Changsha City Guide
Changsha, the provincial capital of Hunan with an area of 11.8 thousand sq km and a population of 6.46 million, is a city with a long cultural history of 2000 years, early in the Spring and Autumn Period. Changsha was the hometown of many great figures in both ancient and modern history of China, including Qu Yuan, Jia Yi, Zhu Xi, Zeng Guouofan, Mao Zedong and Liu Shaoqi. Zeng Guofan participated in the elimination of the Taiping forces; the Westernization Movement launched and recovered Xinjiang and other activities. These activities in which Zeng Guofan participated made a profound impact on the late Qing Dynasty in China. Qing Dynasty to the early Republic of China, Changsha has become an important political and revolutionary area. Mao Zedong, founder of the People's Republic of China, also began his political career in Changsha.
Changsha also has rich historical heritages. Yuelu Academy is located on the east side of Yuelu Mountain in Changsha, on the west bank of the Xiang River. It was founded in 976 and was one of four most renowned academies. Over the last 1000 years in China, Yuelu Academy has been a famous institution of higher learning as well as a centre of academic activities and cultures since it was formally set up. Mawangdui is an archaeological site located in the eastern suburb of Changsha. The world famous Mawangdui Han Tombs is one of the most fascinating attractions in Hunan Province. According to the research this place was a family graveyard from at least two thousand years ago. The unearthed relics are extremely precious. All three tombs were excavated between 1972 and 1974. It is no exaggeration to say that the Mawangdui Han Tombs is an open book to the glorious West Han Dynasty (206BC-24).
Embroidery is well-known traditional handicraft of Hunan. Together with Suzhou, Guangdong and Sichuan embroidery, it forms the four noted kinds of embroidery made by the Han people. Changsha, the center of Hunan cuisine, is also a nationally renowned cuisine city. Hunan cuisine is one of eight regional cuisines of China. Known for its liberal use of chilli peppers, shallots and garlic. Another feature of Hunan cuisine is that the menu changes with the seasons. In a hot and humid summer, a meal will usually start with cold dishes or a platter holding a selection of cold meats with chilies for keeping cool in the summer. In winter, a popular choice is the hot pot, thought to heat the blood in the cold months. A special hot pot called lover's hot pot is notable for splitting the pot into a spicy side and a milder side.