Jingdezhen Travel Guide
Jingdezhen (jǐng dé zhèn 景德镇), known as the "Porcelain Capital" of China, has a long history and a magnificent culture. It is located on the south of the Yangtze, between the Huangshan Mountain (huáng shān 黄山) range and the plains of Poyang Lake (pó yáng hú 鄱阳湖). It is one of the four famous towns in Chinese history, designated one of the first 24 famous Chinese cities of historical and cultural interests and a first-rate city opening to the foreigners by China's State Council.
Jingdezhen , is a prefecture-level city, previously a town, in Jiangxi Province, China, with a total population of 1,554,000 (2007). It is known as the "Porcelain Capital" because it has been producing quality pottery for 1700 years. The city has a well-documented history that stretches back over 2000 years.
Traditional Woodblock: Painting of the CupsDuring the Han Dynasty, Jingdezhen's name was Xinpin. Historical records show that it was during time that it began to make porcelain. Xinpin then was renamed Changnanzhen (Changnan Town) during the Northern Song Dynasty. It took the era name of the emperor during whose reign its porcelain production first rose to fame. In 1004 CE, during the North Song Dynasty, Changnanzhen changed its name to Jingdezhen.
In the Ming and Qing dynasties, Jingdezhen was named one of four famous towns in Chinese history, along with Foshan (Guangdong Province), Hankou (Hubei Province) and Zhuxianzhen (Henan Province).
In the 19th century, Jingdezhen became a county. During the period of the People's Republic of China it became a provincial city but retained the Jingdezhen name. Usually when a town is upgraded to a city, the designation of "city" replaces that of "town", but Jingdezhen retained its name to honor its history.
Jingdezhen was named one of top 24 national historical and cultural cities of the People's Republic of China on February 28, 1982.
In 2004, Jingdezhen celebrated the millennium of its becoming the porcelain capital and its assuming its present name.
Jingdezhen is situated in the north-east of Jiangxi Province of China and neighbours Anhui; the city center area is located in the north-east of the Poyang Lake Plain. Its area is 5,256 km. The highest point is 1,618 metres, with plains on the southern part with an average height of 200 metres.
There are some cities and counties between Jiangxi and Anhui Province around Jingdezhen. To its north, northwest and northeast are Dongzhi, Xiuning and Qimen County of Anhui Province. To its south are Wannian County and Yiyang County. To its west is Boyang County. Lastly, to its southeast are Wuyuan County and Dexing County-level City of Jiangxi Province.
Jingdezhen's natural resources include kaolin, coal, manganese, and lime, but it is the kaolin that has made the city famous in China and the world. For over a millennium, its unique kaolin has enabled Jingdezhen to make high-quality porcelain.
Jingdezhen has a subtropical monsoon climate, with four distinct seasons of a year. It is cool and comfortable in spring and autumn, very hot in summer with the extreme maximum temperature of above 40 degrees celsius, and very cold in winter with the extreme minimum temperature of below -5 degrees Celsius.
Porcelain workshop in Jingdezhen
Early Kangxi 17th Century, Jingdezhen Ware, Nantoyōsō Collection, JapanJingdezhen's porcelain has been famous not only in China but in time it became known internationally for being "as thin as paper, as white as jade, as bright as a mirror, and as sound as a bell". The late Guo Moruo, a senior official who was also a famous historian and scholar of PRC wrote a poem that says (in translation): "China is well known in the world for its porcelain, and Jingdezhen is the most well-known centre, with the highest quality porcelain in China".
Most Jingdezhen porcelain is valued by collectors of antique porcelain throughout the world. According to media reports, a blue and white porcelain jar produced in Jingdezhen during the Yuan Dynasty was auctioned for the equivalent of RMB 230,000,000 yuan in London， UK in July 12, 2005. This was the highest price achieved by a piece of porcelain in the history of all porcelain auctions of the world. The reason for the high price is experts believe that the blue and white Yuan Dynasty porcelain has a dominant position in the history of Chinese ceramics. It represents the pinnacle of the development of Chinese blue and white porcelain
During the Cultural Revolution, Jingdezhen produced a large number of porcelain badges and statues of a seated Mao Zedong.
