Cangzhou China



Keywords: Cangzhou China
Description: Cangzhou City gained its name from its close proximity to the Bohai Sea, which is said to be a main source of the ancient legend of Pangu.

Location. Located in the southeast part of Hebei Province, Cangzhou City is 240 kilometers (149 miles) south of Beijing and 120 kilometers (75 miles) south of Tianjin. To the east is the Bohai Sea, which separates the city from the Shandong Peninsula.

History. The city gained its name from its close proximity to the Bohai Sea. It was said to be one of main sources of the ancient legend that Pangu separated the sky from earth. Historically, successive dynasties had set up counties in this area. The famous Grand Canal zigzagged 220 kilometers (137 miles) through the territory of this city. These associations have left the city an abundance of culture and a large number of historical relics.

Physical Features. It lies in eastern Jizhong Plain. Its fertile soil makes it rich in agricultural resources. It also has two large oil fields, and the nearby sea yields an abundance of marine foods.

Climatic Features. Enjoying a warm-temperate continental monsoon climate, the city has well-defined seasons with moderate temperatures. It has an annual rainfall of 634 millimeters (25 inches) most of which falls in summer.

When to Go. Autumn is the best season to visit that city, as the winters are dry and chilly and the summers hot and wet.

As the Hui ethnic minority make up nearly thirty-five percent of Cangzhou's population, Botou Mosque will provide a good insight into the lifestyle of many of the local people.

Located in Botou City which is 25 miles southwest of Cangzhou City, Botou Mosque is one of the most famous mosques in China. It is a large ancient architectural complex built in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The main gate faces east and is built in the exact style of the Meridian Gate (Wumen) in Beijing Forbidden City. There are three yards in the mosque. The front yard houses Wangyue Tower which is a two-story building measuring 66 feet tall. The north and south attached halls are located in the middle yard. The beautiful and elegant Huadian Pavilion stands in the middle, and greatly reflects the wooden architectural style of the Ming Dynasty. The grand Prayer Hall is situated in the middle of the back yard. Covering an area of 2,332 square yards, it is a dignified and solemn hall with upturned eaves, presenting an awesome and captivating atmosphere.

The mosque is designed symmetrically in a complete layout and under good protection. It is a precious cultural relic of the Chinese nation.

In the ancient times, this city was a seaport and it experienced severe tidal floodings and tsunamis. In order to avert the floods, in 953 the local people collected money and invited the famous blacksmith Li Yun to cast an iron lion to confront the sea spirits. The Iron Lion was given the grand-sounding name "Zhen Hai Hou", meaning "the Roar to Calm the Sea". It was regarded as the symbol of this ancient city.

This Iron Lion measures 5.3m (17.3 feet) tall, 6.5m (7.1 yards) long and 3m (3.3 yards) wide. Its body seems to be composed of several hundreds pieces of 30 centimeters square cast iron, but was actually cast in one piece using the traditional Chinese "piece-moulding" method. Its estimated weight is 50 metric tonnes.

The lion, facing north, opens its huge mouth widely and stares angrily into the distance. Rising up its proud head, it appears in great dignity indicative of the three characters "Shizi Wang" (The Lion King) cast on its head. It bears on its back a huge lotus seat which is said to be the throne of Wenshu Bodhisattva.

This scenic spot is the largest iron cast cultural relic in existence in China. It is evidence of the high achievement of casting technique in ancient China. However, because of its exposure to the elements over a long period of time, the lion is severely rusted and has cracks on its limbs. Restoration work has stabilizes the deterioration, and the effort of a team of international experts is making great strides to save this national treasure. We hope that by their hard work, the Iron Lion could regain its past stately appearance.

Tourist Tips. There are several buses running daily from this city to Beijing, Shijiazhuang, Tangshan, and Jinan, each taking about three hours to get there.




Photogallery Cangzhou China:



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