Historical Capitals of China
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Historical Capitals of China

There are traditionally four historical capitals of China, collectively referred to as the "Four Great Ancient Capitals of China" (; ; Zh?ngguó Sì Dà G? D?). The four are Beijing, Nanjing, Luoyang and Xi'an (Chang'an).

List of historical capitals of China

Historical capitals of China before the 20th century
Historical capitals of China from the 20th century onwards
Sorted in alphabetical order
  • Acheng District of the city of Benijing was the capital of the Jin dynasty from 1115 to 1153. It was called Shangjing (; Shàngj?ng; 'Upper Capital') or Huining Prefecture at the time. It was destroyed in 1157 and reestablished as a secondary capital in 1173.
  • Anyang was the capital of the Shang dynasty (1600 BC - 1046 BC) at its peak. It was called Yin (?; Y?n).
  • Beijing (also romanised Peking), literally meaning "Northern Capital", previously also known as Beiping, was the capital of various dynasties and regional regimes, including:
  • The state of Yan (11th century BC - 222 BC) in the Zhou dynasty, when it was called Ji (?; ?; ).
  • The short-lived regional kingdom of Yan (911-914) established by Liu Shouguang during Five Dynasties period.
  • The Liao dynasty (907-1125), when it was a secondary capital called Yanjing (; Y?nj?ng; 'Capital of Yan'). (Liao Lang is used as another name for Dadu during Yuan dynasty. The city is called Nanjing (, not to be confused with city in Jiangsu) in Liao dynasty due to the southerly location.)
  • The Jurchen Jin dynasty, from the 1160s to 1215, when it was called Zhongdu ("Central Capital").
  • The Yuan dynasty (1271-1368), when it was called Dadu (; Dàd?; 'Great Capital') in Chinese,[1]Daidu (direct translation from Chinese) in Mongolian, and Khanbaliq ("city of the Khan") in the Turkic languages. Marco Polo called it Cambuluc.
  • The Ming dynasty, from 1403 to 1644, when it was called Shuntian Prefecture (; ; Shùnti?n F?) and then later simply as Jingshi (; ; J?ngsh?; 'Capital').
  • The Qing dynasty, from 1644 to 1912.
  • The Beiyang government of the Republic of China, from 1912 to 1927.
  • The capital of the People's Republic of China since 1949.
  • Changchun or (Japanese: Shinky?, Mandarin: X?nj?ng, literally New Capital) was the capital of Manchuria during the Japanese occupation in WWII, then named Manchukuo.
  • Chengdu was the capital city of various regional kingdoms in ancient China:
  • Chongqing (also romanised Chungking) was the capital city of Ba State during Warring States period. Ming Yuzhen, the rebellion leader during the transition time between Yuan and Ming dynasties, established the Xia kingdom and set the capital city in Chongqing. Chongqing was also the provisional capital of the Nationalist government of the Republic of China during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945), and briefly the seat of the Nationalist government in late 1949 towards the end of the Chinese Civil War.
  • Datong was the capital of the Northern Wei dynasty from AD 398 to 493.
  • Guangzhou (also romanised Canton) was the capital of:
  • Hangzhou (also romanised Hangchou or Hangchow) was the capital of:
  • Luoyang was the capital of various dynasties, including:
  • Nanjing (also romanised Nanking), literally meaning "Southern Capital", was the capital of various dynasties and governments, including:
  • All the Six Dynasties from AD 220 to 589, when it was called Jianye (; Jiànyè) or Jiankang (; Jiànk?ng). The Six Dynasties were:

