, are called the four most famous gardens in Suzhou. Other gardens inscribed on the World Heritage List include the , the Garden of Cultivation, and the Retreat and Reflection Garden.


Temples

* * * Xuanmiao Temple * Lingyanshan Temple *
Chongyuan Temple Chongyuan Temple () is a Liang Dynasty The Liang dynasty () (502–557), also known as the Southern Liang (), was the third of the Southern Dynasties The Northern and Southern dynasties () was a period in the history of China that lasted ...


Canals and Historic Districts

The Suzhou section of the Jiangnan Canal,
Grand Canal (China) The Grand Canal, known to the Chinese as the Jing–Hang Grand Canal (, or more commonly, as the「大運河」("Grand Canal")), a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the longest canal Canals are waterways Channel (geography), channels, or ...
, includes ten city gates and over 20 stone bridges of traditional design and historic areas that have been well preserved, as well as temples and pavilions. There are a full 24 waterways in Suzhou near the Grand Canal. In 2015, both 800-year-old Pingjiang Road Historical Block () and 1,200-year-old Shantang Street Scenic Area () were added to the list of China's "National Historic and Cultural Streets". Pingjiang Road runs parallel to the Pingjiang River for 1.5 kilometers and is lined with homes and some teahouses. Shantang Street, over twice as long at 3.8 km, is described by the
BBC The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a public service broadcaster, headquartered at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London London is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of ...

BBC
as retaining "the alluring qualities of an old canal-side street: whitewashed buildings are completed by red-tasseled lanterns that swing softly in the breeze, adding to the charm of the river bank". Boat tours are offered on the waterways of this city that was dubbed the "Venice of the East" by
Marco Polo Marco Polo (, , ; September 15, 1254January 8, 1324) was a merchant, explorer, and writer who travelled through Asia along the between 1271 and 1295. His travels are recorded in ' (also known as ''Book of the Marvels of the World '' and '' ...

Marco Polo
because of its criss-crossing canals and stone bridges. The Grand Canal (from Beijing to Zhejiang province) is a UNESCO
World Heritage Site A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for h ...
.


Resorts and natural reserves

Suzhou Taihu National Tourism and Vacation Zone () is in the western part of Suzhou, from the city center.


Skyscrapers

Gate to the East The Gate to the East, also known as the Gate of the Orient, () is the second tallest building in Suzhou, Jiangsu, China behind Suzhou IFS. It is intended to be a symbol of a gateway to the city which emphasizes the city's continuing significance in ...
is a 301.8 meter, 74-story skyscraper in Suzhou's central business district, built in 2015 at a cost of 700 million
USD The United States dollar (symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, ...

USD
and is currently the tallest building in Suzhou.


Pan Gate

Pan Gate is on the southwest corner of the Main Canal or encircling canal of Suzhou. Originally built during the
Warring States The Warring States period () was an era in characterized by warfare, as well as bureaucratic and military reforms and consolidation. It followed the and concluded with the that saw the annexation of all other contender states, which ultimate ...
Period in the state of Wu, historians estimate it to be around 2,500 years old. It is now part of the ''Pan Gate Scenic Area''. It is known for the "three landmarks of Pan Gate". They are the , the earliest pagoda in Suzhou built in 247BC, the ''Wu Gate Bridge'', the entrance to the gate at that time over the water passage and the highest bridge in Suzhou at the time, and the ''Pan Gate''. The Ruigang Pagoda is constructed of brick with wooden platforms and has Buddhist carvings at its base.


Baodai Bridge

Baodai Bridge stretches across the Tantai Lake in the suburbs of Suzhou. To raise money to finance the bridge, the magistrate donated his expensive belt, hence the name. The bridge was first built in 806 A.D. in the
Tang Dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an interregnum An interregnum (plural interregna or interregnums) is a period of discontinuity or "gap" in a government, organiza ...
and has 53 arches with a length of 317 meters. It was made out of stone from Jinshan Mountain and is the longest standing bridge of its kind in China. The bridge was included on the list of national monuments (resolution 5-285) in 2001.


Tiger Hill

Tiger Hill is known for its natural environment and historical sites. The hill is so named because it is said to look like a crouching tiger. Another legend states that a white tiger appeared on the hill to guard it following the burial The hill has been a tourist destination for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, as is evident from the poetry and calligraphy carved into rocks on the hill. The Song Dynasty poet,
Su Shi Su Shi (; 8 January 1037 – 24 August 1101), courtesy name A courtesy name (), also known as a style name, is a name bestowed upon one at adulthood in addition to one's given name. This practice is a tradition in the East Asian cultural ...

