Changsha ( ) is the capital city of Hunan, a province
of south-central China, located on
the lower reaches of Xiang river, a branch of
It covers an area of 11,819 sq. kilometers
and has a population of 6,017,600 (2003 population census).
Changsha was important from the time of the Qin dynasty
(221–207 BC). In AD 750–1100
Changsha was an important commercial city, and its population
increased greatly. Under the Qing dynasty, from 1664, it was the capital of Hunan province,
and it was a major rice market.
besieged during the Taiping
but never fell. Changsha was the site of Mao Zedong
's conversion to communism
. It was the scene of major battles in the
Sino-Japanese War of
1937–45 and was briefly occupied by the Japanese.
Rebuilt since 1949, the city is now a major port and a commercial
and industrial center.
The city of Changsha has direct jurisdiction over 5 districts
), 1 county-level cities
During the 1st millennium BC, it was the centre of the southern
part of the Yangtze River valley state of Chu
. In 1935–36 some Chu graves excavated nearby
produced important evidences of Chu culture. The city's most
ancient name was Qingyang
Qin dynasty (221–206 BC) it became a
staging post for Qin expeditions into Guangdong province.
By 202 BC it was already a
fortified city. During the Han Dynasty
it was also the capital of Changsha kingdom.
From Han times (206 BC–AD 220) it was named Linxiang County and was
the seat of the Changsha commandery. The county was renamed
Changsha in 589, when it became the administrative seat of Tan
prefecture. It lost some importance at this period,
however, because traffic from Guangdong was mostly diverted up the
Gan River valley in Jiangxi.
The celebrated Mawangdui
Tombs of the Han
Dynasty were constructed between 186 and 165 BC. The earliest tomb
(no. 2), when excavated in the 1970s, had preserved the corpse of
Lady Xin Zhui
in a surprisingly good
condition. Also found in the tomb were the earliest versions of
Dao De Jing
(道德经), the main text of
, among many other historical
During the Three Kingdoms
Changsha was a much-fought-over territory. During the Sui Dynasty
, Changsha was a county.
After the fall of the Tang dynasty
(618–907), it became the capital of the independent Chu state and
later fell to the Later Tang dynasty
(923–937). Between 750 and 1100, as Changsha became an important
commercial city, the population of the area increased
(1644–1911/12) dynasties it was made a superior prefecture and from
1664 onward was the capital of Hunan and prospered as one of
China's chief rice markets.
During the Taiping Rebellion
the city was besieged by
the rebels (1854) but never fell; it then became the principal base
for the suppression of the rebellion. Changsha was opened to
foreign trade in 1904. Further development followed the opening of
the railway to Hankou in Hubei province in
1918, which was extended to Guangzhou in Guangdong province in 1936.
population grew, the city remained primarily commercial in
character and before 1937 had little industry, apart from some
glass, and nonferrous
-metal plants and
(岳麓书院) was founded in
), destroyed by war in 1127, and rebuilt in 1165
(Southern Song Dynasty
celebrated philosopher Zhu Xi
(朱熹) taught at
the Academy in 1165. It was destroyed by the Mongols but was restored in the late 15th century
In 1903 it became Hunan High School. The
modern day Hunan University
descendant of the academy. The architecture of some of the
buildings was restored from 1981–1986, presumably according to the
the Taiping forces laid a
siege on Changsha, through 3 months, the Taiping gave up offensive
and toward Wuhan.( Battle of Changsha )
Treaty of Shanghai between China and Japan opened the
city to foreign trade.
Consequently, factories, churches and
schools were built. A college was started by Yale
and later became a medical center named Xiangya and a secondary
school named the Yali
Mao Zedong, founder of the People's
Republic of China began his political career in Changsha.
He was a
student at the Hunan Number 1
Teachers' Training School from 1913 to 1918.
returned as a teacher and principal from 1920 to 1922. The school
was destroyed during the Chinese Civil
but has since been restored. The Former Office of
the Hunan Communist Party Central Committee where Mao
Zedong once lived is now a museum that includes Mao's living
quarters, photographs and other historical items from the
the Second Sino-Japanese
War (1937–45), the strategic location of Changsha made it the
focus of four campaigns by the Japanese to capture it from the hands of the Chinese Nationalists which
resulted in the battles of 1st
Changsha, and 4th
The city was able to repulse the first three
attacks thanks to Bai Chongxi
leadership, but ultimately fell for a short time into Japanese
hands in 1944 for another year until they were defeated in a
counterattack and forced to surrender. The city itself was
virtually destroyed by fire in 1938–39.
later became the territory of the People's
Republic of China when it was formed in 1949 after the Kuomintang were driven to Taiwan.
Geography and climate
is located at 111°53'–114°5' east longitude and 27°51'–28°40' north
latitude, situated in the east central Hunan.
terrain is high in the west and low in the east. There are many
mountainous areas in the west and in the north. The Xiangjiang River
flows south to northwest;
296 m high Mt. Yuelushan
is in the west; and Liuyanghe
) and Laodaohe
River (Laodao River
Changsha has a monsoon
climate within the
sub-tropical zone, with annual average temperature being
16.8°C–17.2°C, 4.6°C in January and 28.6°C in July. Average annual
precipitation is 1422 mm., and the yearly frost-free period is
The four seasons are distinct. The summers are long and hot, with
heavy rainfall, and autumn is comfortable with abundant
sunlight.Winter is dry and rather brief, but cold snaps occur with
temperatures occasionally dropping below freezing.
neighboring areas include: Jiangxi province,
cities and counties of Hunan, such as Tonggu County, Wanzai
County, Yichun City, Pingxiang City of Jiangxi province.
