Lanzhou Tourist Attractions
Capital of Gansu ProvinceLanzhou was founded over 2000 years ago. In 81 BC it had already acquired the dimensions of a town and later developed into an important stopping-place on the Silk Road. In 581 it was given the name ''Lanzhou''. Through the construction of the Longhai Railway in the 20th C, which extends from Jiangsu to Xinjiang, the city acquired considerable importance as a meeting-point between east and west.After 1949 Lanzhou underwent enormous economic development, becoming an important industrial center (petro-chemicals, weaving, metal processing) and achieving prominence in the field of atomic energy research. Today the city is the political, economic, scientific and cultural center of Gansu Province and the second largest city in northwest China. It is also famous for its fruit, notably its melons.
Park of the Five Springs
In the south of the city lies Wuquanshan, about 1600m/5250ft high and named after the Five Springs at the foot of the mountain. Scattered over its slopes are several monuments of considerable cultural and archaeological significance. The Park of the Five Springs (Wuquanshan Gongyuan) has been laid out here.
Temple of Reverence
The most important monument on Wuquanshan is the Temple of Reverence and Solemnity (Chongqing Si), built in 1372. Here it is possible to see a 3m/10ft high iron bell, dating from 1202 and with a weight of some 5 tons, and a bronze Buddha sculpture, dating from 1370 and with a height of over 5m/16ft. From the top of the mountain there is a wonderful view of the city.
Mountain of the White Pagoda
In the north of the city stands Baitashan, named after the seven-story 17m/56ft high White Pagoda, which was erected on the summit under the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368) and subsequently rebuilt in the middle of the 15th C. From here there is a superb view. Together with the sacred buildings surrounding it, the pagoda forms the focal point of a public park, laid out in 1958, which covers an area of 8000sq.m/1.5acres.
The Provincial Museum's exhibits include ceramics, some of which date from Neolithic times. The most famous item is the bronze sculpture ''Flying Horse from Gansu'', with its hoof resting on a bird. It comes from a tomb from the Eastern Han period (24-220) which was discovered in 1969.