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Kaifeng
Kaifeng
(simplified Chinese: 开封; traditional Chinese: 開封), known previously by several names, is a prefecture-level city in east-central Henan, China. It was once the capital of the Song dynasty, and is one of the Eight Ancient Capitals of China. There are currently nearly 5 million people living in its metropolitan area. Located along the southern bank of the Yellow River, it borders the provincial capital of Zhengzhou
Zhengzhou
to the west, Xinxiang
Xinxiang
to the northwest, Shangqiu
Shangqiu
to the east, Zhoukou
Zhoukou
to the southeast, Xuchang
Xuchang
to the southwest, and Shandong
Shandong
to the northeast.

Contents

1 Names 2 Administration 3 History 4 Climate 5 Transportation

5.1 Air 5.2 Rail 5.3 Coach 5.4 Light rail 5.5 Road transport

6 Culture

6.1 Religion 6.2 Cuisine 6.3 Chrysanthemums

7 Sporting events

7.1 Zheng-Kai International Marathon

8 Military 9 Gallery 10 International relations

10.1 Twin towns—Sister cities

11 Colleges and universities

11.1 Public

12 See also 13 References 14 Further reading 15 External links

Names[edit] The postal romanization for the city is "Kaifeng". Its official one-character abbreviation in Chinese is 汴 (Biàn). Historically it has also been known as

Dàliáng (Chinese: 大梁) Biànliáng (Chinese: 汴梁) Biànzhōu (Chinese: 汴州) Nánjīng (Chinese: 南京) Dōngjīng (Chinese: 東京) Biànjīng (Chinese: 汴京)

The name "Kaifeng" first appeared as the area's name after the Qin's conquest of China
China
in the second century BC and literally means "expand the borders" and figuratively "hidden" and "vengeance".[1] Its name was originally Qifeng (啓封), but the syllable qi was changed to the essentially synonymous kai to avoid the naming taboo of Liu Qi (Emperor Jing of Han). Administration[edit] The prefecture-level city of Kaifeng
Kaifeng
administers five districts and four counties:

Gulou District (鼓楼区) Longting District
Longting District
(龙亭区) Yuwangtai District (禹王台区) Xiangfu District (祥符区) Shunhe Hui District (顺河回族区) Weishi County (尉氏县) Qi County (杞县) Tongxu County (通许县) Lankao County
Lankao County
(兰考县)

Map

Longting Shunhe Gulou Yuwangtai Xiangfu Qi County Tongxu County Weishi County Lankao County

History[edit]

The famous painting Along the River During the Qingming Festival
Along the River During the Qingming Festival
is believed by some to portray life in Kaifeng
Kaifeng
on Qingming Festival. Several versions exist – the above is an 18th-century recreation – of an original attributed to the 12th-century artist Zhang Zeduan.

The city of Kaifeng
Kaifeng
(Dongjing, Bianliang) in Northern Song Dynasty

Kaifeng
Kaifeng
is one of the Eight Ancient Capitals of China. As with Beijing, there have been many reconstructions during its history. In 364 BC during the Warring States period, the State of Wei founded a city called Daliang (大梁) as its capital in this area. During this period, the first of many canals in the area was constructed linking a local river to the Yellow River. When the State of Wei was conquered by the State of Qin, Kaifeng
Kaifeng
was destroyed and abandoned except for a mid-sized market town, which remained in place. Early in the 7th century, Kaifeng
Kaifeng
was transformed into a major commercial hub when it was connected to the Grand Canal as well as through the construction of a canal running to western Shandong. In 781 during the Tang dynasty, a new city was reconstructed and named Bian (汴). Bian was the capital of the Later Jin (936–946), Later Han (947–950), and Later Zhou
Later Zhou
(951–960) of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. The Song dynasty
Song dynasty
made Bian its capital when it overthrew the Later Zhou
Later Zhou
in 960. Shortly afterwards, the city underwent further expansion. During the Song, when it was known as Dongjing or Bianjing, Kaifeng was the capital, with a population of over 400,000 living both inside and outside the city wall. Typhus
Typhus
was an acute problem in the city. The historian Jacques Gernet provides a lively picture of life in this period in his Daily Life in China
China
on the Eve of the Mongol Invasion, 1250-1276, which often draws on Dongjing Meng Hua Lu, a nostalgic memoir of the city of Kaifeng.[2] In 1049, the Youguosi Pagoda (佑國寺塔) – or Iron Pagoda
Iron Pagoda
as it is called today – was constructed measuring 54.7 metres (179 ft) in height. It has survived the vicissitudes of war and floods to become the oldest landmark in this ancient city. Another Song-dynasty pagoda, Po Tower (zh), dating from 974, has been partially destroyed.

