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Discover the history of Guilin city

Category: Guilin Facts

As soon as Guilin is mentioned, the city's stunning natural scenery will come to people's minds more vividly than its history. Fortunately, there are a number of historic sites left for travelers to discover the city's history.

Guilin boasts a long history that can be traced back to some 2,300 years ago. During Xia and Zhou Dynasties, there mainly lived the Baiyue people. After the establishment of Qin dynasty (221 - 206 B.C.), Emperor Qin Shi Huang - perhaps best known for creating the army of terracotta warriors - expanded his empire from Xi'an as far south to the region. He set a county there and gave the name of Guilin; and Lingqu Canal was built in 214 BC to connect the Xiang and Lijiang rivers for the transport of army provisions.

There is an old saying that "North is Great Wall and South is Lingqu Canal." Now it is the oldest canal in the world still in operation.

Later, in 111 B.C. of the Han Dynasty, the Shian County was founded in Guilin. From then on, Shian (Guilin) was considered to be an important strategic spot. The history of Guilin didn't really get started until the eras of the Tang (618-907) and Song dynasties. 

Within Seven Star Park, Guihai Stele Forest houses 218 well-preserved upright stone with various ancient engravings, most of which were from the Tang and Song dynasties. 

During Song dynasty, Guilin region is noted throughout the country for its extreme natural beauty. At the foot of Solitary Beauty Peak, an inscription declares that the rivers and mountains of Guilin as the best under heaven, namely 桂林山水甲天下 in Chinese.

In the late 14th century, under the Ming Dynasty, Guilin developed as a kingdom in its own right with the Jingjiang Kings. Much of the city's historic atmosphere is connected to the Ming, clearly evident in monuments like the Jingjiang Palace and the various imperial tombs.

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