Pingjiang County, Miluo city, Xiangyin
County of Yueyang; Heshan District,
Taojiang County, Anhua County of Yiyang; Lianyuan city of Loudi; Zhuzhou County, Liling City of
Zhuzhou; Xiangtan County,
Xiangxiang city of Xiangtan.
Changsha is well connected by roads, river, rail, and air
transportation modes, and is a regional hub for industrial,
tourist, and service sectors.
- Public Transport: The city's public transportation system consists
of an extensive bus network with over a hundred lines as well as
- Roads: National Highways 107 and 319, as
well as Changsha-Zhuzhou-Xiangtan Express Way connect the Changsha metro area
nationally. There are three main bus terminals in Changsha:
South Station, East Station and West Station, dispatching long- and
short-haul trips to cities within and outside Hunan Province.
- River: Changsha is surrounded by major rivers, including the
Xiangjiang, the Liuyanghe, and the Laodaohe. Ships transport mainly goods from
Xianing port located in North Changsha domesticly and
- Rail: Changsha Railway Station is located at city center and
provides express and regular services to most cities in China, new
passenger only high speed railway station under construction in
Yuhua district, with two main high speed rail way line across in
next ten years (Beijing -> Hongkong, Shanghai ->
Changsha Huanghua International
Airport is a regional hub for China Southern Airlines, which
serves major cities in China, including Hong Kong. Other major airlines also provide daily
service between Changsha and other domestic and international
The Huángxīng Lù Pedestrian Commercial Street in Changsha
Rebuilt since 1949, its population nearly tripled between the late
1940s and the early 1980s. The city is now a major port, handling
rice, cotton, timber, and livestock, and
is also a collection and distribution point on the railway from Hankou
It is a centre of rice milling
and also has oil
- and tobacco
-curing, and meat-processing
plants. Its textile industry
produces cotton yarn
and engages in dyeing
. Agricultural chemicals
, farm implements, and pumping machinery
has a large thermal generating station linked by a power grid with the nearby industrial centres of
Zhuzhou and Xiangtan; the three cities were designated in the 1970s as
the nucleus of a major industrial complex.
A Pizzahut-Restaurant in Changsha
In the 1960s
there was some development of heavy
. The manufacture of machinery, especially machine
tools and precision tools, became important, and Changsha became a
center of China's aluminum
also has cement, rubber, ceramic, and papermaking plants and is a
centre for many types of traditional handicrafts, producing
leather goods, umbrellas, and buttons. Coal
is mined in the vicinity.
In 2008, Changsha's nominal GDP was ¥300.1 billion (US$43 billion),
a year-on-year growth of 15.1% from the previous year. Its per
capita GDP was ¥45,765 (US$6,589).
Changsha is one of China's top 20 "economically advanced" cities.
Its GDP has grown at an average of 14% per year from 2001-2005,
compared with the national average of 9%. During the year 2005, the
half of Changsha's GDP (at 49%), up 112% from 2001 figures, and it
is expected to continue driving the city's economic growth. Leading
to a disposable income for urban residents of 12,343 RMB annually.
The manufacturing and construction sectors have grown relatively
steadily, growing 116% during 2001-2005. The primary sector,
including agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry, and fishery, has
grown slightly over this same period. In addition, the consumer
market has grown dramatically with income levels. With a minimum
salary level of 600 RMB per month in comparison to Beijing 640 RMB
or Shanghai at 750 RMB per month. Urban residents in 2005 had
average income of about USD $1,500, 15% higher than national
average, and up 10% from 2001 figures.
The city has also attracted a tremendous amount of foreign
investment. In 2005, for example, nearly USD $1 billion worth of
foreign direct investment
(FDI) poured into the city, mainly in hi-tech, manufacturing, food
production, and services. This figure is up 40% from 2001.
the total FDI has come from Hong Kong, South
Korea, Singapore, and Japan; 28% has
come from the Americas and 9% from Europe.
Retail sales for Changsha in 2006 were
74 RMB per Billion Per Annum.
Along with economic growth, environmental pollution in Changsha has
become a serious problem, with rapidly increasing numbers of
private cars, construction fields everywhere, and numerous
industrial facilities on the outskirts of the city (2007).
In recent years, Changsha has become an important creative center
for TV and entertainment arts, with its many TV stations producing
some of the most popular programs in China, including Super Girl
, a Chinese female version of
the UK Pop Idol
or American Idol
that is the most watched program
ever to air on Chinese TV. These programs have also brought a new
entertainment industry, including singing bars, dance clubs,
theater shows, as well as related businesses like hair salons,
fashion stores, and hot spicy snacks at night(esp. in the summer
Changsha is home to the Lei Feng Jinianguan (Lei Feng
Memorial) and his statue.
In May 2008, the BBC broadcast, as part of its Storyville
documentary series, the four-part The Biggest Chinese
Restaurant in the World
, explores the inner workings of the
5000-seat capacity West Lake Restaurant (Xihu Lou Jiujia
located in Changsha.
Colleges and universities
Changsha was the seat of many ancient schools and academies.
It is the
site of Hunan
Medical University (1914) and has several colleges and institutes of
Note: Institutions without full-time bachelor programs are not
Changsha is the birthplace of:
Other famous people associated with the city:
Sister cities and friendship cities
Changsha has city partnerships
the following cities and regions:
- Arezzo, Italy
- Augsburg, Germany
- Fribourg, Switzerland
- Gumi, South
- Kagoshima, Japan
- Kimberley, South
- Mons, Belgium
- Puluolua, New Zealand
- Saint Paul, Minnesota USA