Games in the Jinming Pool, an early 12th-century painting depicting Kaifeng, by Zhang Zeduan.

Another well-known sight was the astronomical clock tower of the engineer, scientist, and statesman Su Song
Su Song
(1020–1101 AD). It was crowned with a rotating armillary sphere that was hydraulically-powered (i.e. by water wheel and a water clock), yet it incorporated an escapement mechanism two hundred years before they were found in the clockworks of Europe
Europe
and featured the first known endless power-transmitting chain drive. Kaifeng
Kaifeng
reached its peak importance in the 11th century when it was a commercial and industrial center at the intersection of four major canals. During this time, the city was surrounded by three rings of city walls and probably had a population of between 600,000 and 700,000. It is believed that Kaifeng
Kaifeng
was the largest city in the world from 1013 to 1127.[3] This period ended in 1127 when the city fell to Jurchen invaders during the Jingkang Incident. It subsequently came under the rule of the Jurchen Jin dynasty, which had conquered most of North China during the Jin–Song Wars.[4] While it remained an important administrative center, only the city area inside the inner city wall of the early Song remained settled and the two outer rings were abandoned. One major problem associated with Kaifeng
Kaifeng
as the imperial capital of the Song was its location. While it was conveniently situated along the Grand Canal for logistic supply, Kaifeng
Kaifeng
was militarily vulnerable due to its position on the floodplains of the Yellow River. Kaifeng
Kaifeng
served as the Jurchen "southern capital" from 1157 (other sources say 1161) and was reconstructed during this time.[5] The Jurchen kept their main capital further north until 1214 when they were forced to move the imperial court southwards to Kaifeng
Kaifeng
in order to flee from the onslaught of the Mongols. In 1232 they succumbed to the combined Mongol and Song forces in the Mongol siege of Kaifeng. The Mongols
Mongols
captured the city, and in 1279 they conquered all of China.

East Market Street, Kaifeng, 1910. The synagogue of the Kaifeng
Kaifeng
Jews lay beyond the row of stores on the right

At the beginning of the Ming dynasty
Ming dynasty
in 1368, Kaifeng
Kaifeng
was made the capital of Henan
Henan
province. In 1642, Kaifeng
Kaifeng
was flooded by the Ming army with water from the Yellow River
Yellow River
to prevent the peasant rebel Li Zicheng
Li Zicheng
from taking over. After this disaster, the city was abandoned again. In 1662, during the reign of the Kangxi Emperor
Kangxi Emperor
in the Qing dynasty, Kaifeng
Kaifeng
was rebuilt. However, further flooding occurred in 1841 followed by another reconstruction in 1843, which produced the contemporary Kaifeng
Kaifeng
as it stands today. Kaifeng
Kaifeng
is also known for having the oldest extant Jewish community in China, the Kaifeng
Kaifeng
Jews. In 1969, the former President of the People's Republic of China, Liu Shaoqi, died from medical neglect while under house arrest in Kaifeng. Climate[edit] Kaifeng
Kaifeng
has a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cwa) that borders on a humid continental climate, with four distinct seasons. Winters are cool and mostly dry while summers are hot and humid; spring is warm and sees some, but not much rainfall, while autumn weather is crisp and drier. Precipitation
Precipitation
mainly occurs from June to September.

