ChengDe Travel Guide

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LIttle Potala Palace

LIttle Potala Palace

R. Zhao

Chengde, lying in the northeast of Hebei Province, is close to Beijing, about 230 kilometers (140 miles) away, Tianjin, Tangshan and Qinhuangdao. The topography of Chengde is mainly divided into plateau and mountainous regions, including Yanshan, Yinshan and Qilaotushan mountains, as well as the Luanhe, Liaohe, Chaobaihe and Yixunhe rivers flowing through the city.

Chengde, originally called Rehe was once the summer resort capital of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). It holds rich culture related to this history as well as many historic relics dating as far back as the Neolithic Age in this city. Ethnic groups such as Xiongnu, Xianbei, Qidan, Nvzhen, and Mongolian once led a nomadic existence in this region from the Qin (221BC-206) to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

As one of the first famous historic and cultural cities of the nation, Chengde has plenty of sceneries, with some of them being renowned both at home and abroad. The Mountain Resort and Eight Outer Temples are listed as the world cultural heritage sites, which have contributed towards Chengde being one of famous cities in the world.


In 1703, Chengde was chosen by the Kangxi Emperor as the location for his summer residence. Constructed throughout the eighteenth century, the Mountain Resort (避暑山庄; literally "avoiding the heat mountain villa") was used by both the Yongzheng and Qianlong emperors. Since the seat of government followed the emperor, Chengde was a political center of the Chinese empire during these times.

The elaborate Mountain Resort features large parks with lakes, pagodas, and palaces ringed by a wall. Outside the wall are the Eight Outer Temples (外八庙), built in varying architectural styles drawn from throughout China. The best-known of these is the Putuo Zongcheng Temple, built to resemble the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. The resort and outlying temples were made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. The nearby Puning Temple, built in 1755, houses the world's tallest wooden statue of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara.

Chengde's older name of Rehe (or Jehol) came from the name for the local river (热河; Pinyin: Rèhé) which translates as "hot river." The river was so named because it did not freeze in the winter. Most sections of the river are currently dry because of a new damming project.

Another popular attraction of the Chengde area is Sledgehammer Peak (磬锤峰), a large rock formation in the shape of an inverted sledgehammer. A variety of other mountains, valleys, and grasslands lie within the borders of the city.


Part or or all of this text stems from the original article at: "http://www.travelchinaguide.com/cityguides/hebei/chengde/"&"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chengde"

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June 15, 2008 new by mumubai (1 point)

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