China’s Jinan: A Capital City with Small-Town Charm

The picturesque city of Jinan is the capital of China’s Shandong Province. It sits in the Midwestern region of the province, and is often referred to as the City of Springs due to the numerous springs that can be found there. The city’s recorded history dates back about 2,000 years, making it the home to many ancient relics.

Jinan is considered to be the center of the Longshan Relics Culture, which is believed to be China’s prehistoric culture of China. There are plenty of historical and cultural sites to see in and around Jinan, including the Great Wall of the Qi State. This state belonged to the old Zhou Dynasty between the years 770 BC to 221 BC. There are also some ancient sculptures on display which were created during the Song Dynasty between 960 and 1279 AD. These can be found in the magnificent Lingyan Temple.

In addition, if you’re into trying out the different types of Chinese cuisines while traveling, you’ll find that the Shandong cuisine known as Lu Cai is centered in Jinan. For shoppers and souvenir hunters, you’ll be able to purchase unique local items such as black pottery, Ejiao, wooden-fish wares, and Lu Embroidery.

The city also likes to celebrate its culture, history, and local traditions and these can be witnessed each year during the city’s festivals. These include the popular Lantern Festival which takes place in the beautiful Baotu Spring Park, the Double-Nine Festival which is held on the Thousand Buddha Mountain, and the Lotus Festival which thrills visitors in the gorgeous Daming Lake Park.

The people of Jinan are very friendly and welcome thousands of visitors from across the globe each year. The great Marco Polo visited Jinan once and was quite impressed with what he discovered there. Although it’s a capital city, there’s still a small-town charm about it due to its natural beauty. It doesn’t really exude a big-city atmosphere and this could be because there are so many springs there and the people are so warm to visitors.

If you’d like to visit some of the city’s most popular locations, you can start with San Kong. This is a site that features three different attractions in honor of Confucius. These are Kong Fu, which is the family mansion; Kong Miao, which is the Confucius Temple; and Kong Lin, which is the Confucius Forest. There are several amazing buildings in the complex with some of them stretching back more than 70 generations. You’ll also find an ancient graveyard here which is set inside a beautiful garden.

If you’d like to visit one of the many springs, you’ll likely be most impressed by the Baotu Spring. This is considered to be the best of the 72 famous Jinan City springs. It’s also the oldest of them all. The spring was one of the top attractions all the way back to the Qing and Ming Dynasties due to the sweet and clear water that it produced. There’s a nearby pavilion at the spring where you can make tea with the tasty spring water. The spring is basically in the middle of the city and offers excellent views of the Thousand-Buddha Mountain.

Another popular site is Mount Tai, which is also known as Tai Shan. This is regarded as one of China’s most majestic mountains. The great mountain was used as a shrine in ancient times. Emperors would come here and offer traditional ceremonial sacrifices to earth and heaven. The architecture in the surrounding area is in the Qing and Ming styles with many stone sculptures and paintings on display. Most people visit the mountain between March and November with many of them arriving early in the day to see the spectacular sunrises.