Climate data for Kaifeng
Kaifeng
(1971−2000)

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Record high °C (°F) 19.2 (66.6) 25.5 (77.9) 29.4 (84.9) 35.4 (95.7) 38.1 (100.6) 42.5 (108.5) 39.0 (102.2) 37.6 (99.7) 35.6 (96.1) 34.1 (93.4) 26.6 (79.9) 22.2 (72) 42.5 (108.5)

Average high °C (°F) 5.1 (41.2) 8.4 (47.1) 13.7 (56.7) 21.5 (70.7) 26.9 (80.4) 31.3 (88.3) 31.7 (89.1) 30.5 (86.9) 26.7 (80.1) 21.3 (70.3) 13.7 (56.7) 7.3 (45.1) 19.8 (67.7)

Daily mean °C (°F) 0.0 (32) 2.7 (36.9) 7.9 (46.2) 15.3 (59.5) 20.7 (69.3) 25.3 (77.5) 26.9 (80.4) 25.9 (78.6) 21.1 (70) 15.1 (59.2) 7.8 (46) 1.9 (35.4) 14.2 (57.6)

Average low °C (°F) −4.1 (24.6) −1.7 (28.9) 2.9 (37.2) 9.6 (49.3) 14.8 (58.6) 19.8 (67.6) 22.9 (73.2) 22.0 (71.6) 16.5 (61.7) 10.1 (50.2) 3.1 (37.6) −2.3 (27.9) 9.5 (49.0)

Record low °C (°F) −15 (5) −14.2 (6.4) −7.3 (18.9) −1.6 (29.1) 5.0 (41) 11.3 (52.3) 15.2 (59.4) 13.5 (56.3) 6.0 (42.8) −0.2 (31.6) −11.7 (10.9) −16 (3) −16 (3)

Average precipitation mm (inches) 8.1 (0.319) 11.2 (0.441) 28.2 (1.11) 35.4 (1.394) 55.0 (2.165) 73.4 (2.89) 174.9 (6.886) 109.7 (4.319) 69.5 (2.736) 41.5 (1.634) 20.4 (0.803) 9.9 (0.39) 637.2 (25.087)

Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 2.9 3.9 5.9 6.2 6.8 7.8 11.3 9.0 7.6 6.6 4.5 3.0 75.5

Source: Weather China

Transportation[edit] Air[edit] Downtown Kaifeng
Kaifeng
is about 55 km (34 mi) away from Zhengzhou Xinzheng
Xinzheng
International Airport – which has domestic connections to more than 20 cities. China
China
Eastern and China
China
Southern Airlines also provide some international connections directly from Zhengzhou. Rail[edit] Kaifeng
Kaifeng
Railway Station is on the East-West Longhai Railway
Longhai Railway
mainline and provides convenient access to many cities around China, including Beijing West, Shanghai, Shanghai Hongqiao, Tianjin, Xi'an, Jinan, Hangzhou. Services to Zhengzhou, Luoyang
Luoyang
and Qingdao
Qingdao
are also frequent and convenient. Direct long distance services to Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing North, Harbin, Ürümqi, Fuzhou, Dalian and Wuhan are also available. Kaifeng North Railway Station of the Zhengzhou–Xuzhou High-Speed Railway
Zhengzhou–Xuzhou High-Speed Railway
started operation on 10 September 2016. Coach[edit] There are 4 main coach stations in Kaifeng:

Kaifeng
Kaifeng
West Coach Station (开封客运西站) Kaifeng
Kaifeng
Long-Distance Coach Station (开封长途汽车站) Kaifeng
Kaifeng
Jinming Coach Station (开封金明汽车站) Kaifeng
Kaifeng
Xiangguosi Coach Station (开封相国寺汽车站)

