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This article is about the city in Jiangsu province. For other uses, see Nanjing (disambiguation).
Sub-provincial city
Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum

Location of Nanjing City jurisdiction in Jiangsu
Location in China

Coordinates: 32°03′N 118°46′E / 32.050°N 118.767°E / 32.050; 118.767Coordinates: 32°03′N 118°46′E / 32.050°N 118.767°E / 32.050; 118.767

Country People's Republic of China
Province Jiangsu
County-level 11
Township-level 129
Settled 495 BC
 • Type Sub-provincial city
 • CPC Ctte Secretary Yang Weize
 • Sub-provincial city 6,598 km2 (2,548 sq mi)
Elevation 20 m (50 ft)
Population (2012)
 • Sub-provincial city 8,161,800Increase
 • Density 1,237/km2 (3,183/sq mi)
 • Urban 8,161,800Increase
Demonym Nanjinger
Time zone China Standard (UTC+8)
Postal code 210000–211300
Area code(s) 25
GDP (Nominal) 2012
 - Total US$115.8 billion
 - Per capita US$ 14,296
 - Growth Increase 11.7%
GDP (PPP) 2012
 - Total US$173.8 billion
 - Per capita US$ 21,457
Licence plate prefixes A
Website City of Nanjing
City trees
Deodar Cedar (Cedrus deodara),
Platanus × acerifolia[1]
City flowers
Méi (Prunus mume)

Nanjing (pinyin language reform, after which Nanjing was gradually adopted as the standard spelling of the city's name in most languages that use the Roman alphabet.

Located in the lower Yangtze River drainage basin and Yangtze River Delta economic zone, Nanjing has long been one of China's most important cities. It is recognized as one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China. It was the capital of Wu during the Three Kingdoms Period and the capital of the Republic of China prior to its flight to Taiwan during the Chinese Civil War. Nanjing is also one of the fifteen sub-provincial cities in the People's Republic of China's administrative structure, enjoying jurisdictional and economic autonomy only slightly less than that of a province. Nanjing has long been a national centre of education, research, transport networks and tourism. The city will host the 2014 Summer Youth Olympics.

With an urban population of over seven million (2011), Nanjing is the second-largest commercial centre in the East China region after Shanghai. It has been ranked seventh in the evaluation of "Cities with Strongest Comprehensive Strength" issued by the National Statistics Bureau, and second in the evaluation of cities with most sustainable development potential in the Yangtze River Delta. It has also been awarded the title of 2008 Habitat Scroll of Honour of China, Special UN Habitat Scroll of Honour Award and National Civilized City.[2]


Early history

Nanjing was one of the earliest established cities in what is now China. According to legend,[which?] Fu Chai, Lord of the State of Wu, founded a fort named Yecheng (冶城) in today's Nanjing area in 495 BCE. Later in 473 BCE, the State of Yue conquered Wu and constructed the fort of Yuecheng (越城) on the outskirts of the present-day Zhonghua Gate. In 333 BCE, after eliminating the State of Yue, the State of Chu built Jinling Yi (金陵) in the western part of present-day Nanjing. Under the Qin and Han dynasties, it was called Moling (秣陵). Since then, the city had experienced destruction and renewal many times.

Capital of the Six Dynasties

Nanjing first became a capital in 229 CE, where Sun Quan of the Wu Kingdom during the Three Kingdoms Period relocated its capital to Jianye (建業), a city he extended on the basis of Jinling Yi in 211 CE. Although conquered by the West Jin Dynasty in 280, Nanjing and its neighbouring areas had been well cultivated and developed into one of the commercial, cultural and political centers of China during the rule of East Wu. This city would soon play a vital role in the following centuries.

Shortly after the unification of the region, the state of West Jin collapsed in wars. It was at first rebels of eight Jin princes for the throne and later rebels and invasion from Xiongnu and other nomadic peoples that destroyed the rule of Jin in the north. In 317, remnants of the Jin court, as well as nobles and wealthy families, fled from the north to the south and reestablished the Jin court in Nanjing, which was then called Jiankang (建康).

During the period of the North-South Division, Nanjing remained the capital of the Southern Dynasties for more than two and a half centuries. During this time, Nanjing was the international hub of the East Asia and one of the largest city in the world. Based on historical documents, the city had 280,000 registered households.[3] Assuming an average Nanjing household had about 5.1 people at that time, the city had more than 1.4 million residents.

A number of sculptural ensembles of that era, erected at the tombs of royals and other dignitaries, have survived (in various degrees of preservation) in Nanjing's northeastern and eastern suburbs, primarily in Qixia and Jiangning District.[4] Possibly the best preserved of them is the ensemble of the Tomb of Xiao Xiu (475–518), a brother of Emperor Wu of Liang.[5][6] The period of division ended when the Sui Dynasty reunified China and almost destroyed the entire city, turning it into a small town.

