Chengdu is located between 30º 05´-31º 26´ of north latitude and 102º54´-104º53´ of east longitude. It lies in the middle of Sichuan Province, in the west of the Sichuan Basin and at the center of the Chengdu plains. Chengdu borders on De Yang to the northeast, Zhi Yang to the southeast, Ya An to the southeast, Mei Shan to the south, and A Pa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefectures to the northwest. Its longest distance from east to west is 192 km by 166 km from south to north. Its total area is 12,390 Sq. km..
Chengdu’s topography takes the shape of a ladder, which slopes toward the southeast from the northwest. The highest point, with an elevation of 5,364 m, is the Miao Ji Ling Range located in Xi Ling Town under Da Yi County. The lowest site, 387 m above sea level, is the outlet of the Zhi Shui River below the Jin Tang-Jian Yang Bridge in Yun He Town under Jin Tang County. The city’s relative height difference is about 4, 977 m. The prominent difference of its elevation height results in the vertical climate of heat difference and colorful natural landscape. Under these conditions, local living resources in Chengdu area have various families and complete categories, creating excellent advantages to develop tourism and three-dimensional agriculture.
Chengdu’s landform appears regular and parallel. It presents varied topographical parts, ranging from west to east: medium-height mountainous areas, hilly areas along mountains, plain region, low mountainous areas, and hilly areas. The Mount Long Men and the Mount Qiong Lai stand high in the northwest;. The Mount Long Quan obliquely passes through the southeast; The Mount Chang Qiu lies across the south. All these four mountains form natural protective screens for the Chengdu Plains. Between the plains and mountainous areas are hills, which function as transitional zones. To the east of the Mount Long Quan are typical hilly areas located in the middle of Sichuan. The areas of the plains, hills and mountains account respectively for 40.1%、27.6%、32.3% of the total city area.
Chengdu lies in the subtropical humid climate sub-zoon under the eastern-monsoonal region. It has abundant heat, plentiful rainfall, distinctive four seasons as well as rainy-and-warm weather. Except medium or high mountainous areas in the northwest, the climate in most areas is characterized by these following facts. Summer is not too hot; winter is not too cold; the climate is mild; summer days last longer and winter ones shorter; it has a the frost-free period long, and it rains more often in autumn or at night. In addition, there are more clouds and mist, and less sunlight, with heavy humidity and mild wind speed. Annually, its average temperature is between 15.2 ℃ and 16.6℃. The hottest month is either July or August, with average monthly temperature ranging from 25.0℃ to 25.4℃. The coldest month is January, with average monthly temperature ranging from 2.4℃ to 5.6℃. The frost-free period is between 270 and 280 days. In some years the frost-free period exceeds 330 days. The annual precipitation is between 800mm and 1400mm. According to geographical distribution, the rainfall gradually decreases from northwest to southeast. The raining mainly occurs from June to September, and the total amount of the raining accounts for about 60% of the annual precipitation. Annually, the total hours of sunshine range from 1,042 to 1,412 hours. The average wind speed is 1.3m/s; the maximum of wind direction is calm wind; the north wind remains second in terms of wind direction. The annual average relative humidity is between 79% and 84%. The average amount of evaporation is annually between 877mm and 1132mm; according to geographical distribution, it increases progressively from northwest to southeast; however, based on the season distribution, the amount of evaporation is higher in spring and summer than in autumn and winter.
In Chengdu area there are varied types of soil, including rice paddy soil, humid soil, purple soil, black calcareous soil, yellow soil, yellow-brown soil, dark brown soil of the mountainous regions, brown dark coniferous forest earth, subalpine meadow soil, mountainous meadow soil and mountainous tundra earth. These 11 soil types, being further divided into 20 sub-categories, 56 soil families or 150 different kinds of soil, are available for the growth of different crops and economic woods. Meanwhile, the soils remain fertile providing sufficient nutrients; the average nutrient content of each soil type meets the basic needs of crop growth. Moreover, the soils have excellent farming qualities because of its depth, proper distributions as well as the percentage of 73 % loamy soil.