Su Shi
said, "It is a lifelong pity if having visited Suzhou you did not visit Tiger Hill."


Pagodas

Yunyan Pagoda (or Huqiu Tower), built in 961, is a
Chinese pagoda Chinese Pagoda, Birmingham The Chinese Pagoda is a landmark in Birmingham Birmingham ( ) is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands (county), West Midlands, England. It is the second-largest ...
built on Tiger Hill in Suzhou. It has several other names, including the "Leaning Tower of China" (as referred to by historian O.G. Ingles)Ingles (1982), 144. and the Yunyan Temple Tower. The tower rises to a height of 47 m (154 ft). It is a seven-story octagonal building built with blue bricks. In more than a thousand years the tower has gradually slanted due to forces of nature. Now the top and bottom of the tower vary by 2.32 meters. The entire structure weighs some , supported by internal brick columns.Ingles (1982), 145. However, the tower leans roughly 3 degrees due to the cracking of two supporting columns.
Beisi Pagoda The Beisi Pagoda (; Suzhou Wu: Poh zy thaeh, ) or North Temple Pagoda is a Chinese pagoda Chinese Pagoda, Birmingham The Chinese Pagoda is a landmark in Birmingham Birmingham ( ) is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and metropolit ...
or North Temple Pagoda is a Chinese pagoda at Bao'en Temple in Suzhou. It rises nine stories in a height of . It is the tallest Chinese pagoda south of the Yangtze river. Twin Pagodas () lie in the Dinghui Temple Lane in the southeastern corner of the city proper of Suzhou. They are artistic and natural as they are close at hand. One of them is called "Clarity-Dispensing Pagoda," and the other, the "Beneficence Pagoda"; they are in the same form of architecture. There are many legends about this one-thousand-year-old pagodas. It is charming that the exquisite and straight Twin Pagoda look like two inserted writing brushes. There was originally a single-story house with three rooms just like a writing brush holder with the shadows of the two pagodas reclining on its roof at sunset. To the east of the pagoda is a square five-story bell building built in the Ming Dynasty which appears exactly like a thick ink stick. So there is a saying that "the Twin Pagodas are as writing brushes while the bell building as ink stick".


Museums

The city's major museums include the (designed by
I. M. Pei Ieoh Ming Pei, FAIA, RIBAI.M. Pei Biography
– website of Pei Cobb Freed & Part ...
), Suzhou Silk Museum, and the China Kunqu Museum.


Hospitals

As a result of its recent rapid population increase, healthcare demand in Suzhou is increasing rapidly. In July 2019,
Washington University School of Medicine Washington University School of Medicine (WUSM) is the medical school of Washington University in St. Louis in St. Louis, Missouri. Founded in 1891, the School of Medicine has 1,260 students, 604 of which are pursuing a Doctor of Medicine, m ...

Washington University School of Medicine
announced a collaboration with Huici Health Management Co., and the Xiangcheng District, to open the new Huici Medical Center, which will include a 1,000-bed hospital for adult and pediatric patients. Once the hospital is unveiled,
Washington University Washington University in St. Louis (WashU, or WUSTL) is a private research university A research university is a university A university ( la, universitas, 'a whole') is an educational institution, institution of higher education, higher ( ...

Washington University
doctors in
St. Louis St. Louis () is the second-largest city in Missouri Missouri is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State ( ...

St. Louis
will be able to provide long-distance health-care services to patients in China through a program.