There are frequent services to many neighbouring counties, other provincial cities and longer-distance services to other provinces. Light rail[edit]

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The Zhengkai Intercity Railway (郑开城际铁路), also popularly known as the Zhengzhou
Zhengzhou
Kaifeng
Kaifeng
Light Rail (郑开轻轨) started operating in 2014. The total length of the railway is 50.3 km (31.3 mi), connecting the provincial capital Zhengzhou
Zhengzhou
and Kaifeng, with a projected future extension to a total of 57.4 km (35.7 mi). The initial phase of the project has 5 stations in total constructed along the track, of which 3 are within the city boundary of Zhengzhou
Zhengzhou
and 2 within the city boundary of Kaifeng. It is double tracked, with a designed top speed capability of 200 km/h (120 mph). It is currently scheduled to provide an initial service frequency of about 4tph with projected increase according to actual demand. Total journey time is not more than 30 minutes. Road transport[edit]

China
China
National Highway 220

Culture[edit] Religion[edit] Kaifeng
Kaifeng
is known for having the oldest extant Jewish community in China, the Kaifeng
Kaifeng
Jews.

One of Kaifeng's many women's mosques.

It also has a significant Muslim
Muslim
enclave and is notable for its many women's mosques (nǚsì), including the oldest nǚsì in China: Wangjia Hutong Women's Mosque, which dates to 1820.[6][6] There are also some active Christian churches, like Sacred-Heart of Kaifang cathedral (开封耶稣圣心主教座堂). Cuisine[edit] Kaifeng
Kaifeng
cuisine plays a dominant part in forming Henan
Henan
cuisine.[7] Kaifeng
Kaifeng
offers a wide range of food specialities such as steaming pie and dumplings. In the evening, Kaifeng's streets turn into restaurants while hundreds open their stands and begin selling their food in the famous night market. Often people from the nearby Zhengzhou
Zhengzhou
come to Kaifeng
Kaifeng
to spend an evening with their family, as the atmosphere is very appealing. Particularly famous is Kaifeng's five-spice bread (wǔxiāng shāobǐng), which, like pita, can be opened and filled. The Ma Yu Ching's Bucket Chicken House (Chinese: 马豫兴桶子鸡; pinyin: Mǎ Yùxīng Tǒngzi Jī), located in Kaifeng, China, is by some accounts the world's oldest restaurant. Chrysanthemums[edit] The chrysanthemum is the city flower of Kaifeng. The tradition of cultivating different varieties of chrysanthemums stretches all the way back 1600 years, and the scale reached a phenomenal level during the Song dynasty
Song dynasty
until its loss to the Jürchens in 1126. The city has held the Kaifeng
Kaifeng
Chrysanthemum
Chrysanthemum
Cultural Festival since 1983 (renamed China
China
Kaifeng
Kaifeng
Chrysanthemum
Chrysanthemum
Cultural Festival in 1994). The festival has been a yearly feature since, taking place between 18 October and 18 November every year. The festival reached another milestone in 2012, when it celebrated the 30th birthday.[8] The opening ceremony was broadcast live on Henan Satellite TV Channel (HNTV) at the evening prime slot on 18 October 2012, which has a coverage of all Chinese cities of or above the prefecture-level classification in the Chinese administrative division. During the festival, chrysanthemums of hundred different types will not only be on show in all festival venues, but they become common features all around the city itself - Kaifeng
Kaifeng
truly becomes the "city of chrysanthemums". Sporting events[edit] Zheng-Kai International Marathon[edit] The China
China
Zheng-Kai International Marathon (中国郑开国际马拉松赛, Zheng-Kai stands for "Zhengzhou-Kaifeng", also abbreviated "ZK") is a sporting event hosted jointly by the Chinese Athletic Association, the general sport administration of Henan
Henan
province, Zhengzhou
Zhengzhou
municipal government, and the Kaifeng
Kaifeng
municipal government. It is the premier international sports competition in Henan
Henan
province and one of the biggest sports competitions in the Central-West of China. ZK International Marathon is held at the end of March or beginning of April each year. The main part of the event occurs along the famous Zhengkai Express Way (郑开大道). At its launch in 2007, 5600 athletes competed. By 2012, almost 25000 athletes from 28 countries and regions have participated in the ZK International Marathon. Military[edit] Kaifeng
Kaifeng
is headquarters of the 20th Group Army of the People's Liberation Army, one of the three group armies that comprise the Jinan Military Region responsible for defence of the Yellow River
Yellow River
Plain. Kaifeng Air Base
Kaifeng Air Base
is a military airfield in the southern suburb of Kaifeng
Kaifeng
City. It does not provide civilian aviation service. Gallery[edit]