The forests are mainly found on the Mount Long Men and the Mount Qiong Lai. The total forested areas of Da Yi County, Pen Zhou City, Du Jiang Yan City, Chong Zhou City and Qiong Lai City amount to more than 85 % of the forested areas in Chengdu. Most of the forests are found in the source areas of the Long Qi River, Bei Sa River, Xi He River, Nan He River, Chu Jiang River, Xie Jiang River, Qian Jiang River and Hei Shui River, all of them being tributaries of the Ming Jiang and Tuo Jiang Rivers. Being near the main cities in Chengdu, the forests are conducive to the conservation of water sources and function as important ecological shelters for Chengdu. In addition, the forests contain various and rich tree species, which account for 63 families, 169 categories and 266 varieties and constitute a wide variety of forest types. The forests are also very rich in animal resources, and are inhabited by over 100 animals that are under province or state protection. By the end of 2007, the forest coverage rate had reached 36.8%. In May, 2007, Chengdu was awarded with the title of “National Forest City” by the National Greening Committee and the State Forestry Administration.
Chengdu has an area of 12,390 Sq km, which are equal to 18,585,000 mu. The Chengdu plains cover a space of 4,972 Sq km, accounting for 40.1% of the total local area. The plains have superior nature conditions for the plains have deep earth layers, fertile soil, abundant rainfall and heat, rainy-and-warm weather as well as convenient irrigation and drainage system. All these facts have laid a strong foundation for local agricultural development. Specifically, the plains belong to paddy field area, which yields a very high agricultural output.
Chengdu lies on the basins of the Min Jiang and Tuo Jiang Rivers, which are both first-stage tributaries of the Chang Jiang River. The rivers and canals densely cover the Chengdu area like spindles twisting and winding fibres. The water system branches take the fan shape, and their network density is at the rate of 1.22 km/sqkm. Although the local water resources only amount to 9,326,000,000 m³, the cross-Chengdu-boundary water resources have reached 17,663,000,000 m³. The Du Jiang Yan irrigation system, built over 2,000 years ago, has brought in rich and clear water into the Chengdu plains from the upper reaches of the Min Jiang River, thus turning the Chengdu plains to be “an ocean on land” with fertile fields extending a thousand li, and “the Land of Abundance” free from any floods and draughts.
Chengdu has diverse ecological environment, with a complete range of plant resources and rich varieties, which include 2,752 kinds of higher-grade plants. The fruit plants account for 15 families, 28 categories and 60 types that produce 573 fruit varieties altogether. There is a total of 862 kinds of the identified Chinese medicinal herbs. Among them 608 different herbs have been developed for current use, and valuable medicinal herbs include fritillaria, Chinese caterpillar fungus, gastrodia and so on. Flowers, plants and eco-plants make up 91 species, 206 categories, which produce 558 varieties. In Chengdu many rare plants are grown. Among them 29 varieties are on the list of nationally protected plants, including first-level protected plants like gingko, Chinese yew, southern Chinese yew, Chinese dove tree, Chinese dove tree without leaves and the only-one-leaf grass
There are 283 kinds of terrestrial animals, including 51 kinds of mammals, 206 kinds of birds and 26 kinds of reptiles. Most of aquatic animals are 85 species of fishes, and in addition, there are 20 kinds of amphibians. The diversified ecological environment in the Chengdu area is conducive to all kinds of wildlife inhabitation and their reproduction. In terms of their use, there are 52 kinds of animals for meat, 77 kinds of animals for medicinal purposes, 39 kinds of animals for wool, leather or feathers as well as 50 kinds of animals used for entertainment. Among them there are 37 kinds of nationally protected animals, including first-class protected animals like giant pandas, golden monkeys, takins, the green rainbow tails pheasants and so on.
Chengdu’s mineral resources have following facts:
Chengdu has various mineral resources. Totally there are 8 categories and 45 kinds of the verified mineral resources.