Sui to Yuan Dynasty

The city of Nanjing was razed after the Sui took over it. It was reconstructed during the late Tang Dynasty. It was chosen as the capital and called Jinling (金陵) during the Southern Tang (937–976), a state that came succeeded the Wu.[7] Jiankang's textile industry burgeoned and thrived during the Song Dynasty despite the constant threat of foreign invasions from the north. The Mongolians Empire eventually occupied much of the territory that now constitutes China and further consolidated the city's status as a hub of the textile industry under what became known in China as the Yuan Dynasty.

Capital of the Ming

The first emperor of the Ming Dynasty Zhu Yuanzhang (the Hongwu Emperor) who overthrew the Yuan Dynasty rebuilt this city and made it the dynastic capital in 1368. He constructed what was the longest city wall in the world at that time. It took 200,000 laborers 21 years to finish the project. The present-day city wall of Nanjing was mainly built during that time,[dubious ] and it is the longest surviving city wall in China.

Nanjing remained the capital of the Ming Empire until 1421, when the third emperor of the dynasty, Zhu Di (the Yongle Emperor), relocated the capital to Beijing. It is believed that Nanjing was the largest city in the world from 1358 to 1425 with a population of 487,000 in 1400.[8]

Besides the city wall, other famous Ming-era structures in the city included the famous Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum and Porcelain Tower, although the latter was destroyed by the Taipings in the 19th century.

A monument to the huge human cost of some of the gigantic construction projects of the early Ming is the Yangshan Quarry (located some 10 km (6 mi) east of the walled city an Ming Xiaoling), where a gigantic stele, cut on the orders of the Yongle Emperor, lies abandoned, just as it was left 600 years ago when it was understood it was impossible to move or erect it.[9]

As the center of the empire, early-Ming Nanjing had worldwide connections: it was home of the eunuch admiral Zheng He, who went to sail the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and it was visited by foreign dignitaries, such as a king from Borneo (Boni 渤泥), who died during his visit to China in 1408. The king's tomb, with a spirit way and a tortoise stele, was discovered in Yuhuatai District (south of the walled city) in 1958, and has been restored.[10]

Qing period

Over two centuries after the removal of the capital to Beijing, Nanjing was destined to become the capital of a Ming emperor one more time. After the fall of Beijing to the Li Zicheng's rebels and then to Manchu Qing invaders, and the suicide of the last "real" Ming emperor Zhu Youjian (the Chongzhen Emperor) in the spring 1644, the Ming prince Zhu Yousong was enthroned in Nanjing in June 1644 as the Hongguang Emperor. His short reign was described by later historians as the first reign of the so-called Southern Ming Dynasty.

Zhu Yousong, however, fared a lot worse than his ancestor Zhu Yuanzhang three centuries earlier. Beset by factional conflicts, his regime could not offer effective resistance to Manchu troops, when the Manchu army, led by Prince Dodo approached Jiangnan the next spring.[11] Days after Yangzhou fell to the Manchus in late May 1645, the Hongguang Emperor fled Nanjing, and the imperial palace was looted by local residents.[12] On June 6, Dodo's troops approached Nanjing, and the commander of the city's garrison, Zhao the Earl of Xincheng, promptly surrendered the city to them.[13] The Manchus soon ordered all male residents of the city to shave their heads in the Manchu way, requisitioned a large section of the city for the bannermen's cantonment, and destroyed the former imperial palace, but otherwise the city was spared the mass murders and destruction that befell Yangzhou.[14]

Under the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911), the Nanjing area was known as Jiangning (江寧) and served as the seat of government for the Liangjiang Viceroy. It had been visited by the Kangxi and Qianlong Emperors a number of times on their tours of the southern provinces.

Nanjing was invaded by British troops during the close of the First Opium War, which was ended by the Treaty of Nanking in 1842.

As the capital of the brief-lived Taiping Kingdom[15] in the mid-19th century, Nanjing was known as Tianjing (天京, "Heavenly Capital" or "Capital of Heaven") Both the Qing Viceroy and the Taiping king resided in buildings that would later be known as the Presidential Palace. When the Qing under Zeng Guofan retook the city in 1864, a massive slaughter occurred in the city with over 100,000 estimated to have committed suicide or fought to the death.

Capital of the Republic

The Xinhai Revolution led to the founding of the Republic of China in January 1912 with Dr. Sun Yat-sen as the first provisional president and Nanking was selected as its new capital. However, the Qing Empire controlled large regions to the North, so revolutionaries asked Yuan Shikai to replace Sun as president in exchange for the last-Qing Emperor's abdication. Yuan demanded the capital be Beijing (closer to his power base).

