(Zhaoling Tomb with fresh snow, 2004)
Shenyang (沈阳), the capital of Liaoning Province (辽宁), is the largest city in northeast China. It is located in the center of Liaoning, three hours west of North Korea by train, and about eight hours northeast of Beijing. Though far less tourist oriented than Beijing, Shenyang is home to some historical sites that are well worth a visit.
Historically, Shenyang is probably the most important city in northeastern China. Known previously by several different names including “Shenjing”, “Fengtian”, and “Mukden”, the city was historically the capital of Manchuria. Thus, when the Manchus conquered China in 1625 and founded the Qing Dynasty, Shenyang became the capital of China. The capital status was short-lived however, as the Qing opted to move to Beijing in 1644. Thereafter, Shenyang was officially known as a “secondary capital” until the end of the Qing Dynasty in 1911. Although Shenyang was only the capital of China for 19 years, it was long enough for the Qing build the marvelous Imperial Palace as a monument to their conquest. Also, throughout the 300-year reign of the Qing Dynasty, the emperors made periodic tours through Manchuria to visit their homeland, and pay homage to their ancestors. During this time they built or added to many buildings around Shenyang, including Zhaoling Tomb, Fuling Tomb, and Huang Temple.
After the Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895), the Qing Dynasty was collapsing and the Japanese occupied Manchuria. In 1931, Shenyang was once again a critical city in an invasion of China, only this time the invaders were Japanese, not Manchu. On September 18, the Japanese executed a surprise attack on Shenyang, beginning the 14-year invasion and occupation of China. Shenyang’s “9-18 Museum” is built on the exact site where the invasion began.
When the Communists came to power in 1949, Shenyang became a major industrial center for northern China, churning out steel, trucks, and other equipment; and the city grew to become the massive city we can see today.
Nowadays Shenyang is undergoing a transformation from a jumble of factories and gray, block apartment buildings to a modern, commercial city. The 2006 World Horticultural Exhibition was held at Shenyang’s Botanical Gardens, which gave the city strong incentive to clean up. An army of workers took to the streets before the Expo, cleaning up sidewalks and streets, and planting thousands of flowers and trees around the city. The city is becoming noticeably cleaner and more beautiful all the time, and construction recently began on Shenyang’s subway system.
In August 2008, China will play host to its first ever Olympic Games. In 2007 Shenyang completed construction on its new Olympic Stadium, which will hold several Olympic soccer matches. click here for the official Olympic site
click on photo for more stadium info
Shenyang metro area: 13,000 sq. km = 5,019 sq. miles = 3,212,369 acres
City Proper: 3,495 sq. km = 1,349 sq. miles = 863,633 acres
Shenyang metro area: 7.4 million
City Proper: 4.8 million
Generally cold with accumulated snow. Rivers dry up and lakes freeze over. On March 4-5, 2007, northeastern China was struck with its largest snowstorm in over 50 years. Strong winds caused snow drifts up to two meters high in some places. It took nearly two weeks for all the streets to be cleared .
(click pictures for more, larger photos)
Mild temperatures but strong winds. Winds from the northwest bring periodic sandstorms to most of northern China.
Hot and humid. The humidity combined with air pollution and sandstorms often results in a brown haze over the city, though air pollution inside the city has been reduced in recent years.
Cool breezes and blue skies almost every day. The best time of the year in Shenyang.
Average (mean) high/low temperatures (degrees Celsius):
Telephone Code: International: 86-24...