The locations of these resources relatively concentrate. The coal concentrates in the west along mountainous regions. Glauberite reserves rank first in China and concentrate in the hilly regions under Xin Jin and Shuang Liu counties.
There are many associated or symbiotic mines, which can be comprehensively recycled in a way to turn a mine to be a multi-ore mine.
Some mineral resources are quite superior. These include calcium Glauber's salt, natural gas, mineral water and so on. These superior mineral products are not only large in reserves and high in grade, but also the conditions for mining are very convenient.
Population, Nationality and Religion
Chengdu is one of the most densely populated cities in China. The total household registered population is 12,280,485 in 2015. Chengdu is the fourth-largest city in China, whose population density is 1006 persons per sq.km, and that of city area and central city area are 2131 persons per sq.km and 7933 persons per sq.km respectively.
Chengdu is a city where ethnic groups live in different places. Apart from the Han Nationality, there are 55 ethnic nationalities in the territory. According to statistics of the fifth census, besides a large population of different transient and floating ethnic groups, the population of ethnic residents is 60,538. The ten ethnic groups with a population of 1000 and over are Hui, Tibetan, Manchu, Mongolian, Miao, Yi, Tujia, Qiang, Zhuang and Korean.
Buddhism, Daoism, Islamism, Catholicism and Christianity are in existence in Chengdu. During the reign of Emperor Shun Di of the Eastern Han Dynasty, Heavenly Master Zhang Ling founded “Five-Piculs-of-Rice Sect” on the Mount He Ming of Da Yi County. This indicated the beginning of Chinese Daoism. Buddhism also entered Chengdu quite early for it came to this area towards the end of the Eastern Han Dynasty. More than 600 years ago, Islamism entered Chengdu in the Ming Dynasty. Catholicism and Christianity entered Chengdu respectively in 1640 in the Ming Dynasty and in 1881 in the Qin Dynasty. At present, there are 178 religious activity sites, and 1,509 priests and working staff in Chengdu.
Chengdu regional ecosystem can be divided into 3 ecological regions and 7 ecological sub-regions.
▲Northwest mountainous ecological region
This region covers Chengdu’s main river origins and forest-centered areas, with diversified biological and tourist resources. Meanwhile, it functions as Chengdu’s important ecological protective screens for Chengdu’s major nature reserves, forest parks, and scenic places all concentrate in the same region. The Min Jiang River, being a boundary line, divides the region into the Mount Long Men Sub-Region and the the Mount Qiong Lai Sub-Region.
▲Central plain ecological region
This region lies between the Mount Long Men and the Mount Long Quan. Its landform is an alluvial fan-shaped plain, and its topography slopes towards the southeast from the northwest. The region falls into two sub-regions. One refers to the urban eco-production sub-region that includes central cities and satellite towns around the cities. This sub-region is characterized with plain urban areas. The other sub-region refers to the plain eco-agriculture sub-region that lies around the areas, which are under water gravity irrigation system regulated by the water network from the Du Jiang Yan Dam and the Yu Xi River. In this sub-region, farming and aquaculture industry are well developed. In addition, it serves as Chengdu’s main supporting area of the biological production.
South-eastern low mountainous and hilly ecological region
The landform in this region is characterized by low mountains and hills, and most of exposed rock layers are red rock sandstone or mudstone. The soil is relatively infertile, the vegetation comparatively rare, the water resource relatively insufficient, the soil erosion quite serious and the ecological environment reasonably fragile. Therefore, the important tasks of the ecological construction in the region include the construction of water conservancy projects, water-soil maintenance, soil fertility nurturance, forestation, and agro-forestry development. This region falls into three sub-regions: the Mount Long Quan, the Mount Chong Qiou and the hilly areas to the east of the Tuo Jiang River.
Construction of Ecological Environment
Chengdu have constructed 8 state-level ecological demonstration zones, 6 towns with a beautiful environment, 6 natural reserves and 8 forest parks in Chengdu.