The Iron Pagoda 

Qingming Riverside Landscape Garden 

Entrance to the Dragon Pavilion 

Reconstructed city gate (inner) of Bianjing 

Daxiangguo Temple's drum tower 

Henan
Henan
University 

Daliang City Gate 

Imperial Street of the Song Dynasty 

Imperial Street of the Song Dynasty 

Imperial Street of the Song Dynasty 

International relations[edit] Main article: List of twin towns and sister cities in China Twin towns—Sister cities[edit] Kaifeng
Kaifeng
is twinned with:

City Region Country

Wichita  Kansas  United States

Kiryat Motzkin Haifa  Israel

Toda  Saitama  Japan

Omsk   Omsk
Omsk
Oblast  Russia

Colleges and universities[edit] Public[edit]

Henan
Henan
University (河南大学) (founded 1912) Kaifeng
Kaifeng
University (开封大学) (founded 1980) Kaifeng
Kaifeng
Institute of Education (开封教育学院) Yellow River
Yellow River
Conservancy Technical Institute (黄河水利职业技术学院) (founded 1929)

See also[edit]

Historical capitals of China 1642 Yellow River
Yellow River
flood

References[edit]

^ Zhongguo Gujin Diming Dacidian 中国古今地名大词典, 2005. (Shanghai: Shanghai Cishu Chubanshe), 348. (in Chinese) ^ Jacques Gernet. Daily Life in China
China
on the Eve of the Mongol Invasion, 1250-1276. (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1962). Translated by H. M. Wright. ISBN 0804707200. ^ "Largest Cities Through History". Retrieved November 6, 2010.  ^ Lorge, Peter (2005). War, Politics and Society in Early Modern China, 900–1795. Routledge. pp. 52–54. ISBN 978-0-203-96929-8.  ^ "The Eastern Manchurian Woodsmen Replacing the Western Manchurian Nomads" (PDF). Retrieved November 6, 2010.  ^ a b NPR ^ "豫菜成大器 任重而道远". Retrieved October 28, 2012.  ^ " China
China
Kaifeng
Kaifeng
Chrysanthemum
Chrysanthemum
Cultural Festival". Retrieved October 28, 2012. 

Further reading[edit]

Cotterell, Arthur. (2007). The Imperial Capitals of China: An Inside View of the Celestial Empire. London: Pimlico. pp. 304 pages. ISBN 978-1-84595-009-5.  The Origin of the Kaifeng
Kaifeng
Jews, in S. Shaked, ed., Irano-Judaica, Jerusalem, 1982, pp. 101–11

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kaifeng.

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Kaifeng.

Government website of Kaifeng
Kaifeng
(in Simplified Chinese) Kaifeng
Kaifeng
City Portal
Portal
(in Simplified Chinese) Notes on the Jewish colony at Kaifeng
Kaifeng
from the Papers of Charles Daniel Tenney

Preceded by Chang'an Capital of China
China
(as Kaifeng) 960−1127 Succeeded by Lin'an

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