Lanzhou, the capital city in Gansu, is the political, economic and educational center in the province, and besides it is also a key transportation hinge in Northwest China. Lanzhou is adjacent to the continuous mountains in the south and north and the Yellow River runs through the city from the east to west. The city covers an area of 13,086 square kilometers and has a population of 2,830,000. There are five districts and three counties under its jurisdiction. Lanzhou is the ideal location to travel and experience tours.
Lanzhou is located on the semiarid monsoon climatic zone. The weather here is featured by large temperature differences and less rainfall. The climate is suitable for the growth of fruits and melons; hence Lanzhou is also called “Fruit and Melon City.” The Bailan Melon, Yellow River honeydew melons and Lanzhou black melon seeds etc. all enjoy nationwide reputations.
Lanzhou was an important city on ancient Silk Road. The long history, unique places of interest and various ethnic customs form the rich tourism resources in Lanzhou. The Silk Road Tourist District, with its center in Lanzhou, includes many famous historical sites, such as Mogao Caves in Dunhuang, Labrang Monastery in Xiahe and Bingling Temple in Yongjing etc. There are also lots of attractions in Lanzhou City. For example, Zhongshan Iron Bridge is called “The First Bridge on the Yellow River.” Xinglong Mountain is considered to be the most famous mountain in Gansu Province.
Tulu Valley, Shifo Valley and Xujia Mountain are all national forest parks. In recent years, Lanzhou offers the “The Yellow River Traveling Route”, which combines the Silk Road Culture, Yellow River Culture and National Culture together. Now the route becomes the symbol of Lanzhou as well as a popular line among tourists.
Ever since the Neolithic Age, this place had been the habitat of our ancestors. They raised themselves by hunting and planting. Majiayao, Banshan and Qijia cultures were great treasures they had left.
In Xia, Shang and Zhou dynasties, Qiang and Rong groups lived there. In the Chinese legendary, Yandi, also known as Shennong, was the God of Qiang people.
Lanzhou was first built as a city in 86 BC. It is recorded that people excavated gold when they were building the city thus it was called Jincheng (which means the city of gold in Chinese). In Han and Wei-Jin time, this region was called Jincheng County. It was in Sui dynasty that Jincheng were replaced by Lanzhou. This was the first time that Lanzhou was recorded into documents. In later period, the name of the region had changed several times between Jincheng County and Lanzhou, however, the organizational structure was kept till today.
From Han dynasty to Tang-Song period, Lanzhou gradually became an important transport hub as well as commercial port on the Silk Road. It closely connected people from central plain area with the minority groups in the West Region.