Demographics

The population of Suzhou is predominantly
Han Chinese The Han Chinese (), or the Han people (), is an East Asian East Asia is the east East is one of the four cardinal direction The four cardinal directions, or cardinal points, are the directions north North is one of the four ...
. The official language of broadcast, instruction, etc. is
Mandarin Chinese Mandarin (; ) is a group of Sinitic languages, Sinitic (Chinese) languages natively spoken across most of northern and southwestern China. The group includes the Beijing dialect, the basis of the phonology of Standard Chinese. Because Mandarin ...
, although many speak a local dialect known as
Suzhounese The Suzhou dialect (; Suzhounese: ''Sou-tseu ghé-ghô'' ), also known as Suzhounese, is the Varieties of Chinese, variety of Chinese traditionally spoken in the city of Suzhou in Jiangsu, Jiangsu Province, China. Suzhounese is a variety of W ...
, a member of the Wu
language family A language family is a group of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an apparent answer to the painful divisions b ...
. In addition to American and European expatriates, there is a large
Korean Korean may refer to: People and culture * Koreans, ethnic group originating in the Korean Peninsula * Korean cuisine * Korean culture * Korean language **Korean alphabet, known as Hangul or Chosŏn'gŭl **Korean dialects and the Jeju language **S ...
community in Suzhou. The
Industrial Bank of Korea Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK; ko, 기업은행, ) is an Industry (economics), industrial bank headquartered in Jung-gu, Seoul, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea. Established in 1961, the bank is owned by the Government of the Republic of Korea (South K ...
(IBK) estimated that there were 15,000 Koreans in the municipality in 2014. That year 850 Korean companies operated in Suzhou, and the Koreans made up the largest number of students at the Suzhou Singapore International School.


Economy

Suzhou's economy is based primarily on its large manufacturing sector—China's first largest(from 2020)—including iron and steel, IT and electronic equipment, and textile products. The city's service sector is notably well-developed, primarily owing to tourism, which brought in a total of RMB 152 billion of revenue in 2013. Suzhou's overall GDP exceeded RMB 1.3 trillion in 2013 (up 9.6 percent from the year previous)."China Regional Focus: Suzhou, Jiangsu Province"
, ''China Briefing'', Shanghai, 2 May 2014.
The city is also one of China's foremost destinations for foreign investment, based on its relative proximity to Shanghai and comparatively low operating costs. The municipal government has enacted various measures to encourage FDI in a number of manufacturing (e.g. pharmaceutical, electronic goods, automobile) and service (e.g. banking, logistics, research services) sectors. Included among these measures is a preferential tax policy for limited partnership venture capital enterprises in the Suzhou Industrial Park. Suzhou is a highly developed economic region in China and is the economic centre, industrial, commercial and logistical hub city of Jiangsu province, as well as an important financial, cultural, artistic, educational and transportation centre. Agriculture In 2013, total grain production reached 1,311,200 tonnes, a decrease of 2.9%. Grain supply was effectively guaranteed through the vigorous construction of commodity grain production bases, wholesale grain markets and reserve systems. Traditional handicrafts Suzhou has a long history of reeling silkworms and has always been an important base for silk production in China. Since the Song and Yuan dynasties, Suzhou has been one of the centres of silk weaving and dyeing in the country, and in the Ming dynasty, the area around Suzhou, Song was the scene of the "clothing of the world".


Development zones


Suzhou Industrial Park

The Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP) is the largest cooperative project between the Chinese and the Singaporean government. It is beside , which lies to the east of the Suzhou Old City. On 26 February 1994, Vice Premier
Li Lanqing Li Lanqing (; born 22 May 1932) is a retired Chinese politician who served as Vice Premier of the State Council between 1998 and 2003. He was a member of the CPC Politburo Standing Committee between 1997 and 2002, and a regular Politburo member f ...
and Senior Minister
Lee Kuan Yew Lee Kuan Yew (16 September 1923 – 23 March 2015), born Harry Lee Kuan Yew, often referred to by his initials LKY and sometimes known in his earlier years as Harry Lee, was a Singaporean statesman and lawyer who served as Prime Minister of S ...

Lee Kuan Yew
represented China and Singapore respectively in signing the Agreement to jointly develop Suzhou Industrial Park (originally called the Singapore Industrial Park). The project officially commenced on 12 May in the same year. SIP has a jurisdiction area of , of which, the China-Singapore cooperation area covers with a planned residential population of 1.2 million. SIP is home to the Suzhou Dushu Lake Science and Education Innovation District, an area of universities and higher education institutions, including Soochow University and . Suzhou Industrial Park is also a popular residential district for many foreigners who work and live in Suzhou, as well as 'new Suzhou' residents who migrated to the area in search of work opportunities.


Suzhou Industrial Park Export Processing Zone

The Suzhou Industrial Park Export Processing Zone was approved to be established by the government in April 2000, with a planning area of . It is in Suzhou Industrial Park set up by China and Singapore. Inside the Export Processing Zone, all the infrastructures are of high standard.