In 1927, the Kuomintang (KMT) under Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek again established Nanking as the capital of the Republic of China, and this became internationally recognized once KMT forces took Beijing in 1928. The following decade is known as the Nanking decade.

In 1937, Japan again invaded China, beginning the Second Sino-Japanese War (often considered a theatre of World War II). Their troops occupied Nanjing in December and carried out the systematic and brutal Nanking massacre (the "Rape of Nanking"). The total death toll, including estimates made by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East and the Nanjing War Crimes Tribunal, was between 300,000 and 350,000.[16] The Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall was built in 1985 to commemorate this event.

A few days before the fall of the city, the National Government of China was relocated to the southwestern city Chungking (now Chongqing) and resumed Chinese resistance. In 1940, a Japanese-collaborationist government known as the "Nanjing Regime" or "Nanjing Nationalist Government" led by Wang Jingwei was established in Nanjing as a rival to Chiang Kai-Shek's government in Chongqing. In 1946, after the Surrender of Japan, the KMT relocated its central government back to Naning.

People's Republic of China

On April 23, 1949, the People's Liberation Army conquered Nanjing. After the establishment of the People's Republic of China in October 1949, Nanjing was initially a province-level municipality, but it soon became the provincial capital of Jiangsu, and retains that status to this day.


Nanjing, with a total land area of 6,598 square kilometres (2,548 sq mi), is situated in one of the largest economic zones of China, the Yangtze River Delta, which is part of the downstream Yangtze River drainage basin. The Yangtze River flows past the west side of Nanjing City, while the Ningzheng Ridge surrounds the north, east and south side of the city. The city is 300 kilometres (190 mi) west-northwest of Shanghai, 1,200 kilometres (750 mi) south-southeast of Beijing, and 1,400 kilometres (870 mi) east-northeast of Chongqing.

Nanjing borders Yangzhou to the northeast, one town downstream when following the north bank of the Yangtze, Zhenjiang to the east, one town downstream when following the south bank of the Yangtze, and Changzhou to the southeast. On its western boundary is Anhui province, where Nanjing borders five prefecture-level cities.

Nanjing is the intersection of Yangtze River—an east-west water transport artery and Nanjing–Beijing railway—a south-north land transport artery, hence the name “door of the east and west, throat of the south and north”. Furthermore, the west part of the Ningzhen range is in Nanjing; the Loong-like Zhong Mountain is curling in the east of the city; the tiger-like Stone Mountain is crouching in the west of the city, hence the name “the Zhong Mountain, a dragon curling, and the Stone Mountain, a tiger crouching”. Mr. Sun Yet-sen spoke highly of Nanjing in the “Constructive Scheme for Our Country”, “The position of Nanjing is wonderful since mountains, lakes and plains all integrated in it. It is hardly [sic] to find another city like this.”

Climate and environment

Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: CMA[18]

Nanjing has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa) and is under the influence of the East Asian monsoon. The four seasons are distinct here, with damp conditions seen throughout the year, very hot and muggy summers, cold, damp winters, and in between, spring and autumn are of reasonable length. Along with Chongqing and Wuhan, Nanjing is traditionally referred to as one of the "Three Furnacelike Cities" along the Yangtze River (长江流域三大火炉) for the perennially high temperatures in the summertime.[19] However, the time from mid-June to the end of July is the plum blossom blooming season in which the meiyu (rainy season of East Asia; literally "plum rain") occurs, during which the city experiences a period of mild rain as well as dampness. Typhoons are uncommon but possible in the late stages of summer and early part of autumn. The annual mean temperature is around 15.46 °C (59.8 °F), with the monthly 24-hour average temperature ranging from 2.4 °C (36.3 °F) in January to 27.8 °C (82.0 °F) in July. The highest recorded temperature is 43.0 °C (109 °F), and the lowest −16.9 °C (2 °F).[20] On average precipitation falls 115 days out of the year, and the average annual rainfall is 1,062 millimetres (42 in). The city receives 1,983 hours of bright sunshine annually.

Nanjing is endowed with rich natural resources, which include more than 40 kinds of minerals. Among them, iron and sulfur reserves make up 40 percent of those of Jiangsu province. Its reserves of strontium rank first in East Asia and the South East Asia region. Nanjing also possesses abundant water resources, both from the Yangtze River and groundwater. In addition, it has several natural hot springs such as Tangshan Hot Spring in Jiangning and Tangquan Hot Spring in Pukou.