Six natural reserves
The six natural reserves are all located at the Mount Long Men or the Mount Qiong Lai, with their total area of 1,163 sq km. These include the state-level reserves like the Long Xi – Hong Kou Reserve, located to the north of Du Jiang Yan City and the Bai Shui He River Reserve, located to the northwest of Peng Zhou City; the provincial-level reserves like the An Zi River Reserve, located to the northeast of Chong Zhou and the Hei Shui River Reserve, located in the northeast of Da Yi County. The other two reserves are the Site Reserve of Giant Erratic Glacier at Mt. Long Men in Peng Zhou and the county-level Egret Natural Ecological Protection Zone in Pu Jing County. The six nature reserves link up the two of the world’s largest wild panda communities, one being from the Mount Min Shan and the other from the Mount Qiong Lai, and at present the reserves have become a natural passageway where giant pandas can inhabit and breed. Meanwhile, these reserves have effectively protected rich plant and animal resources within the reserve regions.
Eight forest parks
Of eight forest parks there are four state-level ones. These are the Du Jiang Yan National Forest Park at the Long Chi Town to the northwest of Du Jiang Yan City, the Xi Ling National Forest Park in the west of Da Yi County, the Mount Tian Tai National Forest Park to the southwest of Qiong Lai City and the Bai Shui He River National Forest Park to the northwest of Peng Zhou City. Three of the eight forest parks are province-level. These are the Ji Guan Shan Forest Park in Gou Jia Township area under Chong Zhou City, the Bai Lu Forest Park in Bai Lu Town district under Peng Zhou City and the Ling Yan Si Forest Park in Du Jiang Yan area. The Bamboo Forest Park is city-level. Located at Xing Yi Town district under Xin Jing County, it is the only forest park on the Chengdu Plains.
Eight state-level ecological demonstration zones
These eight zones include Wen Jiang District, Pi Xian County, Du Jiang Yan City, Pu Jiang County, Da Yi County, Qiong Lai City, Chong Zhou City, and Jing Tang County .
Six state-level towns with a beautiful environment
These towns are Pingle Town in Qiong Lai City, Huang Long Xi Town in Shuang Liu County, Wan Chun Town and Yong Ning Town in Wen Jiang District, Cheng Xiang Town in Qing Bai Jiang District, and Xi Lai Town in Pu Jiang County.
The environmental quality is unceasingly improving due to the implementation of environmental protection measures. The sites of drinking water sources are well protected, and the water quality at the sites is excellent. The Water Plant No. 6 that takes charge of main water supply has reached the standard items set to monitor water quality. In addition, the water quality at the three outlets of the Min jiang River, Tuo Jiang River and Jin Jiang River is being gradually improved. Due to much effort made to advance the industrial layout, adjust the industrial structure, change the energy structure, move the industrial zone out of the eastern suburbs and close power plants located in the city, the regional air quality has been greatly improved and the air quality rate of primary urban areas is 87.4%.
The Sichuan Basin is surrounded by mountains, the Qinling Mountains in the north, Daba Mountain in the east, the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in the west and the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau in the south. But the Chengdu Plain in the west of the Sichuan Basin is natural flatlands, hills and river valleys. The pure newly-melted snow originated from Minshan Mountain flows through the Dujiang Weirs into the spiderweb-like irrigation canals, crisscross nourishing vast expanse of fertile land. It has always been like this since more than 2000 years.
Situated at the centre of the Chengdu Plain, Chengdu City covers a total area of 12,121 square kilometers, with 192 kilometers in its maximum east-west width and 166 kilometers in its maximum north-south length. Chengdu is surrounded by four mountains. Longmen Mountain and Qionglai Mountain stand on its northeast, Longquan Mountain penetrate slantly southeastward and Changqiu Mountain dominating its south. These four mountains provide a natural barrier for the Chengdu Plain, with the hill area as the transition belt between the plain and the mountainous areas. The plain, the hill areas, and the mountainous areas take respectively about 33.3 percent of the total area of Chengdu.
