China travel guide


China Travel Guide

Suzhou History

Suzhou is one of the oldest towns in the Yangtze Basin, which dates back 2500 years. The earliest inhabitants or the region formed local tribes and called themselves as "Gou Wu". Years later, here flourished the celebrated Wu culture.

In 514 BC, during the Spring and Autumn Period, the Wu ruler founded a new capital in Suzhou naming it “the City of Helu”.
Suzhou History
In 473 BC Yue kingdom conquered Wu and the glorious era of Suzhou finished with this incident. There are some remnants of this period including a 2,500 years old city wall and the gate through the Pan Men.

In the Qin dynasty, the city was a County named Wu. In the Sui Dynasty, the city was renamed Suzhou.

Suzhou became an important industrial and commercial center of the south-east after the construction of the the Grand Canal. Its strategically location -a major trade route- transformed dramatically its situation.

The city was destructed in 1130 by the Jim army, in 1275 during the Mongol invasion, and in 1367 by the just founded Ming dynasty. Thereafter, the city enjoyed a prosperous time. Numerous beautiful private gardens were created by the Ming and Qing aristocracy. But Suzhou was again razed in 1860 when Taiping rebellion took the city.

In 1937 the city was captured by the Japanese army. During the occupation period many of the best gardens were completely destroyed. Since 1950s there have been several successful garden restorations.

In 1981 Suzhou was included in the list of Chinese cities with especial protection for its historical and cultural heritage as well as natural landscape, which have helped to the flourishing of city. In addition, the classical gardens of Suzhou are part of the list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1997.

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