The trade empire that burgeoned outward from Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou during the Ming Dynasty relied on tea, silk, gold, silver and ceramics. We've all heard of "Ming vases" before; perhaps we've even seen them, locked away in the high glass cases of the world's foremost art museums. Those vases - and much more - came from Jingdezhen, the capital of Chinese ceramics ever since the time of the Han Dynasty. Jingde porcelain is "as white as jade, as thin as paper, as sound as a bell and as bright as a mirror."
In the first year in the reign of the Song Dynasty emperor Jingde(1004), the royal court decreed that all porcelain wares made in that city for imperial use would be printed on the bottom with "made during the reign of Jingde"; thus, the city became "Jingde town (Jingdezhen)." From that time forward, emperors personally sent officials to Jingdezhen to supervise the manufacture of royal porcelain. They set up the Porcelain Office and built the royal kiln, which produced a great many wonderful ceramic articles and specialized in those styles for which Chinese porcelain is famous: blue and white, famille rose, rice-pattern and multicolor glaze. Chairman Mao's porcelainware came from Jingde, and it's gone farther than that; one can find Jingde pieces in many of the wealthiest houses in the world.
After you've finished perusing the endless selection of new porcelain wares available on the Jingde market, you can always delve into the history of the art - modern Jingde is surrounded by ancient ceramic factory ruins, such as the famous ancient ceramic factory of Kaolin, the ancient kiln of Hutian, the ruin of the royal kilns in the Ming and Qing Dynasty and so on.
Tourism and local custom
Huizhou architecture(Anhui Province) in Yaoli town,Fuliang county Travel Overview Jingdezhen is a major tourism destination in northern Jiangxi Province. Most of the city's tourist attractions have a link to the ceramics for which it is famous. The city also provides access to nearby popular tourist areas such as Lushan, Huangshan, and Wuyuan.
1. Ancient Porcelain Street (gǔ dài cí qì jiē 古代瓷器街)
It is in the center of Jingdezhen. It was the most busy and bustling street in the late Ming (míng dài 明代) and early Qing Dynasties (qīng dài 清代), now renowned for its long history and beautiful traditions that come from its ancient culture. The street is composed of three parts, each of which fully reflects its prosperous past. Exquisitely designed and decorated residences were clearly the elite residences of their time and demonstrate the highest skills and architectural knowledge of Chinese artisans of their eras.
• Admission Fee: Free
2. Ceramic History Museum (jǐng dé zhèn táo cí bó wù guǎn 景德镇陶瓷博物馆)
Located in the western suburb of Jingdezhen City, It is a professional ceramic museum built in 1980, with a rich collection of over 5,000 articles. The items on display include ceramics from past dynasties, historical information about ceramics, precious collections of paintings and calligraphies, among which many are of excellent quality.
• Admission Fee: CNY 10
3. Longzhu Pavilion (lóng zhū gé 龙珠阁)
Longzhu Pavilion is located on the top of the Zhushan Mountain (zhū shān 珠山) of Jingdezhen. It is a monument to Jingdezhen's ceramic industry. In the Ming and Qing dynasties, it was a place for making ceramics for the imperial family which means there are a lot of precious culture relics of those two dynasties on display.
• Admission Fee: CNY 15
4. Yuyao Factory (yù yáo chǎng 御窑厂)
The early Ming Dynasty, Yuyao factory was established. Yu means, the emperor dedicated. Yao means, Kiln, the place where produce porcelain. China is a country of porcelain, and we can say that the porcelains which Yuyao made during Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties were the best in the world.