Surrounded by the Yangtze River and mountains, Nanjing also enjoys beautiful natural scenery. Natural lakes such as Xuanwu Lake and Mochou Lake are located in the centre of the city and are easily accessible to the public, while hills like Purple Mountain are covered with evergreens and oaks and host various historical and cultural sites. Sun Quan relocated his capital to Nanjing after Liu Bei's suggestion as Liu Bei was impressed by Nanjing's impeccable geographic position when negotiating an alliance with Sun Quan. Sun Quan then renamed the city from Moling (秣陵) to Jianye (建鄴) shortly thereafter.[21]


The full name of the government of Nanjing is "People's Government of Nanjing City". The city is under the one-party rule of the CPC, with the CPC Nanjing Committee Secretary as the de facto governor of the city and the mayor as the executive head of the government working under the secretary.

Administrative divisions

The sub-provincial city of Nanjing is divided into 11 districts.

Map Subdivision Hanzi Population (2010) Area (km2)
City Proper
1 Xuanwu District 玄武区 651,957 80.97
2 Qinhuai District 秦淮区 1,007,922 50.36
3 Jianye District 建邺区 426,999 82.00
4 Gulou District 鼓楼区 1,271,191 57.62
5 Yuhuatai District 雨花台区 391,285 131.90
6 Qixia District 栖霞区 644,503 340.00
7 Jiangning District 江宁区 1,145,628 1,573.00
8 Pukou District 浦口区 710,298 913.00
9 Luhe District 六合区 915,845 1,485.50
10 Lishui District 溧水区 421,323 983.00
11 Gaochun District 高淳区 417,729 801.00


Population trend
Year Residents (in million) natural growth rate (%)
1949 2.5670 13.09
1950 2.5670 15.64
1955 2.8034 19.94
1960 3.2259 0.23
1965 3.4529 25.58
1970 3.6053 20.76
1975 3.9299 9.53
1978 4.1238 8.84
1980 4.3587 8.08
1985 4.6577 4.56
1990 5.0182 9.18
Year Residents (in million) natural growth rate (%)
1995 5.2172 2.62
1996 5.2543 2.63
1997 5.2982 2.16
1998 5.3231 1.00
1999 5.3744 2.01
2000 5.4489 2.48
2001 5.5304 1.60
2002 5.6328 0.70
2003 5.7223 1.50
2006 6.0700 6.11

According to the Sixth China Census, the total population of the City of Nanjing reached 8.005 million in 2010. The statistics in 2011 estimated the total population to be 8.11 million. The birth rate was 8.86% and the death rate was 6.88%. The urban area had a population of 6.47 million people.

As in most of eastern China the ethnic makeup of Nanjing is predominantly Han nationality (98.56%), with 50 other minority nationalities. In 1999, 77,394 residents belonged to minority nationalities, among which the vast majority (64,832) were Hui nationalities, contributing 83.76% to the minority population. The second and third largest minority groups were Manchu (2,311) and Zhuang (533) nationalities. Most of the minority nationalities resided in Jianye District, comprising 9.13% of the district's population.

In 2010 the sex ratio of the city population was 107.31 males to 100 females.


Earlier development

Since the Three Kingdoms period, Nanjing has become an industrial centre for textile and mint owing to its strategic geographical location and convenient transportation. During the Ming Dynasty Nanjing's industry was further expanded, and the city became one of the most prosperous cities in China and even the world. It led in textile, mint, printing, shipbuilding and many other industries, and was the busiest business center in the Far East.

Into the first half of the twentieth century, Nanjing gradually shifted from a production hub into a heavy consumption city, mainly because of the rapid expansion of the wealthy population after Nanjing once again regained the political spotlight of China. A number of huge department stores such as Zhongyang Shangchang sprouted up, attracting merchants from all over China to sell their products in Nanjing. In 1933, the revenue generated by the food and entertainment industry in the city exceeded the sum of the output of the manufacturing and agriculture industry. One third of the city population worked in the service industry, while prostitution, drugs and gambling also thrived.

In the 1950s, the CPC invested heavily in Nanjing to build a series of state-owned heavy industries, as part of the national plan of rapid industrialization. Electrical, mechanical, chemical and steel factories were established successively, converting Nanjing into a heavy industry production centre of East China. Overenthusiastic in building a “world-class” industrial city, leaders of Nanjing also made many disastrous mistakes during the development, such as spending hundreds of millions of yuan to mine for non-existent coal, resulting in the negative economic growth in the late 1960s.


