Monday, October 13, 2008


Baoding is a prefecture-level city in Hebei province, China.

People and culture

The Baoding urban area has a population of around 635,000 . The population of the Baoding administrative area is larger. The considerable majority are Han Chinese. The language of Baoding is Mandarin Chinese — specifically, the Baoding dialect of Ji-Lu Mandarin. Despite Baoding's proximity to Beijing, the Chinese spoken in Baoding is not particularly close to Beijing dialect — rather, it is more closely related to Tianjin dialect.

Hebei province, in which Baoding is located, is home to a high proportion of ; Baoding likewise reflects this demographic trend. Several Catholic leaders from Baoding have faced arrest since the 1990s.

Perhaps the best known item to supposedly originate in Baoding are Baoding Balls.

Anxin County is home to the Quantou Village Music Association , a well known traditional music group performing on '''' , ''sheng'' , and percussion. The village of Quantou is located on an island in Lake Baiyangdian.


Baoding is a city with a history dating back to the Western Han Dynasty. It was destroyed by the Mongols in the 13th century, but after the Mongols established the Yuan Dynasty, it was rebuilt. It acquired the name "Baoding" during the Yuan dynasty — the name is roughly interpreted as "protecting the capital", referring to the city's proximity to Beijing. Baoding served for many years as the capital of Zhili, and was a significant centre of culture in the Ming Dynasty and early Qing Dynasty. It continued to serve as provincial capital when Zhili was renamed Hebei. During World War II, the city was the site of a headquarters for Japanese occupation forces. In 1958, the role of provincial capital was assuemed by Tianjin, which had lost its status as a province-level municipality, but when Tianjin was elevated again in 1966, Baoding regained its position. In 1970, however, the rapidly growing city of Shijiazhuang became capital instead.


On of the largest employers in Baoding is China Lucky Film, the largest photosensitive materials and magnetic recording media manufacturer in China.


Baoding is located around 140 kilometres south of Beijing. It is nearly halfway between Beijing and Shijiazhuang, the capital of Hebei province.

Baoding is situated on flat plains, to the east of the Taihang Mountains. It is surrounded by farmland. The city is roughly rectangular in shape, and is divided by the north-south Jingguang Railway. Baoding Railway Station marks the geographic centre of the city. The older part of Baoding is on the east side of the railway, and is administratively divided into the North City and South City. On the west side of the railway is the New City, an area of more recent development.

The city's streets follow a rough grid pattern, although this is less obvious in the older part of the city. The traditional main street of old Baoding is Yuhua Road, running from the city's centre to its eastern edge — most of Baoding's historic buildings are located in this area, along with some of its larger shopping centres. Other major streets include Dongfeng Road and Changyang Avenue. There is a ring road around the city.

Baoding is home to Hebei University, among others.

Historic Sites

Baoding contains a number of notable historic sites. In the city proper, there can be found a historic provincial governor's mansion and an ancient lotus garden. In the hills to the northwest of the city, near the suburb of Mancheng, there are the Mancheng Han Tombs, where prince Liu Sheng and his wife Dou Wan were buried.

The greater Baoding administrative area has 15 designated state-level cultural relics:
# Capital Relics
# at Zijinguan Pass
# Lao Morality Classic Tablet
# Western Qing Tombs
# Geyuan Temple
# Ciyun Temple
# Yicihui Stone Pillar
# Kaiyuan Temple
# Kaishansi Temple
# Dingzhou Porcelain Kiln Relic
# Northern Mount Temple
# Jin-cha-ji Border Region Headquarter Ruins
# Ranzhuang Underground Tunnel
# Mancheng Han Tombs
# Zhili Provincial Governor Office


Baoding has good connections to other cities, being located on one of the main routes in and out of Beijing. The Jingshi Expressway connects the two cities, and Baoding is also the western terminus of the Baojin Expressway linking Baoding with Tianjin. The Jingguang Railway provides frequent services to Beijing West Railway Station.

Baoding's internal public transport system consists of buses . Taxis are also common.


Baoding is located in the middle of Hebei Province, east of Mount Taihang. During the Monsoon season, the yearly average precipitation is 570 millimeters, the yearly average temperature is around 12.0 °C.


Baoding prefecture-level city consists of 4 municipal , 4 , 18 :

Beishi District

Dingzhou City
Zhuozhou City
Anguo City
Gaobeidian City
Mancheng County

Xushui County
Laiyuan County
Dingxing County
Shunping County
Tang County
Wangdou County
Laishui County
Gaoyang County
Anxin County
Xiong County
Rongcheng County
Quyang County
Fuping County
Boye County

Twin Cities

Town twinning of Baoding:
Charlotte, North Carolina, United States
, Japan
, Japan