Located at 30°05′—31°26′ N and 102°54′—104°53′ E, Chengdu City lies in the subzone of the subtropical and humid climate under the Eastern Monsoon Region, abounding in heat and rainfall, with distinctive seasons as well as a rainy-and-hot climate. Except medium or high mountainous areas in its northwest, most areas are characterized by a mild climate, long summer without intense heat, short winter without bitter cold. Chengdu is also an area with a long duration of frost-free period.
The terrain of Chengdu takes the shape of a step-ladder, sloping from northwest to southeast. The highest site, at an elevation of 5,364 m, is the Miaoji Ridge in Xiling Town of Dayi County. The lowest site, at an elevation of 387 m, is the outlet of the Zishui River below the Jinjian Bridge in Yunhe Town of Jintang County. The relative altitude difference reaches about 4,977 m. Such significant altitude difference of its elevation results in the vertical climates with heat differences and colorful natural landscapes. Under such favourable conditions, intra-city various families and complete categories of local biological resources are in condition to develop tourism and three-dimensional agriculture.
Chengdu is one of 11 critical regions of biodiversity conservation on land of China, also at present one of regions in which mountain animals and plants resources are best preserved in the world. 3317 species of plants account for one tenth in our country and one third in our province. Chengdu City abounds in rare and precious plants, with 29 species under state protection, especifically the first-class protective plants are ginkgo, Chinese Yew, Maire Yew, Dovetree, Vilmorin Doretree, Kingdonia. Chengdu City abounds in animal resources, with 578 species of wild animals, among them 15 species of the first-class wild animals under state protection are Sichuan golden monkey, giant panda, clouded leopard, leopard, snow leopard, alpine musk deer, forest musk deer, white-lipped deer, Sichuan takin, white stork, black stork, golden eagle, Chinese hazel grouse, pheasant grouse and Chinese monal pheasant.
The City of Chengdu is located in the Minjiang River Basin and the Tuojiang River Basin, the first-grade tributaries of the Yangtse River，with its streams，brooks and canals like a spindle and tributaries of the river systems like a fan. The density of the network of waterways reaches 1.22 km / km2. Although Chengdu’s local water resources are limited, transit ones are very abundant. It is due to the Dujiangyan Irrigation Project built more than 2000 years ago that the abundant and clean water resources of the upper reaches of the Minjiang River is diverted to the Chengdu Plain, which has been transformed into “a sea-like land” of vast expanse of fertile land as well as “the land of abundance” irrigated according to people’s will.
The 13 inland rivers originating from the Chengdu Area are the Baisha, Longxi, Jianjiang (also called the Baishui), Wenjing (also called the Anzi), Heishui, Chujiang, Xiejiang, Nanhe, Yangxi, Qimu, Wanjia, Huangshui and Shuimo Rivers. Besides, the 55 tributaries originating from the nature reserves and flowing into the above-mentioned rivers mainly include the Mozigou, Shenxigou, Wumacao, Hongshuiheidang, Shaoyaogou, Guoquanyangou, Mopangou, Huilonggou Tributaries, etc. In general, all rivers and tributaries crisscross the Chengdu Area and provide an important guarantee for the good harvest of the entire Western Sichuan Plain.
Chengdu City enjoys a great variety of soils, including 11 soil groups, 20 soil subgroups, 56 soil genuses and 150 soil species. Such various soils are suited to the conditions of growing varieties of crops and forests of economic value. The fertile soils with all kinds of nutrients and the nutrient contents in various soil groups are well-distributed for the growth of crops. Therefore, Chengdu enjoys the properly-thick soil layers with a good cultivation, of which the loam soil occupying 73%. Especially essential irrigation areas of the Dujiang Weirs is one of the seven major high-quality agricultural regions and seven major high-quality arable lands in China, bearing foundation of modern agriculture of Chengdu and the focus place of fine ecological environment in urban and rural areas.
