Located in the mid-western part of Shandong Province, Jinan, also called "the city of springs", is a beautiful city famous for a large number of springs.
Jinan is a large city in terms of economy and population on China`s east coast. As the capital of Shandong Province, Jinan has been publicized by the State Council as a famous historical and cultural city. It is among the first batch tourist cities in China. In addition, Jinan has been approved by the state as a sub provincial city and open coastal city. All in all, Jinan, a city full of vigor and vitality, is marching towards modernization.
Located at latitude 36"40` and longitude 11"70`, Jinan has Mount Tai, which is included in the list of "world`s natural legacy" on the south, while on its north is the Yellow River, which is called "the mother river of the Chinese people." Lying at the juncture of the Beijing-Shanghai and Qingdao-Jinan railways, Jinan has convenient transport facilities and superior geographical location.
Jinan has a total area of 8,177 square kilometers, among which urban area covers 3,258 square kilometers. Jinan is high in the south and low in the north. Low hills, slope plain at the foot of hills and the alluvial plain of the Yellow River lie in a proper order from south to north.
Jinan municipality governs 6 districts (Lixia, Shizhong, Huaiyin, Tianqiao, Licheng, and Changqing), 3 counties (Pingyin, Jiyang, and Shanghe), and one county-level city (Zhangqiu). Under the administration of these are 54 street offices, 64 towns, 28 townships, 417 residents` committees, and 4,677 administrative villages.
Jinan is located in the north-western part of Shandong province at 36° 40′ northern latitude and 116° 57′ east of Greenwich. In the relief of the region, the city occupies a transition zone between the northern foothills of the Taishan Massif to the south of the city and the valley of the Yellow River to the north. Karst aquifers in limestone formations sloping down from the south to the north give rise to many artesian springs in the city center as well as in surrounding areas.
Jinan lies between a humid subtropical and humid continental climate (Köppen Cwa/Dwa) with four well-defined seasons. The city is dry and nearly rainless in spring, hot and rainy in summer, crisp in autumn and dry and cold in winter. The average annual temperature is >14.6 °C >(58.3 °F), and the annual precipitation is around slightly above 670 millimetres (26.4 in), with a strong summer maximum, and higher variability from year to year. January is the coldest and driest month, with a mean temperature of >?0.4 °C >(31.3 °F) and 5.7 millimetres (0.22 in) of equivalent rainfall; snow occasionally falls but rarely in heavy bouts. July is the warmest and wettest month, the corresponding numbers are >27.5 °C >(81.5 °F), and 201.3 mm (7.93 in).
Due to the mountains to the south of the city, temperature Inversions are common occurrences, occurring on about 200 days per year.
At the end of 2001, Jinan had a registered population of 5.69 million. The population density is 696 persons per square kilometer. 98.31 per cent of the people who live here are of the Han ethnic group, while 1.62 per cent are of the Hui ethnic groups, and only a very few are of other minority ethnic groups.
Language and culture
Local residents in the city proper, as well as in the surrounding areas, have traditionally spoken the Jinan dialect of Mandarin that is not readily understood even by native speakers of standard Mandarin. The younger people of Jinan are more likely to speak standard Mandarin, whereas many older residents retain strong local dialect elements in their speech. Nevertheless, even the younger residents of Jinan tend to retain a strong local accent and mix local vocabulary into the standardized Mandarin vocabulary. Due to the influx of migrant workers during the past decade of China`s economic boom, many of the current population that are of working age are not natives of Jinan but have learned to understand the Jinan dialect.
Jinan has its own cuisine, the Jinan style of the Lu cuisine, one of the Eight Culinary Traditions of China.
With the shift of the Yellow River to a new bed right to the north of Jinan (in 1852) and the establishment of a railroad hub, the city became a major market for agricultural products from the productive farming regions to the north. Following the trade in agricultural goods, the city developed a textile and clothing industry, flour mills, oil presses, as well as factories producing paper, cement, and matches. In the 1950s, large iron and steel works as well as chemical factories were established around Jinan. The large metal works produce pig iron, ingot steel, as well as finished steel. In 2008, steel manufacturing was restructured with the formation of the Shandong Iron and Steel Group. In the 1970s, factories for the production of trucks and construction vehicles (Sinotruk) were added.
Jinan has a pool of high-quality labor resources. There are 18 universities and colleges in the city where more than 200,000 students are studying. Among the 200+ research institutes in the city, 10 are national laboratories.
The focus on technology intensive industries has transformed Jinan from a city supported by heavy industry and textiles to a city with more diverse industrial structure. Information Technology, transportation tools, home appliances, and bio-engineered products, among others, have become important components of the area`s industry. Jinan`s IT-related economic output was ranked to be in the fourth place nationally in 2004.