• Admission Fee: CNY 15
5. Fuliang Ancient County Government (fú liáng gǔ xiàn yá 浮梁古县衙 )
The Fuliang Ancient County Government is in the suburb of Jingdezhen. It is a well preserved ancient county government site, which was set up 1,100 years ago. In it, you can see the official robes, sedan chairs and even instruments of torture. Visiting the site of the ancient county government is really a good chance to understand the politics of ancient China.
• Admission Fee: CNY 50
6. Ming Qing Garden (míng qīng yuán 明青园)
Ming Qing Garden is located in Jingdezhen porcelain sculpture factory. It is Jingdezhen international ceramics center. Construction of Chinese Ming Dynasty style. The porcelain street is a copy of ancient Jingdezhen. Many artists have studios here,showing intricate art of ceramic sculpture.
• Admission Fee: CNY 10
7. Yaoli (yáo lǐ 瑶里)
Yaoli is in Fuliang County which is 50 kilometers from downtown Jingdezhen. With good forest coverage, abundant animal resources, characteristic lanes, the town is well-known for its beautiful natural scenery. Additionally, it is the cradle of Jingdezhen's ceramics industry. Gaoling (gāo lǐng 高岭) Village located in Yaoli once provided enough raw materials for making porcelain in the ancient times. Today, Kaolin, a world famous kind of clay, is named according to its Chinese pronunciation.
• Admission Fee: CNY 150
8. The Moon Lake (yuè liàng hú 月亮湖)
The Moon Lake Scenic Area lies in Liyang Town (lì yáng xiāng 丽阳). It is 10 kilometers from downtown Jingdezhen. There are many hills and lots of wild birds inhabit the area. It got the name because of its moon-shape. Besides the charming scenery, it has some entertainment facilities, such as motorboats and luxury speed boats and also you can enjoy fishing there.
9. Red Tower (hóng tǎ 红塔)
Because the wall is red, so the tower called Red Tower.
In 2007, Jingdezhen City RMB3.027 billion yuan in revenues from tourism. Tourism accounted for 11.2% of local GDP, up from its share in 2006. The number of visitors is also rising year by year as the city's transportation links to the rest of China improve.
At present, Jingdezhen has the most tourist hotels of any city in Jiangxi Province. In the city there is one quasi-five-star hotel, two four-star hotels, and many three-star and other common grade hotels.
The WanGan (wǎn gàn 皖赣) Railway (Anhui - Jiangxi) connects Jingdezhen to many key cities in China. The Jingdezhen Railway Station is located in the city center.
Jingdezhen Airport is located at Luojia Village (luó jiā cūn 罗家村), northwest of Jingdezhen City, about 8 kilometers from the city downtown. There are no international flights.
Jingdezhen public buses and taxis are the two main means of transportation within the city. Nearly more than 20 public bus lines crisscross the city and its countryside. Taxis in Jingdezhen are plentiful with fares starting at CNY 5 for the first 2 kilometers.
Cold Vermicelli (lěng fěn 冷粉). This is one brand name of Jingdezhen snacks. It is different from vermicelli of other regions. The vermicelli is thicker and has a half centimeter of diameter. It is also has the diversities of seasonings such as bean sauce, pepper sauce, orange peel, garlic and ginger.
Jiaoziba (jiǎo zǐ bā 饺子粑). Jiaoziba generally is taken as the breakfast and night food. Diversities of stuffing covered by powder-made slice are steamed on steam boxes. Through the thin slices, eaters can see the stuffing clearly. Additionally it has different taste after fried. Generally the stuffing is divided into hot and non-spicy. The spicy stuffing is made of the carrot slices, and the non-spicy stuffing is made of the eggs with leeks. Additionally it also has the stuffing made of the bean sprout and bean-curd.
Xianshuiba (jiǎn shuǐ pá 碱水耙). This is the classical snack in Jingdezhen. Xianshuiba generally is unavailable in other areas, and it can be eaten during the time of Lunar Spring Festival. It is delicious, and will be more tasteful if you cook it with eggs or add some preserved vegetable.