Round-the-Farmhouse Bamboo Forests or Woods in Western Sichuan are special landscapes of the rural housing peculiar to the Chengdu Plain, unique in the whole country and rare in the world. It consists of villages and farmyards dotted with the rural area in Chengdu, just like green islets harmoniously surrounded by or covered with high arbor trees, bamboo forests, rivers and perpheral arable lands. They are the unity of traditional residential style, mode of production and life for Western Sichuan farmers and rural ecological environment. They are also typical representative of farming culture in Western Sichuan.
The forests in the City of Chengdu cover an area of 432266.6 ha. with forest coverage rate amounting to 36.8%. Its forests are mainly distributed in Longmen Mountain and Qionglai Mountain in the northwest, and among them 85 % in such five counties or cities as Dayi County, Pengzhou City, Dujiangyan City, Congzhou City and Qionglai City. The forests are mainly situated in the sources of the tributaries of the Minjiang River and the Tuojiang River, not far from the downtown, so that they are favorable to the conservation of water resources, thus forming important ecological protective screen for the City of Chengdu. Chengdu enjoys a great variety of trees with 63 families, 169 genera and 266 species. At the same time, Chengdu is rich in wild animal resources, with more than one hundred species of animals under the national or provincial protections. Due to this, Chengdu City was conferred the title of “National Forest City” by National Afforestation Commission and the State Forestry Administration in May 2007.
There are favourable natural conditions and good ecological environment in Chengdu, so “mountains, rivers and lakes, farmlands, forests and cities” of millennium inheritance are the background foundation for building the modern garden and park city of Chengdu.
Famous Historical Sites with Mountains and Waters
Chengdu City is a central city with the most primeval forests, nature reserves, forest parks and a lot of landscapes and famous sceneries at an elevation of biggest attitude difference and nearest to rare animals.
Chengdu is a central city in Western China which enjoys both the world cultural heritage and the world natural heritage. The former refers to Qingcheng Mountain-Dujian Weirs, the later Sichuan Giant Panda Habitats (in part). In the surrounding area of Chengdu, there are two world heritages, one being the world cultural and natural heritage Emei Mountain-Leshan Giant Buddha and the other world natural heritages Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong.
Cancong, Baiguan, Yufu, Duyu and Bieling were five legendary kings of the Ancient Shu State, representing the periods of the agricultural civilization and early urban civilization when ancestors of the Ancient Shu State had gradually migrated from “Minshan Caves” and settled in the Chengdu Plain. Since the last nearly fifty years, a series of archaeological achievements amazed China and the world on the Chengdu Plain has witnessed a long history of the Chengdu Culture.
Chengdu has been an ecologic city with “water conservancy project nourishing the land of abundance” and “thriving on water” since antiquity. It is said that Dayu (or Yu the Great, a founder of the Xia Dynasty, about 2070BC—1600BC) “channeled Minshan Mountain into the Minjiang River eastward and made it as the source of the Tuojiang River”, and that King Cong Bieling (Spirit of Turtle) “cut into Yulei Mountain and dredged the Jintang Gorge”. Afterwards Li Bing built the Dujiang Weirs; Wen Weng diverted water from mountain streams to irrigate farmland; Gao Pian changed the courses of the Jinjiang River. In modern times, Chengdu City People’s Government carried out comprehensive realignment of the Jinjiang River. These water control works for 5 times brought up a famous historic and cultural city of Chengdu in Sichuan.
In 311 BC, Zhang Yi began to build Chengdu walls, from that time on Chengdu takes count of more than 2300 years in the development history of city planning and construction of Chengdu. The city developed from “the earring-like city surrounded by two rivers” in the beginning into “two rivers round the city” in the last phase of the Tang Dynasty, into “three inside and outside cities” during the periods of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, and then formed the present-day ideal habitat environment with “ring rivers in the city”. “Blue water and clear ripples surround the layer city” is unique characteristics of the layout of Chengdu.