The current industry of the city basically inherited the characteristics of the 1960s, with electronics, cars, petrochemical, iron and steel, and power as the "Five Pillar Industries". Some representative big state-owned firms are Panda Electronics, Jincheng Motors and Nanjing Steel. The tertiary industry also regained prominence, accounting for 44 percent of the GDP of the city. The city is also vying for foreign investment against neighboring cities in the Yangtze River Delta, and so far a number of famous multinational firms, such as Volkswagen Group, Iveco, A.O. Smith, and Sharp, have established their lines there. Since China's entry into the WTO, Nanjing has received increasing attention from foreign investors, and on average two new foreign firms establish offices in the city every day.

The city government is further improving the desirability of the city to investors by building large industrial parks, which now total four: Gaoxin, Xingang, Huagong and Jiangning. Despite the effort, Nanjing's Gross Domestic Product is still falling behind that of other neighbouring cities such as Suzhou, Wuxi and Hangzhou, which have an edge in attracting foreign investment and local innovation. In addition, the traditional state-owned enterprises find themselves incapable of competing with efficient multinational firms, and hence are either mired in heavy debt or forced into bankruptcy or privatization. This has resulted in large numbers of layoff workers who are technically not unemployed but effectively jobless.

In recent years, Nanjing has been developing its economy, commerce, industry, as well as city construction. In 2010 the city's GDP was RMB 501 billion (3rd in Jiangsu), and GDP per capita was RMB 65,490, a 13 percent increase from 2009. The average urban resident's disposable income was RMB 28,312, while the average rural resident's net income was RMB 11,050. The registered urban unemployment rate was 3.02 percent, lower than the national average (4.3 percent). Nanjing's Gross Domestic Product ranked 14th in 2010 in China, and its overall competence ranked 5th in mainland and 7th including Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Industrial zones

  • Nanjing Baixia Hi-Tech Industrial Zone

Nanjing Baixia Hi-Tech Industrial Zone is a national hi-tech industrial zone with 16.5 square kilometres (6.4 sq mi) planned area. The zone is only 13.5 km (8.4 mi) away from Nanjing downtown and 50 km (31 mi) away from Nanjing Lukou Airport. Several expressways pass through here. It is well equipped with comprehensive facilities, and it provides a good investment environment for high-tech industries. Electronic industry, automobile, chemical, machinery, instruments and building materials are the encouraged industries in the zone.[22]

  • Nanjing Economic and Technological Development Zone

Established in 1992, Nanjing Economic and Technological Development Zone is a national level zone surrounded by convenient transportation network. It is only 20 km (12 mi) away from Nanjing Port and 40 km (25 mi) away from Nanjing Lukou Airport. It is well equipped with basic facilities like electricity, water, communication, gas, steam and so on. It has formed four specialized industries, which are electronic information, bio-pharmaceutical, machinery and new materials industry.[23]

  • Nanjing Export Processing Zone

On March 10, 2003 the State Council approved the establishment of this Export Processing Zone (EPZ) in Nanjing's Southern District. This EPZ is free from import/export duty area and provides 24-hour customs-bonded conditions. It has a planned area of 3 km2 (1.2 sq mi). The Central Government has given the special economic region preferential policies to attract more enterprises engaged in processing trade investment in the region. It is only 20 km (12 mi) from Nanjing Port and several expressways pass through here.[24]

  • Nanjing New & High-Tech Industry Development Zone

Nanjing New & High-Tech Industry Development Zone was jointly founded by Jiangsu Provincial People's Government and Nanjing Municipal People's Government, and started to break ground of construction on September 1, 1988. It was established as a national new and high-tech industry development zone by the State Council on March 6, 1991. The zone is next to National Highway 104 and 312. Its pillar industries include electronic information, bio-engineering and pharmaceutical industry.[25]


Nanjing is the transportation hub in eastern China and the downstream Yangtze River area. Different means of transportation constitute a three-dimensional transport system that includes land, water and air. As in most other Chinese cities, public transportation is the dominant mode of travel of the majority of the citizens. The city now has four bridge or tunnel crossings spanning the Yangtze, which are tying districts north of the river with the city centre on the south bank. See also Transport in Nanjing.


Nanjing is an important railway hub in eastern China. It serves as rail junction for the Beijing-Shanghai (Jinghu) (which is itself composed of the old Jinpu and Huning Railways), Nanjing–Tongling (Ningtong), Nanjing-Qidong (Ningqi), and the Nanjing-Xian (Ningxi) which encompasses the Hefei–Nanjing Railway.

Nanjing is connected to the national high-speed railway network by Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway and Shanghai–Wuhan–Chengdu Passenger Dedicated Line, with several more high-speed rail lines under construction.

Among all 17 railway stations in Nanjing, passenger rail service is mainly provided by Nanjing Railway Station and Nanjing South Railway Station, while other stations like Nanjing West Railway Station, Zhonghuamen Railway Station and Xianlin Railway Station serve minor roles. Nanjing South Railway Station, which is one of the 5 hub stations on Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway, has officially been claimed as the largest railway station in Asia and the second largest in the world in terms of GFA (Gross Floor Area).


