An Introduction to Tianjin Municipality.
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Tianjin is one of China’s four municipalities under the direct jurisdiction of the Central Government and the fourth largest city in China. Tianjin is skirted by the Bohai Sea to the east and bounded by the Yanshan Mountains to the north. It lies 120 kilometers to the southeast of Beijing. Tianjin is an important industrial base and an economic center with the largest artificial seaport for foreign trade and cruise ships in North China.
Tianjin is a famous city with long history and abundant resources. With the policy of reform and opening-up to the outside world great achievements have been made on the urban construction and tourism. Tianjin has formed a scenery layout with the city proper as the center, Jixian County, and Tanggu District as the wings . Tianjin’s urban area has been expanded with Wuqing, a former County of the municipality, included to be one of the city’s districts. The adju8stment, approved by the State Council in June 2000, was made in order to promote further development of Tianjin. Located between Tianjin and Beijing, Wuqing encompasses 1,570 square kilometers and has a population of 820,000. The port of Tianjin is Beijing’s gateway to the sea.
Tianjin is also noted for its points of interest. In the suburban Jixian County is found the Temple of Solitary Joy. First built during the Tang Dynasty (618-907), the temple is famous for its superb wooden structure, its gigantic clay figure of Buddha and its coloured frescoes. To the northwest of the County seat lies Mount Pan, a favourite Mountain resort for many emperors over the ages. Mount Pan ranks with Mount Tai and Mount Lu among the fifteen mountains in China illustrious for their scenic beauty. Within the city itself the Water Park with its three lakes and nine islands, is a pretty scenic spot. The Garden of Tranquility, studded with pavilions and terraces and threaded with the Long Corridor, excels in its Chinese-style garden layout. The modern-style zoo houses rare birds and animals of various kinds. There are four famous handicrafts in Tianjin, such as Tianjin Carpet, Yangliuqing New Year Pictures, Clay Figurine Zhang, and Wei Kite.
Residents in Tianjin began to drink clean water diverted from the Yellow River on November 1, 2000. The water was diverted at Weishan Gate in Dong’e County, in East China’s Shandong Province, and flowed into Tianjin from a distance of 580 kilometers.
The Yangliuqing New Year Pictures杨柳青年画
Yangliuqing is a small town in the western suburbs of Tianjin. New year pictures workshops appeared there at the end of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), employing people to paint, cut wood, print and Mount pictures. During the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), “Yangliuqing” became the country’s most famous kind of woodblock picture. At its heyday, most people living in the twon and in the surrounding 32 villages were engaged in the business. They produced more than 20 million pieces a year. As well as maintaining the sincerity of traditional folk paintings, the Yangliuqing pictures also absorbed the characteristics of traditional Chinese “realistic” painting and paid close attention to the details of the figures. The colouring used the different effects of “soft colours (gentle, clear and sometimes pinkish)” and “hard colours (strong, deep and pure).” Yangliuqing pictures use both process printing and hand drawing for colour. The themes range from the dignified door-god (whose pictures were often pasted on the front door of a house as a talisman in old China), chubby children and elegant ladies, to scenes from ancient novels and folk tales. The images are vivid and colourful. Larger sized woodblock pictures are a specialty of the Yangliuqing pictures.
TV Tower Town 天塔城
The TV Tower Town is situated between the highest Tower in Asia, which is the Tianjin Radio and TV Tower and the largest part, which is called Water Park. It encompasses 200,000 square meters. It is adjacent to the sport and recreation center, universities and the advanced and new technology industry area. It has geographical advantages, convenient traffic and graceful environment.
The Panshan Mountain 盘山
The Panshan Mountain is located 12 kilometers to the northwest of the Jixian County seat. It is renowned for its beautiful landscape in China. The Mountain is an extension of Yanshan Mountain with an average elevation of 500 meters. Its peak towers nearly 1,000 meters, Historically, it was reputed as “No 1 Mountain in East Beijing.” According to historical records, from the 2nd century onwards, many celebrated emperors of China such as Li Shimin (599-649; reigned 626-649) of the second Tang Emperor, Kangxi and Qianlong of the Qing emperors paid visits to this Mountain and there are still preserved here many inscriptions by illustrious figures in Chinese history. The scenery of the Panshan Mountain is always beautiful throughout the year because apart from the elegant mountains and cliffs, it is covered with deep foliage. The Mountain has five peaks, such as Guayuefeng 挂月峰，Zigaifeng 紫盖峰，Zilaifeng 自来峰，Jiuhuafeng 九华峰，and Wujianfeng 舞剑峰；eight rocks 八石 such as Hanging or Suspending（Xuankong）Rock 悬空石，Shaking（Yaodong）Rock 摇动石，Sun（Liangjia）Rock 晾甲石，General（Jiangjun）Rock 将军石，Wood－Clamping（Jiamu）Rock 夹木石，Skylight（Tianjing）Rock 天井石，Frog（Hama）Rock 蛤蟆石，and Python（Mang）Rock 蟒石；There are 72 monasteries and Taoist temples and 13 exquisite pagodas and pavilions, terraces, buildings and towers. They are comparable to the Wutai Mountain is Shanxi Province, which also has five peaks. Therefore, it is also known as the East Wutai Mountain. The best scenery of the Panshan Mountain is the pine forests at the top 上盘之松.the strange rocks at the middle 中盘之石 and the streams at the foot of the mountain下盘之水为（三盘之胜） The Mountain is some fifty kilometers in circumference. The visitor can find an attraction at almost every step and a lot of the attractions
Solitary Joy Temple 独乐寺
Located in Jixian County, 113 kilometers from Tianjin city, the Solitary Joy (dule) Temple, also known as the Big Buddha Temple, was first constructed in the Tang Dynasty and rebuilt in 984 in the Liao Dynasty. Dule means exclusive happiness. Legend has it that when An Lushan 安禄山 (?-757, a general of the Tang Dynasty) rebelled against the emperor, he held a meeting here at the temple before going to war and he gave the temple its present name because he wanted happiness exclusively for himself instead of sharing it with the people. The temple consists of an entrance gate, the 23-meter-high Guanyin (Avalokitesvara or Goddess of Mercy) Pavilion and the chambers on the east and west sides. The gate, the roof of which has five ridges and four slopes, is China’s extant oldest. The pavilion, built in 24 different systems of brackets inserted between the top of a column and a crossbeam, is the cream of China’s extant high-rise pavilions of wooden structure. On top of all this, it stands formidable despite 28 major earthquakes. Inside the pavilion is a 16-meter-high clay statue of Avalokitesvara, or the Goddess of Merey, beautiful in shape and enchanting in mien, a rare treasure among clay sculptures following the style of the Liao Dynasty (907-1125).