Chronology

Dynasty / Government Capital Period Notes
Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors Nüwa
Youchao
Suiren
Zhurong
Fuxi Chen
?
c. 2852-2737 BC
Shennong / Yan Emperor Lu
?
c. 2737-2699 BC
Yellow Emperor Xuanyuan
c. 2699-2588 BC
Taihao Wanqiu
Shaohao Qiongsang
c. 2587-2491 BC
Gonggong
Zhuanxu Gaoyang
c. 2490 BC - 25th century BC
Diqiu
c. 25th century BC - 2413 BC
Ku Diqiu
c. 2412 BC - 24th century BC
Bo
?
c. 24th century BC - 2343 BC
Zhi Qinghua
c. 2343-2333 BC
Yao Pingyang
c. 2333-2234 BC
Shun Puban
c. 2233-2184 BC
Xia dynasty Daxia
Gun
Song
?
Yangcheng
Yu[2]
Yangzhai
Yu, Qi, Taikang
Chu
?
Hou Yi
Qiongshi
Hou Yi, Hanzhuo
Zhen
?
Taikang, Zhongkang
Diqiu
Xiang, Shaokang
Yuan
?
Zhu
Laoqiu
Zhu to Jiong
Xihe
Jin to Fa
Zhen
?
Jie
Henan
Jie[3]
Shang dynasty Bo
?
Tang[3]
Fan
?
Xie
Dishi
Zhaoming
Shang
?
Zhaoming
Shangqiu
Xiangtu
Foot of Mount Tai
Xiangtu
Shangqiu
Xiangtu
Yin
?
Shanghou
Shangqiu
Yinhou
Bo
"?"?
Tang
Xiao
?
Zhongding
Xiang
?
Hedanjia
Xing
?
Zuyi
Bi
?
Zuyi
Yan
?
Nangeng
Yin
?
Pangeng
Zhou dynasty Western Zhou dynasty Zongzhou
1046 BC - 771 BC Western capital
Chengzhou
1046 BC - 771 BC Eastern capital
Eastern Zhou dynasty Chengzhou
770 BC - 367 BC
Henan
367 BC - 256 BC capital of the Western Zhou State
Gong
?
367 BC - 249 BC capital of the Eastern Zhou State
Qin dynasty Xiquanqiu
Pingyang
- 677 BC
Yong
?
677 BC -
Jingyang
- 383 BC
Yueyang
383 BC - 250 BC
Xianyang
350 BC - 207 BC
Han dynasty Western Han dynasty Luoyang
202 BC
Yueyang
202 BC - 200 BC
Chang'an
200 BC - 8 BC
Xin dynasty Chang'an
AD 8-23
Han dynasty Eastern Han dynasty Luoyang
AD 25-190
Chang'an
191-195
Xu
?
196-220
Three Kingdoms period Cao Wei Luoyang
220-265
Shu Han Chengdu
221-263
Eastern Wu Jianye
227-279
Jin dynasty Western Jin dynasty Luoyang
265-313
Chang'an
313-316
Eastern Jin dynasty Jiankang
317-420
Northern dynasties Northern Wei Pingcheng
386-493
Luoyang
493-534
Ye
?
534-550 capital of Eastern Wei
Chang'an
535-557 capital of Western Wei
Northern Qi Ye
?
550-577
Northern Zhou Chang'an
557-581
Southern dynasties Liu Song dynasty Jiankang
420-479
Southern Qi Jiankang
479-502
Liang dynasty Jiankang
502-557
Chen dynasty Jiankang
557-589
Sui dynasty Dongdu
581-618
Daxing
581-618 auxiliary capital
Tang dynasty Chang'an
618-690
Luoyang
657-690 auxiliary capital
Wu Zetian's Zhou dynasty Luoyang
690-705
Tang dynasty Chang'an
705-904
Luoyang
705-736 auxiliary capital
Luoyang
904-907
Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period Later Liang Dongdu
907-923
Later Tang Dongdu
923-936
Later Jin Dongjing
936-947
Later Han Dongjing
947-950
Later Zhou Dongjing
951-960
Song dynasty Northern Song dynasty Dongjing
960-1127
Southern Song dynasty Nanjing
1127-1129 After the fall of Dongjing, Zhao Gou declares himself Emperor Gaozong in Henan
Yangzhou
1129-1130 Flight of Emperor Gaozong during the Jin invasion of the Yangtze Delta in 1129-1130.
Zhenjiang
Lin'an
Yuezhou
Mingzhou
Dinghai
Off the coast Taizhou, Wenzhou
"?"
Zhang'an
Yuezhou
Lin'an
1130-1276 Song court settles in Lin'an for 146 years
Fuzhou
1276-1277 Flight of Emperor Duanzong along the southeast coast following the fall of Lin'an in 1276.
Guangzhou
1277-1278
Guanfuchang