As an important regional hub in the Yangtze River Delta, Nanjing is well-connected by over 60 state and provincial highways to all parts of China.

Express highways such as Hu-Ning, Ning-He, Ning-Hang enable commuters to travel to Shanghai, Hefei, Hangzhou, and other important cities quickly and conveniently. Inside the city of Nanjing, there are 230 km (140 mi) of highways, with a highway coverage density of 3.38 kilometres per hundred square kilometrs (5.44 mi/100 sq mi). The total road coverage density of the city is 112.56 kilometres per hundred square kilometres (181.15 mi/100 sq mi).

Nanjing Sample Technology Company Limited is a major provider of Intelligent traffic systems.


  • G25 Changchun-Shenzhen Expressway
  • G36 Nanjing-Luoyang Expressway
  • G40 Shanghai-Xi'an Expressway
  • G42 Shanghai-Chengdu Expressway
  • G4211 Nanjing-Wuhu Expressway, a spur of G42 that extends west to Wuhu, Anhui
  • S55 Nanjing-Gaochun Expressway
  • S38 Yanjiang Expressway
  • G2501 Nanjing Ring Expressway

National Highway (GXXX):

Public transportation

The city also boasts an efficient network of public transportation, which mainly consists of bus, taxi and metro systems. The bus network, which is currently run by five companies (Nanjing Gongjiao, Zhongbei, Argos, Xincheng and Xinningpu), provides more than 370 routes covering all parts of the city and suburban areas. Nanjing Metro Line 1, started service on May 15, 2005. Line 2 and the extension of Line 1 officially opened to passenger service on May 28, 2010. The city is planning to complete a 655 km (407 mi) long Metro and light-rail system by 2030. The expansion of the Metro network will greatly facilitate the intracity transportation and reduce the currently heavy traffic congestion.


Nanjing's airport, Lukou International Airport, serves both national and international flights. In 2010, the airport handled 12.5305 million passengers. It was ranked 14th among 126 civil airports in China in terms of yearly passenger transport, and 10th for yearly cargo transport. The airport currently has 85 routes to national and international destinations, which include Japan, Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Germany. The airport is connected by a 29-kilometre (18 mi) highway directly to the city center, and is also linked to various intercity highways, making it accessible to the passengers from the surrounding cities.


Port of Nanjing is the largest inland port in China, yearly throughput reaching 108.59 million tons in 2007. The port area is 98 kilometres (61 mi) in length and has 64 berths including 16 berths for ships with a tonnage of more than 10,000. Nanjing is also the biggest container port along the Yangtze River; in March 2004, the one million container-capacity base, Longtan Containers Port Area opened, further consolidating Nanjing as the leading port in the region. In the 1960s the first Yangtze river bridge was completed, becoming almost the only solid connection between North and South in eastern China at that time. The bridge became a source of pride and an important symbol of modern China, having been built and designed by the Chinese themselves following failed surveys by other nations and the reliance on and then rejection of Soviet expertise. Begun in 1960 and opened to traffic in 1968, the bridge is a two-tiered road and rail design spanning 4,600 metres on the upper deck, with approximately 1,580 metres spanning the river itself.

Culture and art

Being one of the four ancient capitals of China, Nanjing has always been a cultural centre attracting intellectuals from all over the country. In the Tang and Song dynasties, Nanjing was a place where poets gathered and composed poems reminiscent of its luxurious past; during the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the city was the official imperial examination centre (Jiangnan Examination Hall) for the Jiangnan region, again acting as a hub where different thoughts and opinions converged and thrived.

Today, with a long cultural tradition and strong support from local educational institutions, Nanjing is commonly viewed as a “city of culture” and one of the more pleasant cities to live in China.


Some of the leading art groups of China are based in Nanjing; they include the Qianxian Dance Company, Nanjing Dance Company, Jiangsu Peking Opera Institute and Nanjing Xiaohonghua Art Company among others.

Jiangsu Province Kun Opera is one of the best theatres for Kunqu, China's oldest stage art. It is considered a conservative and traditional troupe. Nanjing also has professional opera troupes for the Yang, Yue (shaoxing), Xi and Jing (Chinese opera varieties) as well as Suzhou pingtan, spoken theatre and puppet theatre.

Jiangsu Art Gallery is the largest gallery in Jiangsu Province, presenting some of the best traditional and contemporary art pieces of China; many other smaller-scale galleries, such as Red Chamber Art Garden and Jinling Stone Gallery, also have their own special exhibitions.


