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Top Ancient Capitals of China

The Five Great Ancient Capitals of China including Beijing, Nanjing, Luoyang, Kaifeng, and Xi’an (Chang’an) are the most famous ones in China. They experience the history of China and still stand in this land to tell the generations what happened in the past time externally.
Top Ancient Capitals of China

Top 1 Beijing

Beijing was and has been the capital of various Chinese governments including (sorted chronologically):
  • State of Yan (Yen in WG) in Spring and Autumn Period (722-481 B.C.): called Ji
  • Liao Dynasty (907-1125), as a secondary capital: called Yanjing
  • Jin Dynasty (1115-1234) from Emperor Shizong until 1215: called Zhongdu
  • Yuan Dynasty (1271 to 1368): called Dadu in Chinese, Daidu (a direct transliteration from Chinese) in Mongolian and Khanbaliq in the Turkic languages. This was reported as "Cambuluc" by Marco Polo.
  • Ming Dynasty from the time of the Ming Yongle Emperor (r. 1402/1424) until 1644 called Jīngshī.
  • Qing Dynasty from the fall of the Ming in 1644 to the end of the dynasty in 1912.
  • The Beiyang Government of the Republic of China.
  • The current capital of the People's Republic of China.
 
Historical Attractions in Beijing:
Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Simatai Great Wall, Badaling Great Wall, Mutianyu Great Wall, Temple of Heaven, The Peking Man Site, The Ming Tombs, The Bell and Drum Tower, Prince Gong's Mansion, The Summer Palace
Top Ancient Capitals of China - Beijing
Forbidden City in Beijing

Top 2 Xi’an (Chang’an)

Xi'an (WG: Hsi'an; called Chang'an in ancient times) was the capital of various Chinese governments including (sorted chronologically):
  • Western Zhou Dynasty, also see Fenghao.
  • State of Qin in the Spring and Autumn Period and the Qin Dynasty 221 B.C.-207 B.C.: Xi'an is located near the former Qin capital Xianyang.
  • Western Han Dynasty from 206 B.C. to A.D. 9
  • Xin Dynasty from 8 to 23
  • Eastern Han Dynasty
  • Western Jin Dynasty
  • State of Former Zhao, a state in the Sixteen Kingdoms period during the Jin Dynasty (265-420).
  • State of Former Qin from 351 to 394, during the Sixteen Kingdoms period.
  • State of Later Qin from 384 to 417, during the Sixteen Kingdoms period.
  • Western Wei Dynasty
  • Northern Zhou Dynasty
  • Sui Dynasty from 581 to 618
  • Tang Dynasty from 618 to 907
 
Historical Attractions in Xi’an:
Shaanxi Provincial History Museum, Big/Small Wild Goose Pagoda, The Great Mosque, Bell Drum Tower, Ancient City Wall, Qin Terracotta Army
Top Ancient Capitals of China - Xi'an
Qin Terracotta Army in Xi'an

Top 3 Nanjing

Nanjing (formerly Romanized Nanking (CPMR) or Nanching in WG) was the capital of various Chinese governments including (sorted chronologically):
  • all of the Six Dynasties: called Jianye (建業 Jiànyè) or Jiankang (建康 Jiànkāng). The Six Dynasties are:
  • Kingdom of Wu during the Three Kingdoms
  • Eastern Jin Dynasty
  • Liu Song Dynasty
  • Southern Qi Dynasty
  • Liang Dynasty
  • Chen Dynasty
  • Ming Dynasty before Yongle Emperor moved the capital to Beijing.
  • Taiping Tianguo (Heavenly Kingdom of Great Peace and Prosperity) during the Taiping Rebellion. Known as Tianjing (天京, literally 'Heavenly Capital') between 1853 and its fall in 1864
  • Republic of China after the Northern Expedition until the Japanese invasion in 1937 of WWII, and after the war until Chiang Kai-Shek retreated to Taiwan in 1949.
  • Wang Jingwei's pro-Japanese collaborationist government.
 
Historical Attractions in Nanjing:
Confucius Temple, Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum, Zhonghua Gate
Top Ancient Capitals of China-  Nanjing
Confucius Temple in Nanjing

Top 4 Luoyang

Luoyang was the capital of various Chinese governments including (sorted chronologically):
  • Eastern Zhou Dynasty
  • Eastern Han Dynasty from 25 to 220
  • Kingdom of Wei during the Three Kingdoms.
  • Western Jin Dynasty
  • Northern Wei Dynasty since 493, moved its capital from Datong.
  • Later Tang Dynasty during the Period of Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms
 
Historical Attractions in Luoyang:
White Horse Temple, Guanlin Temple, Shaolin Temple, Longmen Grottoes
Top Ancient Capitals of China - Luoyang
White Horse Temple in Luoyang

Top 5 Kaifeng

Kaifeng was the capital of various Chinese governments including (sorted chronologically):
  • Later Liang Dynasty during the Period of Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms
  • Later Jin Dynasty during the Period of Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms
  • Later Han Dynasty during the Period of Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms
  • Later Zhou Dynasty during the Period of Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms
  • Northern Song Dynasty: called Dongjing (東京 Dōngjīng)
 
Historical Attraction in Kaifeng:
Xiangguo Monastery, Iron Pagoda Park, Dragon Pavilion Park, Shanxi-Shaanxi-Gansu Guild Hall
Top Ancient Capitals of China - Kaifeng
Iron Pagoda Park in Kaifeng

These are the top most famous ancient capitals in China. If you are quite interested in the culture of ancient China. You can't miss to visit one or two of them.