Suzhou New District

The Suzhou New District was established in 1990. In November 1992, the zone was approved to be the national-level hi-tech industrial zone. By the end of 2007, foreign-invested companies had a registered capital worth of US$13 billion, of which US$6.8 billion was paid in. SND hosts now more than 1,500 foreign companies. Some 40 Fortune 500 companies set up 67 projects in the district.


Sports

Suzhou Dongwu Suzhou Dongwu Football Club () is a professional China, Chinese Association football, football club that currently participates in the China League One division under licence from the Chinese Football Association (CFA). The team is based in Suzhou ...
currently play in
China League Two China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, East ...
, the third division of Chinese football. The 13,000 seat Suzhou Industrial Park Sports Arena will be one of the venues for the
2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup The 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup was the 18th tournament of the FIBA Basketball World Cup for men's national basketball teams. The tournament was hosted in China and was rescheduled from 2018 to 2019, becoming the first since 1967 FIBA World Cham ...
.


Transportation


Railway

Suzhou is on the Shanghai-Nanjing corridor which carries three parallel railways. Suzhou railway station, near the city center, is among the busiest passenger stations in China. It is served by the
Beijing–Shanghai railway The Beijing–Shanghai railway or Jinghu railway () is a railway line between Beijing Beijing ( ), Chinese postal romanization, alternatively romanized as Peking ( ), is the Capital city, capital of the People's Republic of China. It is ...
(mostly "conventional" trains to stations throughout China) and the Shanghai-Nanjing intercity railway (high-speed D- and G-series trains providing frequent service primarily between Shanghai and Nanjing). It takes only 25 minutes to reach
Shanghai railway station Shanghai station (; Shanghainese: ''Zånhae Hutsuzae'') is one of the four major railway stations in Shanghai, China, the others being Shanghai South railway station, Shanghai South, Shanghai Hongqiao railway station, Shanghai Hongqiao, and Shangh ...

Shanghai railway station
on the fastest G-series trains and less than 1 hour to Nanjing. The Suzhou North railway station, a few kilometers to the north, is on the Beijing–Shanghai high-speed railway (opened 2011), served by high-speed trains to Beijing, Qingdao, etc. Other stations on the Beijing–Shanghai railway and the Shanghai–Nanjing intercity railway serve other points in the same corridor within Suzhou Prefecture-level city, such as Kunshan. In between Suzhou and
Kunshan South railway station The Kunshan South railway station () is a railway station Rail transport (also known as train transport) is a means of transferring passengers and goods on wheeled vehicles running on rails, which are located on tracks. In contrast to ro ...
, Suzhou Industrial Park railway station is also an important station for people visiting and living in the areas. The northern part of the city, which includes Zhangjiagang, Changshu and Taicang, presently has no rail service. However, plans exist for a cross-Yangtze railway from Nantong to the Shanghai metropolitan area (the Shanghai–Nantong railway), which will run through most of these county-level cities. Construction work is expected to start in 2013 and to take five and a half years.


Highways

The Nanjing-Shanghai Expressway connects Suzhou with Shanghai, alternatively, there is the Yangtze Riverine Expressway and the Suzhou-Jiaxing-Hangzhou Expressway. In 2005, the Suzhou Outer Ring was completed, linking the peripheral county-level cities of Taicang, Kunshan, and Changshu.
China National Highway 312 China National Highway 312 (312国道), also referred to as Route 312 or The Mother Road, is a key east-west route beginning in Shanghai and ending at Khorgas, Xinjiang Xinjiang, SASM/GNC: ''Xinjang''; zh, c=, p=Xīnjiāng; alternately ro ...
also passes through Suzhou.


Air transport

Suzhou is served by three airports,
Sunan Shuofang International Airport Sunan Shuofang International Airport is an airport serving the cities of Wuxi Wuxi () is a city in southern Jiangsu Jiangsu (; Postal romanization, formerly romanized Kiangsu) is an eastern-central coastal Provinces of the People's Repu ...
(co-owned by
Wuxi Wuxi () is a city in southern Jiangsu Jiangsu (; ; Postal romanization, formerly romanized Kiangsu) is an eastern-central coastal Provinces of the People's Republic of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China. It is one of the ...

Wuxi
and Suzhou),
Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport is one of two international airports of Shanghai and an important airline hub Airline hubs or hub airports are used by one or more airlines to concentrate passenger traffic and flight operations at a ...

Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport
(one hour drive), and
Shanghai Pudong International Airport Shanghai Pudong International Airport is one of the two international airport An international airport is an airport An airport is an aerodrome An aerodrome (Commonwealth English The use of the English language En ...

Shanghai Pudong International Airport
(two hours drive).


Water transport

Port of Suzhou, on the right bank of the Yangtze River, dealt with 428 million tons of cargo and 5.86 million TEU containers in 2012, which made it the busiest inland river port in the world by annual cargo tonnage and container volume.


Metro

The
Suzhou Rail Transit Suzhou Rail Transit, also known as Suzhou Metro, is a rapid transit Rapid transit or mass rapid transit (MRT), also known as heavy rail, metro, subway, tube, U-Bahn, metropolitana or underground, is a type of high-capacity public transport ...
currently has five lines in operation and five other lines under construction. The masterplan consists of nine independent lines. Line 1 started operation on 28 April 2012,
Line 2Line 2 or 2 Line may refer to: Public transport Americas *2 (New York City Subway service), a rapid transit service in the A Division of the New York City Subway *Line 2 Bloor–Danforth, a subway line in Toronto *Line 2 (Rio de Janeiro), a metro l ...
started operation on 28 December 2013, and Line 4 started operation in 2017, Suzhou railway line 5 stars operation from june 2021. Line 6, Line 7 and Line 8 and Line S1 are under construction at the same time.


Tram

The Suzhou Tram system has two routes in the Suzhou New District.


Bus

Suzhou has public bus routes that run into all parts of the city. Fares are flat rated, usually 1 Yuan for a non-air-conditioned bus and 2 Yuan for an air-conditioned one. The Suzhou BRT, a -long
bus rapid transit Bus rapid transit (BRT), also called a busway or transitway, is a bus-based public transport system designed to have better capacity Capacity or capacities may refer to: Mathematics, science, and engineering * Capacity of a container, close ...
system opened in 2008, operates 5 lines using elevated busways and bus-only lanes throughout the city.


Culture

*
Opera Opera is a form of theatre Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of performing art that uses live performers, usually actor, actors or actresses, to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a s ...

Opera
:
Kunqu Kunqu (), also known as Kunju (), K'un-ch'ü, Kun opera or Kunqu Opera, is one of the oldest extant forms of Chinese opera. It evolved from the local melody of Kunshan Kunshan is a county-level city in southeastern Jiangsu Province, Jiangsu ...
originated in the Suzhou region, as does the much later Suzhou Opera.
Ballad A ballad is a form of verse, often a narrative set to music. Ballads derive from the medieval French ''chanson balladée'' or '' ballade'', which were originally "dance songs". Ballads were particularly characteristic of the popular poetry and ...
-singing, or Suzhou pingtan, is a local form of storytelling that mixes singing (accompanied by the
pipa The pipa, pípá, or p'i-p'a () is a traditional China, Chinese List of traditional Chinese musical instruments, musical instrument, belonging to the Plucked string instrument, plucked category of instruments. Sometimes called the "Chinese lut ...

pipa
and
sanxian The ''sanxian'' (, literally "three strings") is a Chinese lute A lute ( or ) is any plucked string instrument with a neck and a deep round back enclosing a hollow cavity, usually with a sound hole or opening in the body. It may be either ...

sanxian
) with portions in spoken dialect. *
Silk Silk is a natural fiber, natural protein fiber, some forms of which can be weaving, woven into textiles. The protein fiber of silk is composed mainly of fibroin and is produced by certain insect larvae to form cocoon (silk), cocoons. The be ...

