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Discover Guangzhou Self Guided Book is written by Janvi Tours, formerly Guangzhou Private Tour Guide Janvi or Guangzhou Tour Guide Janvi


Written by Janvi Chow
Published August 2018

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Home Travel Guide Introduction Of Guangzhou A Brief History of Guangzhou

A Brief History of Guangzhou

Haizhu Bridge Guangzhou Histroy
Haizhu Bridge in 1932

By 214 B.C., Guangdong, Guangxi, and northern Vietnam were subjugated and annexed into the Qin empire. Guangzhou was established in 214 B.C. to serve as a base for the Qin Empire's, the town was known as Panyu.

Zhaotuo (赵佗) took over Nanhai Prefecture in the early Han dynasty, which absorbed the surrounding area. Then the Nanyue Kingdom was established and expanded into the city. The city has been continuously occupied since that time. Panyu was expanded when it became the capital of the Nanyue Kingdom in 206 B.C. The name of the city was changed a couple of times over the dynasties coming after Qin and finalized into the current name in 1918.

Guangzhou is one of the ancient capitals that has the longest history, the biggest trading port that received oriental and occidental culture. Since ancient days Lingnan was far from the reach of emperors, receiving less of the influence of orthodox politics and culture. As it is on the sea coast, it has a tradition of trading with foreign countries.

Guangzhou was part of the "Maritime Silk Road" that linked southern China with India, South East Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. As a result of its links with the Middle East, a mosque was established in the city in 627, and a small Muslim community continues to live in Guangzhou to this day. Additionally, the sixth patriarch of Zen Buddhism named Huineng was born in Guangdong Province and taught the famous Platform Sutra in Guangzhou city. As a result, Guangzhou has retained a strong connection with this school of Buddhism, and the monastery where the sixth patriarch studied is considered a local treasure. The first Protestant missionary in China, Robert Morrison, entered Guangzhou in 1807. This started the spread of Christianity in the country.

As a major seaport, Guangzhou's history is full of color. In 786 the city was sacked by the Persians and Arabian. In 1711 the British East India Company established a trading post here. In 1757, the government designated the city as the only port allowed business transactions with foreign nations, trade was restricted to Guangzhou and the foreign merchants were restricted to Thirteen-Trades Monopoly. This continued until 1842, signing of the Treaty of Nanking when four other ports were added. Losing the exclusive privilege pushed Guangzhou to become more industrialized later.

Guangzhou is always the center of international trade and economic cooperation in South China. As the host city of the 2010 Asian Games, Guangzhou has sped up its modernization and stands today as an important economic national and international transportation hub as well as a jewel for the world's finest gourmets!