Home: City Guide: Hohhot
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Introduction

Hohhot, which means 'Blue City' in Mongolian, is the capital city of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Lying to the south of Yinshan Mountain and north of the Yellow River, Hohhot is the political, commercial and cultural center of Inner Mongolia. Covering an area of 17,224 sq km (about 4,256,139 acres) and with a population of more than 2.5 million, Hohhot is the home of Han, Mongolian, Manchu, Hui, Korean and many other nationalities. Immense grasslands, rich cultural relics and distinctive ethnical flavor make the city a magnificent tourist destination.


Hohhot boasts a long history like many other Chinese cities. As early as the Warring States Period (476 BC-221 BC), Zhao Kingdom built Yunzhong City in this area. Today, people still can see the relics of Zhao Great Wall in Hohhot. After the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, defeated other kingdoms and unified China, the region became Yunzhong County of Qin Dynasty (221 BC-206 BC). Emperor Wu of Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-24 AD) established many cities for military usage in northern China, and one of the relics can be found in the eastern suburb of the city. During the Sui (581-618) and Tang (618-907) dynasties, Hohhot region was under the control of Turkic (Tu Jue in Chinese) until a general of Tang Dynasty defeated them and built three cities in this area. In the early tenth century, Qidan founded Liao Dynasty (916-1125) and named this area Fengzhou. In 1572, the leader of Mongolian tribe founded Hohhot City in this area and Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) gave it a Chinese name Guihua City (means naturalization). During the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), it was expanded to Suiyan City which is an important military port and commercial center in northern China. During the Ming and Qing dynasties, Hohhot also gained a name, 'City of Temples', since there were many temples in the city. People can visit Five Pagoda Temple, Dazhao Temple, Xilituzhao Palace, Wanbu Huayanjing Pagoda and many other precious historical relics.


Mongolian is the major ethnical minority groups reside in Hohhot. Mongolia is what Mongolians called themselves. They originated in the eastern bank of Argun River in seventh century. In the early thirteenth century, Genghis Khan unified all the tribes and his tribe's name Mongol became the name of the whole nationality. After the ruination of Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), the Mongols split into several tribes again the grand Mongol Empire became to decline.



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