A Brief Introduction to Harbin
Located in the northeast frontier of China's territory, Heilongjiang province resembles a goose flapping her wings in an attempt to fly and its capital city—Harbin is just like a shining pearl under the neck of the goose. The beautiful Songhua River meanderingly passes through the city, cleansing every inch of this land with a history of hundreds of years and washing out its boisterousness and restlessness. When the night falls, Harbin starts to tell her dreamlike stories of reincarnation.
Standing in eastern Songnen Plain and the right bank of the Songhua River, Harbin is the political, economic, scientific and cultural center as well as the transport hut of Heilongjiang province. The unique historical process and geographical location have shaped Harbin as a spectacular city with an exotic style. Absorbing the history and cultures of the northern ethnic minorities and infusing it with Russian and East European customs, Harbin is a famous historical city that has long enjoyed such reputations as "the city of river", "the city of ice", "Oriental Moscow" and "Little Paris of the East".
Harbin has exceptionally charming natural landscapes and obvious seasonal changes. The Sun Island, Northeastern Tiger Park, the bank of the Songhua River, Stalin Park, Songfeng Mountain, Erlong Mountain and Yuquan Hunting Park are all renowned tourist destinations. Moreover, lilac is the city flower of Harbin. Every May, lilacs blossom all over the city, so Harbin is also crowned as "a city of lilacs". Most importantly, Harbin is one of the cradles of the global culture of ice and snow. Boasting such entertaining activities as mountain skiing in Yabuli, ice lantern garden party in Zhaolin Park and winter swimming in the Songhua River, Harbin enjoys a high reputation in terms of ice sculptures and ice recreation both in home and abroad.
Harbin is a time-honored city that has never been surrounded by city walls. As early as in the last years of the Paleolithic Period 2, 22000 years ago, there were traces of human activities here. These activities were related to the oldest country in Heilongjiang. Besides, Harbin was the very place where the Jin and Qing Dynasties gained their power to rise. It's home to such historical sites as Jile Temple, Confucius Temple, Yanjia Mound, Qiji Futu Pagoda and the capital city of the Jin Dynasty.
With the construction of railways that connect the central and eastern China from 1896 to 1903, Harbin started to embrace its identity as a modern city. At the beginning of the 20th century, Harbin became an international business port, with more than 160000 emigrants from 33 countries gathering here successively and consulates of 16 countries being established here. During the war of resistance against Japan, Harbin was under the reign of the puppet government controlled by Japan. Such national heroes and revolutionary martyrs that will never be forgotten in history as Zhao Shangzhi, Yang Jingyu, Li Zhaolin and Zhao Yiman stood out for national independence. In commemoration of these revolutionary martyrs, such scenic spots as the Northeast Memorial Hall for Revolutionary Martyrs, Shangzhi Monuments and Zhaolin Park along, along with such streets that are named after the revolutionary martyrs as the Jingyu Street, Zhaolin Street and Yiman Street were constructed in Harbin.
In the year of 1945, Harbin was liberated from the reign of Japan. Its population back then was over 700 000. On April 28, 1946, people's political power was established in Harbin and Harbin became the earliest city that welcomed liberation. As a rising tourist city, Harbin is becoming increasingly popular amongst the travelers with its exotic style and the joy that ice has to offer.