1278
Gangzhou
Emperor Bingzong succeeds Duanzong on Lantau Island in modern Hong Kong
Yashan
1278-1279 Song court makes last stand off the coast of Yashan
Liao dynasty Shangjing
907-1120
Nanjing
1122-1123
Tokmok
1134-1218
Jin dynasty Shangjing
1115-1153
Zhongdu
1153-1214
Nanjing
1214-1234
Western Xia Xingqing
1038-1227
Yuan dynasty
Shangdu
May 1264 - 1267
Dadu
1267[4] - August 1368
Shangdu
August 1368 - 1369
Ming dynasty Nanjing
23 January 1368 - 2 February 1421
Beijing
2 February 1421 - 25 April 1644
Nanjing
1644 - 1645
Fuzhou
1645 - 1646
Zhaoqing
1646 - 25 April 1662
Later Jin Feiala
1587-1603
Hetuala
?
1603-1619
Jiefan
1619 - September 1620
Sarhu
September 1620 - April 1621
Dongjing
April 1621 - 11 April 1625
Shengjing
11 April 1625 - 1636
Qing dynasty Shengjing
1636 - 30 October 1644
Beijing
30 October 1644[5] - 12 February 1912[6]
Republic of China Nanjing
1 January 1912 - 2 April 1912 Provisional Government
Beijing
2 April 1912 - 30 May 1928 Beiyang government[6]
Fengtian
30 May 1928 - 29 December 1928 Beiyang government
Guangzhou
1 July 1925 - 21 February 1927 Guangzhou Nationalist Government
Wuhan
21 February 1927 - 19 August 1927 Wuhan Nationalist Government[7]
Nanjing
18 April 1927 - 20 November 1937 the Nanjing decade[6]
Luoyang
29 Jan 1932 - 1 December 1932
Beijing
9 September 1930 - 23 September 1930 Beiping Nationalist Government
Taiyuan
23 September 1930 - 4 November 1930 Beiping Nationalist Government
Guangzhou
28 May 1931 - 22 December 1931 Guangzhou Nationalist Government
Chongqing
21 November 1937 - 5 May 1946 during the Second Sino-Japanese War[6]
Nanjing
30 March 1940 - 10 August 1945 Wang Jingwei Government
Nanjing
5 May 1946 - 1 May 1991 From 23 April 1949 to 1 May 1991, Nanjing was the claimed capital of the Republic of China
Guangzhou
23 April 1949 - 14 October 1949 during the Chinese Civil War
Chongqing
14 October 1949 - 30 November 1949 during the Chinese Civil War
Chengdu
30 November 1949 - 27 December 1949 during the Chinese Civil War
Xichang
27 December 1949 - 27 March 1950 during the Chinese Civil War
Taipei
10 December 1949 - Present Capital
People's Republic of China Beijing
1 October 1949 - Present

See also

References

  1. ^ Denis Twitchett, Herbert Franke, John K. Fairbank, in The Cambridge History of China: Volume 6, Alien Regimes and Border States (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), p 454.
  2. ^ . [2003] (2003). . ?. ISBN 986-7938-17-8, ISBN 978-986-7938-17-6.
  3. ^ a b Bamboo annals Xia chapter on Xia Jie under the name Gui (?).
  4. ^ Kenneth Pletcher (2010) "The History of China", page 173 ISBN 1615301097
  5. ^ William T. Rowe (2009) "China's Last Empire: The Great Qing", page 19 ISBN 0674036123
  6. ^ a b c d Esherick, Joseph. [2000] (2000). Remaking the Chinese City: Modernity and National Identity, 1900-1950. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 0-8248-2518-7.
  7. ^ Clark, Anne Biller. Clark, Anne Bolling. Klein, Donald. Klein, Donald Walker. [1971] (1971). Harvard Univ. Biographic Dictionary of Chinese communism. Original from the University of Michigan v.1. Digitized Dec 21, 2006. p 134.

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