Jinan is positioned at the intersection of two major railways: The Jinghu Railway that runs from Beijing to Shanghai is the major north-south backbone of the railway system in eastern China. In Jinan, it intersects with the Jiaoji Railway that connects Jinan to the sea port of Qingdao to the east. In addition, the Hanji Railway connects Jinan to the city of Handan (Hebei Province) in the west. Within Shandong province, the Jinghu Railway connects Jinan with the cities of Dezhou, Tai`an, Jining, and Zaozhuang; the Jiaoji Railway provides a link to the cities of Zibo, Qingdao, and Weifang; the Hanji Railway serves the cities of Yancheng and Liaocheng.
Major expressways include China National Highway 104, China National Highway 220, and China National Highway 309. Because of Jinan`s location and role as a road and rail transportation hub, the Jinan Coach Terminus has one of the largest passenger flows in China. On peak travel days, as many as 92,000 passengers per day have been counted, on off-peak days the number is around 42,000 passengers per day.
Jinan Yaoqiang International Airport is located about 33 kilometers northeast of the city center and to the north of the town of Yaoqiang from which the name of the airport is derived. The airport is connected to the city of center of Jinan by expressways. It has domestic flights to many of the major cities in China as well as to international destinations, in particular Seoul and Singapore.
Jinan is renowned across China for its numerous springs, the lakes fed by the spring water, and the weeping willows that grow along the water edges. The late-Qing author Liu E describes Jinan`s cityscape in his novel "The Travels of Lao Can" (老残游记, written 1903–04, published in 1907) as "Every family has spring water, every household has a willow tree". Jinan was also the historical center of Buddhist culture for the whole province which is still manifest in the many historic sites that are left behind in its southern counties.
>Springs and lakes
Jinan is known as the "City of Springs" because of the large number of natural artesian springs. The majority of the springs, many of which have been historically listed under the "72 Famous Springs" (七十二名泉) are concentrated in the downtown district and flow north to converge in Daming Lake. The Baotu Spring Park is the most popular of the springs in the City of Jinan proper. Besides the Baotu Spring, the park contains several other springs that are listed among the "72 Famous Springs". "Bào tū" (趵突) means "jumping and leaping" in Chinese. The water in the spring pool can be seen foaming and gushing, looking like a pot of boiling water. The spring was visited by the Emperor Qian Long (1711–1799) of the Qing Dynasty who declared it "the first spring under the heaven" (Chinese: >天下第一泉; pinyin: tiān xià dì yī quán). A tablet with the Emperor`s handwriting "Baotu Spring" has since been erected beside the spring pool.
Not far away to the northeast of Baotu Spring Park is the Daming Lake, which, together with Baotu Spring and the Thousand-Buddha Mountain (千佛山) is often regarded as the "Three Greatest Attractions in Jinan". Other notable parks in the city include the Five Dragon Pool (五龙潭) near the Baotu Spring Park, the Black Tiger Spring (黑虎泉) on the southern city moat, and the Baimai Springs (百脉泉) of Zhangqiu City to the east of Jinan.
Sacred Heart Cathedral
Historic Buddhist sites are particularly common in Licheng County to the south-east of the city center of Jinan. The Four Gates Pagoda (四门塔), built in 661, is the oldest existing one-story stone tower in China. The pagoda houses four Buddhist statues dating from the 6th century, and the Cypress tree (九顶松) standing next to the pagoda is more than 1000 years old. Below the hill on which pagoda stands lie the remnants of the Shentong Temple (神通寺), which was founded in the 4th century but was destroyed in the wars of later dynasties. The funerary stelae of monks from the temple which date from different historic periods display remarkable artistic features. The statues in the nearby Thousand-Buddha Cliff (千佛崖) form one of the best collections of Tang Dynasty Buddhist statues in the region.
The Lingyan Temple in the southern county of Changqing was one of the four most famous temples (四大名刹) of the Tang Dynasty. The temple was founded during the Jin Dynasty and reached its heyday during the Tang and Song Dynasties. During the Tang Dynasty, the famous monk Xuan Zang stayed in the temple and translated Buddhist manuscripts he had brought to China from India. Many emperors in Chinese history visited the temple before they went to Mount Tai (one of China`s five sacred mountains, located south of Jinan) for ceremonies. The clay sculptures of Buddhas made in the Song Dynasty are considered as "The Best of China" by the great scholar and journalist Liang Qichao (1873–1929). Buddhist architectures within the temple such as pagodas and tomb stelae are among the earliest and best protected in the region.
>Museums and libraries
The Shandong Provincial Museum located at the foothill of Thousand-Buddha Mountain is the largest museum in the province. It has a large collection of natural as well as historical treasures from the whole province. The museum was established in its present form in 1982 and currently has 8 exhibition halls : "Treasures of Shandong Province"; "Stone Sculptures"; "Warship of the Ming Dynasty"; "Ancient Coins"; "Art Treasures"; "Fossil Collections"; "Dinosaurs"; and "Specimens". The museum has more than 210,000 relics and specimens, making up 1/3 of the collections in museums of whole province. The Shandong Provincial Museum has been ranked No. 7 in terms of collection size among the museums of China.