The city site of Chengdu has not been moved for 3000 years, and Chengdu has its unchanged name for almost 2500 years. This is a particular characteristic for Chengdu as the national famous historical and cultural city. According to Records of the World from the Reign of Great Tranquility published in the Song Dynasty, Chengdu originated in the saying, “It took one year to get people settled in a compact community, two years to get the settlement into a city, and three years to get the city into a capital.” Chengdu has good names for the “Jinguan City” (Brocade Administration Office City), which was abbreviated to “Jincheng (Brocade City), and Furong City (Hibiscus City), abbreviated “Rong City”, etc. During the periods of the Han and Tang Dynasties Chengdu developed into the first-class city in China. Chengdu was “one of five cities” of China in the Han Dynasty, known as “Yangzhou First, Yizhou Second” (Yizhou was an ancient name for Chengdu) in the Tang Dynasty, acclaimed as “the first famous city under heaven” in the Song Dynasty.
During the period of the Kingdom of Shuhan (221～263), one of the Three Kingdoms, the most famous figure was Zhuge Liang, a master of national wisdom. Zhuge Liang Memorial Hall is only one, the monarch and his ministers partake in China, and is also the most famous memorial place of Liu Bei, Zhuge Liang and other heroes of the Kingdom of Shuhan, thus enjoying the good reputation for the Sacred Place of the Three Kingdoms. Chengdu is a central gathering place of the remains of the Three Kingdoms.
Chengdu is a famous historical and cultural city, which has held a special scholastic place in the history of Chinese poetry. In Chengdu there are both great poets Du Fu, Lu You, Wang Bo, Gao Shi, et al. lived in Chengdu away from home and wrote a lot of resplendent poems and aboriginal poets Xue Tao, Tang Qiu, Mrs Flower Pistil, et al. were well-known throughout our country. In addition, the first lyrics collection Collection Among the Flowers edited by a literary man in Chinese literature came into existence.
There was a popular saying in the history of the Chinese Culture—“Ba-Shu was the cradle of the outstanding literary figures”. That is, Chengdu was really a place that has given birth to the top literary figures. As early as the Han Dynasty, there appeared Sima Xiangru titled “the Rhapsody-Sage”, Yang Xiong titled “the Confucius of Sichuan”. In the Ming Dynasty, Yang Sheng’an was called the first writer as far as his abundant writings were concerned. In the modern times, there appeared such outstanding literary giants as Bajin and Li Jieren who was titled “the Zola of China”. The above mentioned literary giants were nurtured in the Ba-Shu Culture. Although poet sage Du Fu in the Tang Dynasty and poet Lu You in Song Dynasty are not from Sichuan, They are gestated to be literary masters by Sichuan.
The immortalization legends of Cancong and Yufu in the period of the Ancient Shu State have been confirmed by such archaeologically unearthed relics in the Sanxingdui Site and the Jinsha Site as bronze statue with human-face and bird-body, the Sun Divine Bird made of gold foil, etc. In the Han Dynasty, Sima Xiangru, a native of Chengdu, wrote Rhapsody on the Great Man, in which also mentioned a supernatural being—Great Man. It was said that Emperor Wudi (140 BC～88 BC) of the Western Han Dynasty felt himself supernatural like an immortal after reading it. Therefore, Chengdu was the cradle of legends of feather to be immortals, an immortal land and the birthplace of Zhang Daoling’s Taoism.
The origin of Taoism is in Chengdu and more than 1800 years has passed. Strictly speaking, “China is the origin of Taoism, while Chengdu is the birthplace of Taoism.” The founder of Taoism is Zhang Daoling in the Eastern Han Dynasty, the Heming Mountain in Dayi County and Qingcheng Mountain in Dujiangyan City are the origin and birthplace. The Qingyang Taoist Temple built in Tang Dynasty derived from Qingyang Shop.
Since the Tang Dynasty, Sichuan had been a center of the Studies of Chan, just as the saying “Speaking of Chan, one cannot be unaware of Sichuan, while speaking of Sichuan, one cannot ignorant of Chan”. Xuan Zang, the eminent monk of the Tang Dynasty, had been in monkhood in Chengdu for five years. Chengdu was an ideal place for training “promising young followers of Buddhism”.
