Hebei was one of the earliest developed regions in China. It has taken an important place in Chinese history.
After Huang Di were Yao, Shun and Yu, the three most respected rulers in ancient times. Yu the Great founded the Xia Dynasty (21st-16th century B.C.) and divided China into nine states. Hebei is the original area of Ji, the leading state of the nine states. The shortened name of Hebei Province today is still called Ji.
During the Eastern Zhou Dynasty and the Warring States period (475-221 B.C.), seven dukedoms were fighting for hegemony. Within the boundary of present-day Hebei Province there was the state of Yan to the north and the state of Zhao to the south. So Hebei has been known as "Yanzhao"too.
Two prefectures, Jizhou and Youzhou, were established in Hebei afterwards .In the 600 to 700 years before A.D. 618 several kinds of administration existed in Hebei. The name of Hebei was formally adopted during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Hebei in Chinese means "North of the River" because the region is located to the north of the Yellow River.
The three dynasties of Yuan, Ming and Qing (1206-1911) all set their national capital in Beijing. In the past 700 years Hebei had the responsibility to protect the national capital. During the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Hebei was named Zhili, which means "under direct Administration of the Imperial Court". After the founding of the Republic of China (1912-1949), the Kuomintang government set up its capital in Nanjing. The name of Zhili was no more suitable to its status and was changed to Hebei in 1928.
The Hebei people's Government was established on August 1, 1949. Shijiazhuang, the provincial capital, is 283 kilometers from Beijing.
Recommended Scenic Spots
Zhaozhou Bridge in Hebei
Zhaozhou Bridge, also known as Anji Bridge or Dashi (big stone) Bridge, is across the Jiaohe River in Zhaoxian County, which is 45 kilometers to the northeast of Shijiazhuang City. It was so named for Zhaoxian County used to be called Zhaozhou in the past. It was designed and built by Li Chun in the Sui Dynasty (581-618 ). The span of the main arch is about 37 meters long, with two small arches on each of its shoulders. Having an important position in the bridge building history, Zhaozhou Bridge was designated by an American organization concerned in 1991 as one of the 12 world wonders of historical civil engineering.
Shanhaiguan, also known as "The First Pass under Heaven", stands 15 kilometers northeast of Qinhuangdao City. It was fist built in 1381 in the Ming Dynasty. Situated between two sheer cliffs of the Yanshan Mountains, it has been a strategic place contested by militarists since ancient times. At the eastern end of the Great Wall, there are 4 arched gates, only the eastern one in good condition today.
Its unique geographical position and typically traditional architectural style make the Pass a favorable tourist spot with scenery blending mountain, sea and fortress. Laolongtou, or the Old Dragon Head, the place where the Great Wall drops into the sea proudly overlooks the surging Bohai Sea.