The Jinan Municipal Museum is located at the south-western foot of the Thousand-Buddha Mountain, in the north of the city center. Although much smaller than the provincial museum, the municipal museum still houses a collection of more than 20,000 items, most of which were recovered in the city area.
The Shandong Provincial Library in the eastern High-tech Park (address: 2912 Second Ring East Road) is the principal library of the province and is ranked among the Top 10 Chinese libraries. As of 2004, the library had more than 5.18 million documents, many of which date back many centuries and are important sources for research on Chinese history. The library also has a large collection of western journals/books. Originally, the library was built close to Daming Lake in 1909 by the then governor of Shandong. In the late 1990s, a project was undertaken to move the library to the eastern part of the city, and it reopened in 2002 with 35 reading rooms and more than 2000 seats.
Spring City Road
Inzone Shopping Center
Most shopping malls in Jinan are in the downtown area centered around Spring City Square (泉城广场) and Spring City Road (泉城路). Spring City Square was built by the municipal government beside the city moat in the early 21st century; at the center is the statue "Spring" which has become a symbol of Jinan. The square borders on the ancient city moat. It has a music fountain, a 46,000 square meter underground shopping center and a memorial hall with statues of famous people from Shandong.
Spring City Road was rebuilt at the same time that Spring City Square was created. The government`s intention was to create a modern business district and yet preserve the traditional Chinese culture. Therefore newly-built shopping malls with traditional Chinese architectural styles and modern western skyscrapers can be found side-by-side along Spring City Road. Notable retail businesses are Quancheng Bookstore – the largest bookstore of the city – and Walmart (near the western end of Spring City Road). Major shopping malls along the road are the Guihe Shopping Center (贵和商厦), the Sofitel Silver Plaza, and the Wanda Shopping Mall (万达集团). In December 2007, construction started on the Jinan Hang Lung Plaza (济南恒隆广场) to the south of Spring City Road (opposite of Water Lily Street), which is projected to become Jinan`s largest shopping mall with six levels of retail space and a total gross floor area of 150,000 square meters.
Jinan City carries out a strategy of developing the city by relying on science and education. In 2001 Jinan scored 200 scientific and technological achievements, among which 71 have reached the international level. Expenditures on scientific research reached 47.9 million yuan, an increase of 18.6 per cent above the previous year. Altogether there were 46 technological centers incorporated by enterprises, among which 8 are state-level and 14 are provincial-level. Furthermore, 39 high tech enterprises were newly approved, an increase of 56 per cent over the previous year.
Education is thriving in Jinan, which ranks among the most advanced cities nationwide in terms of quality-oriented elementary, secondary, and adult education, including 20 institutes of higher learning and 26 polytechnic schools. In 2001, the numbers of students enrolled in regular institutes of higher learning and polytechnic schools hit 125,700 and 49,000 respectively.
>>Universities and colleges
>>Shandong University (山东大学)
>>Shandong Normal University (山东师范大学)
>>Qilu Normal University (齐鲁师范学院, formerly Shandong Educational Institute: 山东教育学院)
>>Shandong Architectural Institute (山东建筑大学)
>>Shandong Jiaotong University (山东交通学院)
>>Shandong Economic University (山东经济学院)
>>Shandong University of Finance (山东财政学院)
>>Shandong University of Chinese Traditional Medicine (山东中医药大学)
>>Shandong University of Arts (山东艺术学院)
>>Shandong College of Arts and Design (山东工艺美术学院)
>>Shandong Physical Education Institute (山东体育学院)
>>University of Jinan (济南大学)
>>Shandong College of Electronic Technology (山东电子职业技术学院)
>>Jinan Railway Polytechnic (济南铁道职业技术学院)
>Provincial high schools
Shandong Experimental High School (山东省实验中学)
Senior High School Attached to Shandong Normal University (山东师范大学附属中学)
Jinan No.1 High School (济南市第一中学)
Jinan Foreign Language School (济南市外国语学校)
Jinan Li Cheng No.2 High School (济南历城二中)
International schools Jinan EtonHouse International School (济南伊顿幼儿园)
Medical services within Jinan City have developed remarkably. By the end of 2001, Jinan boasted 1,414 institutes of public health, including 125 hospitals with an employment of 35,790 people engaged in various medical fields. In addition, the sanitation, anti-epidemic, and emergency treatment networks are being augmented. 120 Emergency Treatment Line offer professional emergency treatment for patients. At the present time, the overall healthy target level for both the urban and rural people of Jinan ranks in the forefront among the large cities in China.
The living of Jinan people is varied and colorful. In 2001, the average per capita disposable income of urban people here was 8,607 yuan, an increase of 12.9 per cent over the previous year; while the average per capita net income of the farming population was 3,215.7 yuan, a 5.5 per cent increase. The total balance of savings of the urban people was 53.46 billion yuan, and the average per capita housing area was 10.7 square meters.
After gaining prosperity, the Jinan people attach great importance to improving their living quality. Traditional Chinese festivals, such as the Spring Festival, Lantern Festival, Mid-Autumn Festival, and Double Nine Festival make the living of Jinan people varied and colorful.