Main article: List of Festivals and Events of Nanjing

Many traditional festivals and customs were observed in the old times, which included climbing the City Wall on January 16, bathing in Qing Xi on March 3, hill hiking on September 9 and others (the dates are in Chinese lunar calendar). Almost none of them, however, are still celebrated by modern Nanjingese.

Instead, Nanjing, as a popular tourist destination, hosts a series of government-organised events throughout the year. The annual International Plum Blossom Festival held in Plum Blossom Hill, the largest plum collection in China, attracts thousands of tourists both domestically and internationally. Other events include Nanjing Baima Peach Blossom and Kite Festival, Jiangxin Zhou Fruit Festival and Linggu Temple Sweet Osmanthus Festival.


Nanjing Library, founded in 1907, houses more than 7 million volumes of printed materials and is the third largest library in China, after the National Library in Beijing and Shanghai Library. Other libraries, such as city-owned Jinling Library and various district libraries, also provide considerable amount of information to citizens. Nanjing University Library, owned by Nanjing University, with a collection of 4.2 million volumes, is the second largest university libraries in China after Peking University Library. More than 100 multimedia networked-computers are available to readers.


Nanjing has some of the oldest and finest museums in China. Nanjing Museum, formerly known as National Central Museum under KMT rule, is the first modern museum and remains as one of the leading museums in China. Other museums include the China Modern History Museum in the Presidential Palace, the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall, the City Museum of Nanjing, the Taiping Kingdom History Museum, the Nanjing Customs Museum, the Nanjing City Wall Cultural Museum, and a small museum and tomb honoring the 15th century seafaring admiral Zheng He.


Most of Nanjing's major theatres are multi-purpose, used as convention halls, cinemas, musical halls and theatres on different occasions. The major theatres include the People's Convention Hall and the Nanjing Arts and Culture Center.

Night life

Traditionally Nanjing's nightlife was mostly centered around Confucius Temple area along the Qinhuai River, where night markets, restaurants and pubs thrived. Boating at night in the river was a main attraction of the city. Thus, one can see the statues of the famous teachers and educators of the past not too far from those of the courtesans who educated the young men in the other arts.

In the past 20 years, several commercial streets have been developed, hence the nightlife has become more diverse: there are shopping malls opening late in the Xinjiekou CBD and Hunan Road. The well-established "Nanjing 1912" district hosts a wide variety of pastime facilities ranging from traditional restaurants and western pubs to dance clubs. There are two major areas where bars are densely located; one is in 1912 block; the other is along Shanghai road and its neighbourhood. Both are popular with international residents of the city.

These days, the most comprehensive source of nightlife information (in English) can be found on

Local people still very much enjoy street food, such as Kababu. As elsewhere in Asia, Karaoke is popular with both young and old crowd.

Food & Symbolism

The radish is also a typical food representing people of Nanjing, which has been spread through word of mouth as a interesting fact for many years in China. According to Nanjing.GOV.CN, "There is a long history of growing radish in Nanjing especially the southern suburb. In the spring, the radish tastes very juicy and sweet. It is well-known that people in Nanjing like eating radish. And the people are even addressed as 'Nanjing big radish', which means they are unsophisticated, passionate and conservative. From health perspective, eating radish can help to offset the stodgy food that people take during the Spring Festival". [26]

Sports and stadiums

As a major Chinese city, Nanjing is home to many professional sports teams. Jiangsu Sainty, the football club currently staying in China Super League, is a long-term tenant of Nanjing Olympic Sports Center. Jiangsu Nangang Basketball Club is a competitive team which has long been one of the major clubs fighting for the title in China top level league, CBA. Jiangsu Volleyball men and women teams are also traditionally considered as at top level in China volleyball league.

There are two major sports centers in Nanjing, Wutaishan Sports Center and Nanjing Olympic Sports Center. Both of these two are comprehensive sports centers, including stadium, gymnasium, natatorium, tennis court, etc. Wutaishan Sports Center was established in 1952 and it was one of the oldest and most advanced stadiums in early time of People's Republic of China. Nanjing hosted the 10th National Games of P.R.C. in 2005 and will host the 2nd summer Youth Olympic Games in 2014.

In 2005, in order to host The 10th National Game of People's Republic of China, there was a new stadium, Nanjing Olympic Sports Center, constructed in Nanjing. Compared to Wutaishan Sports Center, which the major stadium's capacity is 18,600, Nanjing Olympic Sports Center has a more advanced stadium which is big enough to seat 60,000 spectators. Its gymnasium has capacity of 13,000, and natatorium of capacity 3,000.


Nanjing is one of the most beautiful cities of mainland China with lush green parks, natural scenic lakes, small mountains, historical buildings & monuments, relics and much more, which attracts thousands of tourists every year.

