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Hefei

Anhui Province       Huangshan

Hefei is the capital of Anhui province with the population of 1,380,000. The meaning of the name is "junction (of the) Fertility (River)". As a rapidly growing industrial city, it has textile mills, ironworks and steelworks, chemical and food processing plants, and a variety of other manufactures. It is a transportation hub, with rail links to major cities and industrial centers. In Hefei are Anhui Univ., a polytechnical university, a medical college, and agricultural and mining institutes. The city was formerly called Luzhou. It is situated in the center of Anhui Province, 130 km west of Nanjing,

History:
The name Hefei was first given to a county set up under the Han dynasty in the 2nd century BC. Because of its location on a mountain saddle between northern and southern states, Hefei was frequently fought over in the 4th to 11th centuries AD, and changed hands several times.

Hefei was a quiet market center at the time of Liberation in 1949, serving as a collection center for grain, beans, cotton, and hemp. Since then, it was made the capital of Anhui province, and it has become an industrial center through the development of a cotton mill, a thermal generating plant, chemical plants, an iron and steel complex, and an aluminum industry.

Culture:
One of the cultural highlights of Hefei is a temple dedicated to the memory of Magistrate Bao, a revered nobleman of the Song dynasty (999-1062).

Food:
Local specialties are freshwater crabs, cured Mandarin fish, and stewed turtle.

Folklore:
After a battle that took place at what is now Carefree Ferry Crossing Park in Hefei, legend has it that the leader of the defeated army fled the scene by leaping across the river on his horse.

Leisure Ford Park (Xiaoyaojin Park)

The contradictorily named Leisure Ford Park (Xiaoyaojin Park) is well known in modern China as a famous battlefield. Although history faithful to the truth is a little hard to track down, most accounts in China now go like this.

In the last years of the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 AD), a general called Sun Quan, afterwards to become king of the Wu Kingdom, led a troop of 100,000 soldiers towards Hefei, with plans to take the city. The city general, a subordinate of the famous Cao Cao, named Zhang Liao, had but 7,000 troops under his command. Troops were fearful and restless awaiting the onslaught that was sure to result in the sacking of the city. So Zhang thought he would try to even up the odds.

Taking almost all of his troops, Zhang initiated a night blitz upon the unprepared Sun barracks and the bloody battle that ensued was to eventually result in the rout of Sun's unprepared army. Sun is said to have escaped death by leaping the canal that ran beside the battlefield.

Nowadays the area has lost much of its charm. It was turned into a park this century, and now covers a total of 31.3 hectares. The park is an uninspiring thing that is probably only of interest to Chinese history lovers, botanists and sadistic zoologists. The zoo in the southeastern corner of the park is typical of China's zoos, with small cages and poor facilities. The western corner has bonsai, rare Chinese plants, rockeries as well as mock versions of traditional Chinese architecture. There are also three islets on the lake, that between them hold a cenotaph of general Zhang Liao, a statue of him seated upon his horse and a bridge that is said to be the spot that Sun Quan leapt to freedom.

Temple of Magistrate Bao

This temple was built on Xianghua Mound in Baohe Park in memory of Bao Zheng (999-1062) of the Northern Song Dynasty.

Born in Hefei, Bao Zheng was an honest official known as "Upright Magistrate Bao," who had once and his portrait carved on a stone, as well as relics unearthed from his tomb.

A well beside the temple is called "Upright Spring (Lianquan)," and it is said that corrupt officials of the town dared not drink the springwater.

The willow-lined Xianghua Mound is surrounded by water, in which water chestnuts and lotus flowers grow lavishly, and is connected to land by a bridge. Lotus roots flourish in the nearby Baohe River