Silk
: throughout China's Imperial past, Suzhou silk has been associated with high-quality silk products, supplying silks to ancient royal families. By the 13th century, Suzhou was already the center of the profitable silk trade. * Song brocade: Suzhou's Song brocade, with its flashy colors, exquisite patterns, strong and soft texture, is one of China's three famous brocades, together with Nanjing Yun brocade and Sichuan Shu brocade. Suzhou's brocade production can be traced back to the
Five Dynasties The Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period (907–979) was an era of political upheaval and division in 10th-century Imperial China. Five states quickly succeeded one another in the Central Plain, and more than a dozen concurrent states were e ...
. It prospered in the
Song Dynasty The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song Emperor Taizu of Song (21 March 927 – 14 November 976), personal name Zhao Kua ...
. After the government moved the capital southward, the country's political and cultural center moved to the
Yangtze The Yangtze or Yangzi ( or ) is the longest , the in the world and the longest in the world to flow entirely within one country. It rises at Jari Hill in the (Tibetan Plateau) and flows in a generally easterly direction to the . It is ...
River area. To cope with the special need of artists, a type of very thin brocade for decorating paintings emerged in Suzhou. These brocades and paintings have been preserved. Whenever people talked about brocade, they mentioned the
Song Dynasty The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song Emperor Taizu of Song (21 March 927 – 14 November 976), personal name Zhao Kua ...
, and thus Song brocade got its name and has been well-known ever since. *
Handicraft A handicraft, sometimes more precisely expressed as artisanal handicraft or handmade, is any of a wide variety of types of work where useful and decorative objects are made completely by one’s hand or by using only simple, non-automated rela ...

Handicraft
s: Suzhou embroidery,
fan Fan commonly refers to: * Fan (machine), a machine for producing airflow, often for cooling ** Hand fan, an implement held and waved by hand to move air * Fan (person), short for fanatic; an enthusiast or supporter, especially with regard to enterta ...

fan
s,
Chinese musical instruments Chinese musical instruments are traditionally grouped into eight categories known as (). The eight categories are silk, bamboo, wood, Rock (geology), stone, metal, clay, gourd and skin; other instruments considered traditional exist that may not f ...
,
scroll '', Vatican Library The Vatican Apostolic Library ( la, Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana, it, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana), more commonly known as the Vatican Library or informally as the Vat, is the library A library is a curated co ...

scroll
mounting,
lantern A lantern is an often portable source of lighting, typically featuring a protective enclosure for the light source Light or visible light is electromagnetic radiation In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστή ...

lantern
s,
mahogany Honduran mahogany Mahogany is a straight-Wood grain, grained, reddish-brown timber of three Tropics, tropical hardwood species of the genus ''Swietenia'', indigenous to the AmericasBridgewater, Samuel (2012). ''A Natural History of Belize: I ...
furniture,
jade Jade is a mineral, much used in some cultures as jewellery and for ornaments, mostly known for its green varieties, though it appears naturally in other colors as well, notably yellow and white. Jade can refer to either of two different silicat ...

jade
carving,
silk Silk is a natural fiber, natural protein fiber, some forms of which can be weaving, woven into textiles. The protein fiber of silk is composed mainly of fibroin and is produced by certain insect larvae to form cocoon (silk), cocoons. The be ...

silk
tapestry Tapestry is a form of , traditionally by hand on a . Tapestry is -faced weaving, in which all the threads are hidden in the completed work, unlike most woven textiles, where both the warp and the weft threads may be visible. In tapestry weavi ...

tapestry
, traditional painting pigments of Jiangenxutang Studio, the New Year's wood-block prints of Taohuawu Studio. *
Paintings Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a solid surface (called the "matrix" or "support"). The medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush, but other implements, such as knives, sponges, and ai ...

Paintings
* Calligraphic art *
Cuisine A cuisine is a style of cooking Cooking or cookery is the art, science, and craft of using heat to Outline of food preparation, prepare food for consumption. Cooking techniques and ingredients vary widely across the Earth, world, from grill ...

Cuisine
: Yangcheng Lake large crab * Suzhou Silk Hand Embroidery Art * Suzhou is the original place of "
Jasmine Jasmine ( taxonomic name ''Jasminum'' ) is a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of extant taxon, living and fossil organisms as well as Virus classification# ...
", a song sung by Chinese singers or actresses thousands of times on the occasions of almost every important meetings or celebrations. Jasmine is the symbol of Suzhou as well as Tai Hu Lake. * Suzhou Gardens: Gardens in Suzhou have an ancient history. The first garden in Suzhou belonged to the emperor of Wu State in Spring and Autumn Period (600 BC). More than 200 gardens existed in Suzhou between the 16th and 18th centuries. Gardens in Suzhou were built according to the style of Chinese Paintings. Every view in a garden can be seen as a piece of Chinese Painting and the whole garden is a huge piece of Chinese Paintings. At present, the Humble Administrator's Garden, built in 16th, is the largest private garden in Suzhou. It belonged to by Wang Xianchen, an imperial censor. * Suzhou embroidery together with embroidery of Hunan, Sichuan and Guangdong are called as the "Four Famous Embroideries". Suzhou tapestry method is done in fine silks and gold thread. Other art forms found in this area are sculpture, Song brocade, jade and rosewood carving. * The Suzhou Museum has a rich collection of relics from many eras. The collection includes revolutionary records, stele carving, folk customs, drama and verse, Suzhou embroidery, silk cloth, gardens, coins and Buddhist artifacts. * Wedding gowns