Buildings and monuments

Imperial period

Republic of China period

Because it was designated as the national capital, many structures were built around that time. Even today, some of them still remain which are open to tourists.

  • Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum and its surrounding area (中山陵及其附属建筑)
  • Former Presidential Palace, Nanjing of ROC (中华民国总统府旧址)
  • Former Central Government of ROC Building Group along N. Zhongshan Road (中山北路国民政府建筑)
  • Former Central Committee of KMT Buildings (中国国民党中央党部旧址)
  • Former National Art Gallery Buildings (Jiangsu Art Gallery) (国立美术陈列馆旧址/江苏省美术馆)
  • Former National Great Hall (Nanjing Great Hall of the People) (国民大会堂旧址/南京人民大会堂)
  • Former Foreign Embassies in Gulou Area (鼓楼使馆区)
  • Nanking Officials Residence Cluster along Yihe Road (颐和路公馆区)
  • Former Central Stadium(Nanjing Physical Education Institute) (中央体育场旧址/南京体育学院)
  • Former Central Radio of KMT Building
  • Republic of China Military Academy Buildings (中央陆军军官学校旧址)
  • Former Bank of China Nanking Branch Building (中国银行南京分行旧址)
  • Former Bank of Communications Nanking Branch Building (交通银行南京分行旧址)
  • Former Central Bank of ROC Nanking Branch Building (中央银行南京分行旧址)
  • Dahua Theatre (大华电影院)
  • Lizhishe Buildings (励志社)
  • Former Macklin Hospital Buildings (Gulou Hospital) (马林医院旧址/鼓楼医院)
  • Former Central Hospital Buildings (国立中央医院旧址)
  • Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall (侵华日军南京大屠杀遇难同胞纪念馆)
  • Former National Central Museum Buildings (Nanjing Museum) (国立中央博物院旧址/南京博物馆)
  • Purple Mountain Observatory (中央研究院紫金山天文台旧址/中国科学院紫金山天文台)
  • Former Academia Sinica of ROC Buildings (国立中央研究院旧址)
  • Former Central University Buildings (Southeast University) (国立中央大学旧址/东南大学)
  • Former University of Nanking Buildings (Nanjing University) (金陵大学旧址/南京大学)
  • Former Ginling College Buildings(Nanjing Normal University) (金陵女子大学旧址/南京师范大学)
  • St. Paul's Church (圣保罗堂)
  • Central Hotel (中央饭店)
  • Former Capital Hotel (Huajiang Hotel) (首都饭店/华江饭店)
  • Yangtse Hotel (扬子饭店)
  • Sun Yat-sen Zoo (中山动物园)

People's Republic of China period

Parks and gardens

Other places of interests


Nanjing has been the educational centre in southern China for more than 1700 years. Currently, it boasts of some of the most prominent educational institutions in the region, which are listed as follows:

National universities and colleges

Operated by Ministry of Education

Operated by Ministry of Industry and Information Technology

Operated by the joint Commission of the State Forest Administration and Public Order Ministry

  • Nanjing Forest Police College (南京森林公安高等专科学校)

Operated by the general sport Administration

  • Nanjing Sport Institute (南京体育学院)

National military universities and colleges

  • PLA University of Science and Technology (中国人民解放军理工大学)
  • PLA Nanjing Political College (中国人民解放军南京政治学院)
  • PLA Nanjing International Relation College (中国人民解放军南京国际关系学院)
  • PLA Naval Command College (中国人民解放军海军指挥学院)
  • PLA Nanjing Army Command College (中国人民解放军南京陆军指挥学院)

Provincial universities and colleges

Private colleges

  • Sanjiang College (三江学院)
  • Hopkins-Nanjing Center (南京大学-约翰斯·霍普金斯大学中美文化研究中心)
  • Communication University Of China' Nanjing (中国传媒大学南广学院)

Notable high schools

International relations

Sister cities and friendship cities

Nanjing is twinned with:

Former Sister cities and friendship cities

See also



  • (Chapter 4: "The emperor really has left": Nanjing changes hands, pp. 55–72.)

External links

  • (Chinese) Nanjing Government website
  • Nanjing English guide with open directory
  • Nanjing's largest English news network with city guide and classifieds
  • Nanjing's most active social news and event network for foreigners
  • List of Nanjing Government Departments
  • Historic US Army map of Nanjing, 1945
  • "Nanking Illustrated" from 1624
Preceded by
Capital of China
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Capital of China
Succeeded by
Wuhan (wartime)
Preceded by
Capital of China
Succeeded by
for the Republic of China
Succeeded by
for the People's Republic of China

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