From such unearthed historical relics of the Ancient Shu State as Jinsha Monolith which is the earliest and biggest percussion instrument in China, Chunyu (an ancient percussion instrument), bronze drums, ocarina, talking and singing figurines musical compositions to the Stringed Music of the Shu State and the Bamboo Branch Lyrics, etc., from the Lei’s Style Ancient Seven-Stringed Instrument of the Tang Dynasty now being kept in the Palace Museum, the 24 Female-Player Pictures, which was engraved on the Sarcophagus of the Yongling Mausoleam in the Five Dynasties to Taoist music of Qingcheng Mountain in the history of more than 2000 years, all this shows the prosperity of ancient music in Chengdu.
One of the origins of Chinese dramas is the talking and singing art, which could be firstly seen in Shu Prefecture in the Han Dynasty. The earliest record of opera performance in the history of China was the reality-based opera performance recorded in the volume of the History of the Kingdom of Shu Han in the History of the Three Kingdoms. In the Tang and Five Dynasties, “Tang Poetic Drama Set to Music” came into being in Chengdu. This kind of drama was the earliest fully-formed drama in the history of Chinese Culture. In the Song Dynasty, there appeared a kind of drama, called “Sichuan Poetic Drama Set to Music”, that is the origin of “Sichuan Opera”. In the Qing Dynasty, Sichuan Poetic Drama Set to Music had developed gradually into “Sichuan Opera” which was the most advanced opera with the greatest influence among all the local Huabu operas of China—Sichuan Opera. In addition, Chengdu was also the birthplace of the Puppet Play, and the leader among the southern schools of Shadow Puppet Plays in China.
In the Chengdu Area, innumerable art treasures have been found from successive dynasties. These art treasures include the “Sun Divine Bird”, relief brick sculptures, pottery figurines of talking and singing, lacquer wares, stone inscriptions, Sichuan brocades and Sichuan embroideries, and paintings. The “Sun Divine Bird” made of gold foil was excavated from the Jinsha Site which can be traced back to the final period of the Shang Dynasty (1600 BC～1046 BC). The relief brick sculptures and the pottery figurines can be archaeologically traced back to the Han Dynasty. The lacquer wares were, it is hardly too much to say, the best in the world in the Han Dynasty. The stone inscriptions, whose handwritings were very fine, were found in the tombstone of King Wen of the Northern Zhou Dynasty (557～581). The Sichuan brocades and the Sichuan embroideries were exported to other places through the “Silk Roads” early in the Shang Dynasty. The art of painting had enjoyed the title “The First on Earth” in the Tang and Song Dynasties, so Chengdu has been a city full of art gems.
The Western Sichuan common people’s houses are full of strong local features. After last years of the Qing Dynasty, or the beginning of the Republic of China, the fusion style of Chinese and Western architectures, or the Western-Style architectures were gradually combined into Chengdu’s traditional architectural culture. Of the folk customs architectures, the famous ones include the Liu’s Manor in Dayi, Anren Residence Complex, Luodai Guild Halls Complex in Longquanyi and The Chens’ Mast in Wenjiang. In addition, 21 traditional common people’s houses in city proper of Chengdu are listed among the municipal-level preservation of cultural relics. All the above mentioned architectures have formed the Chengdu building-feature system, presenting us with an accurate picture of social life history in Modern Chengdu.
Chengdu is a famous historical city with a glorious revolutionary tradition. Famous red revolutionary historical sites, such as the Site of Qionglai Soviet Government in Qionglai City, the February 16th Tomb of Revolutionary Martyrs on Mopan Hill in the northern suburbs of Chengdu, the Shierqiao Tomb and Monument to Revolutionary Martyrs in the Cultural Park, Hard-Working Restaurant set up by the revolutionary martyr Che Yaoxian.