Located in the northeastern frontier of China’s territory, Heilongjiang province resembles a goose flapping their wings in an attempt to fly and its capital city-Harbin is like a pearl under the neck of the goose. The beautiful Songhua River flows through the city, cleansing the land throughout hundreds of years.
Located in eastern area of 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 historical process and geographical location have shaped Harbin as a spectacular city with an exotic style. Absorbing the history and culture of northern ethnic minorities and infusing 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 charming natural landscapes and distinct 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. Additionally, 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. With entertaining activities such as mountain skiing in Yabuli, ice lantern garden party in Zhaolin Park and winter swimming in the Songhua River, Harbin has a great reputation for 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, 220,000 years ago, there were traces of human activities here. These activities were related to the oldest country in Heilongjiang. Also, Harbin was the 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 160,000 emigrants from 33 countries gathering there and consulates of 16 countries were established there. During the war of resistance against Japan, Harbin was under the reign of the puppet government controlled by Japan. National heroes and revolutionary martyrs that are renowned in history including, Zhao Shangzhi, Yang Jingyu, Li Zhaolin and Zhao Yiman stood out for national independence. In commemoration of these revolutionary martyrs, such scenic areas as the Northeast Memorial Hall for Revolutionary Martyrs, Shangzhi Monuments and Zhaolin Park along, along with streets 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 to liberate. As a rising tourist city, Harbin is becoming increasingly popular among travelers with exotic style and the joy that ice has to offer.