Handan Tourist Attractions
Handan lies on the eastern foothills of the Taihang massif, in the south of Hebei province. It stretches along the west bank of a tributary of the Huanghe river. Handan is linked by rail with Beijing.Handan's beginnings lie shrouded in the mists of time. There are records of it having been a rich settlement in the Spring and Autumn periods (770-476 BC). In the time of the Warring Kingdoms (476-221 BC it was the capital of the Zhao kingdom from 386 to 228 BC and was then destroyed by the armies of the Qin kingdom (221-206 BC). During the Eastern Han era (206 BC-AD 24) Handan was rebuilt and became one of the five largest Chinese states. However, in succeeding centuries it suffered so severely from the effects of lengthy wars that by the end of the 1940s its population numbered a mere 30,000. From the 1950s onwards its fortunes revived and today it is one of the major industrial centers of Hebei province.
Zhao Kingdom Ruins
The ruins of the old Zhao capital (Zhaowangcheng Yizhi) lie 4km/2.5mi southwest of the present town center. The town was divided into three districts, eastern, western and northern. In the western section visitors can see the remains of the 284m/852ft long and 265m/795ft wide Dragon Terrace (Longtai), where the main palace is thought to have stood.The Congtai Platform, 26m/85ft high, will be found in the northeastern section of the site. Experts differ regarding the date of this terrace. Legend has it that it was built for King Vuling (reigned 325-299 BC), the ruler of the Zhao kingdom, and served him as a viewing platform during military exercises and also for watching singing and dancing performances.Near the platform stands the Temple of the Seven Wise Ones (Qixian Ci) dedicated to Lin Xiangru, Lian Po and five more personalities from the time of the Warring Kingdoms (474-221 BC).
Temple of the Ancestors
The Temple of the Ancestors (Lüzu Ci), 10km/6mi north of Handan, was founded in the Tang period (618-907), but the present building dates from the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). It is dedicated to Lü Weng the Immortal One (b. 798). A stone statue of him stands in the Hall of Our Ancestor Lü (Lüzu Dian).
There are a couple of interesting sights in the Handan surrounding area.
Caves of the Echoing Mountain
There are sixteen of these caves, which are to be found on Mount Shigushan some 25km/15.5mi southwest of Handan. Seven lie in the southern foothills and nine on the west side 15km/9mi away. The largest cave is 13.3m/44ft wide and 12.5m/41ft deep. The first caves were dug in the 6th C and the latest during the Ming period (1368-1644). In all they contain about 3,400 statues; the Cave of a Thousand Buddhas (Qianfo Dong) alone is home to 1028 figures and many high-relief carvings.