Notable people


Education


High schools

* Changshu High School *
Dulwich College Suzhou Dulwich College Suzhou (''DCSZ'') () is a private international school located in Suzhou Industrial Park, Suzhou, China. The school has approximately 900 students from age 2 to 18 (Early Learning 1 to Year 13). Dulwich College Suzhou is part of t ...
*
Dulwich International High School Suzhou Dulwich International High School Suzhou (DHSZ, ) is a private high school located in Suzhou Industrial Park The China–Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park (), or Suzhou Industrial Park for short, abbreviated as SIP, is a county-level administrative ...
* Kunshan Senior High School * * Suzhou Experimental High School *
Suzhou High School Suzhou High School, officially the Suzhou High School of Jiangsu Province (), is a Chinese public high school A secondary school describes an institution that provides and also usually includes the building where this takes place. Some second ...
* Suzhou Singapore International School * * Suzhou No.10 High School * Suzhou Wuxian High School () * Taicang Senior High School * Zhenze Middle School


Universities and colleges

* Changshu Institute of Technology *
Duke Kunshan University Duke Kunshan University (DKU) is a Chinese-American partnership of Duke University (Durham, North Carolina, United States) and Wuhan University (Wuhan, Hubei, China) to create a Liberal arts education, liberal arts and research university offeri ...
* KEDGE Business School *
Jiangnan Social University Jiangnan Social University (江南社会学院) is an institute of higher education affiliated with Chinese intelligence agencies, namely the Ministry of State Security (China), Ministry of State Security of People's Republic of China (MSS). It is ...
* Jiangsu University Zhangjiagang Campus *
Renmin University of China Renmin University of China, often referred to as RUC (), or colloquially Renda (), is a public In public relations and communication science, publics are groups of individual people, and the public (a.k.a. the general public) is the totali ...
Suzhou Campus *
Skema Business School SKEMA Business School (School of Knowledge Economy and Management) is one of the top French business school, devoted to higher education and research. It has the legal status of a non-profit association under the French "1901 law". It was founded i ...
– Chinese campus of the French business school * Soochow University * Suzhou Polytechnic Institute of Agriculture * Suzhou University of Science and Technology *


Under construction

*
Nanjing University Nanjing University (NJU; ), colloquially known as Nanda (), is a leading Public university, public research university in Nanjing, Jiangsu. It is a member of the elite C9 League of Chinese universities and a Class A Double First Class Universi ...

Nanjing University
Suzhou Campus *
Northwestern Polytechnical University Northwestern Polytechnical University (also known as NPU or NWPU; ) is a National Key University, directed by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People's Republic of China Ministry of Industry and Information Technology ...
Taicang Campus


Postgraduate institutions

*
Southeast University-Monash University Joint Graduate SchoolThe Southeast University-Monash University Joint Graduate School () is a postgraduate Postgraduate education (graduate education in North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all withi ...
* Suzhou Dushu Lake Higher Education Town (
National University of Singapore The National University of Singapore (NUS) is a national university, national research university based in Singapore. Founded in 1905 as the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, Straits Settlements and Federated Malay States Government Medical Scho ...
and Fudan Joint Graduate School, Nanjing University Graduate School, etc.)


Others

* Japanese School of Suzhou * Overseas Chinese Academy Chiway Suzhou ()https://www.ocac-suzhou.com/


See also

*
List of twin towns and sister cities in China This is a list of places in China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.4 ...
* Port of Suzhou


Citations


Works cited

* . * . *


General references


Economic profile for Suzhou
at Hong Kong Trade Development Council, HKTDC


External links


Official Resource
for English-speaking travelers
Official website
for Suzhou's municipal government
Suzhou city guide with open directory
(Jiangsu Network) * {{Authority control Suzhou, Cities in Jiangsu Jiangnan Populated places established in the 6th century BC Port cities and towns in China Prefecture-level divisions of Jiangsu Yangtze River Delta