Taiyuan (Chinese: 太原; pinyin: Tàiyuán [tʰaɪ̂ɥɛ̌n], also known as Bing (并), Jinyang (晋阳)) is the capital and largest city of Shanxi province in North China. It is one of the main manufacturing bases of China. Throughout its long history, Taiyuan was the capital or provisional capital of many dynasties in China, hence the name Longcheng (龙城, "Dragon City").
Etymology and names
The two Chinese characters of the city's name are 太(tài, "great") and 原(yuán, "plain"), referring to the location where the Fen River leaves the mountains, and enters a relatively flat plain. Throughout its long history, the city had various names, including Bīngzhōu (并州), (from which the city's abbreviated single character name Bīng (并) is derived), Jìnyáng (晋阳) and Lóngchéng (龙城).
During the 唐朝Tang dynasty and subsequent五代 Five Dynasties, the status of the city of Taiyuan was elevated to be the Northern Capital, hence the name Beidu (北都), and Beijing (北京, different from present-day Beijing).
Taiyuan is an ancient city with more than 2500 years of urban history, dating back from 497 BC. It was the capital or secondary capital (陪都, 别都) of Zhao, Former Qin, Eastern Wei, Northern Qi, Northern Jin, Later Tang, Later Jin, Later Han, Northern Han. Its strategic location and rich history make Taiyuan one of the economic, political, military, and cultural centers of Northern China.