Hebei Province, referred as Ji (冀) as its abbreviated name, is located in North China. Its name, 河北, or north of the river in Chinese, is derived from its location: north of the Yellow River.
Shijiazhuang is the capital city of Hebei Province.
Plains in Hebei were the home of Peking man, a group of Homo erectus that lived in the area around 200,000 to 700,000 years ago. Neolithic findings at the prehistoric Beifudi site date back to 7000 and 8000 BCE.
During the Spring and Autumn Period (722 BC - 476 BC), Hebei was under the rule of the states of Yan (燕) in the north and Jin (晉) in the south. Also during this period, a nomadic people known as Dí (狄) invaded the plains of northern China and established Zhongshan (中山) in central Hebei. During the Warring States Period (403 BC - 221 BC), Jin was partitioned, and much of its territory within Hebei went to Zhao (趙).
The Qin Dynasty unified China in 221 BC. The Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD) ruled the area under two provinces (zhou), Youzhou Province (幽州) in the north and Jizhou Province (冀州) in the south. At the end of the Han Dynasty, most of Hebei came under the control of warlords Gongsun Zan in the north and Yuan Shao further south; Yuan Shao emerged victorious of the two, but he was soon defeated by rival Cao Cao (based further south, in modern-day Henan) in the Battle of Guandu in 200. Hebei then came under the rule of the Kingdom of Wei (one of the Three Kingdoms), established by the descendants of Cao Cao.
After the invasions of northern nomadic peoples at the end of the Western Jin Dynasty, the chaos of the Sixteen Kingdoms and the Northern and Southern Dynasties ensued. Hebei, firmly in North China and right at the northern frontier, changed hands many times, being controlled at various points in history by the Later Zhao, Former Yan, Former Qin, and Later Yan. The Northern Wei reunified northern China in 440, but split in half in 534, with Hebei coming under the eastern half (first the Eastern Wei; then the Northern Qi), which had its capital at Ye (鄴), near modern Linzhang, Hebei. The Sui Dynasty again unified China in 589.
During the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907) the area was formally designated "Hebei" (north of the Yellow River) for the first time. During the earlier part of the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, Hebei was fragmented among several regimes, though it was eventually unified by Li Cunxu, who established the Later Tang Dynasty (923 - 936). The next dynasty, the Later Jin Dynasty under Shi Jingtang, posthumously known as Emperor Gaozu of Later Jin, ceded much of modern-day northern Hebei to the Khitan Liao Dynasty in the north; this territory, called The Sixteen Prefectures of Yanyun, became a major weakness in China's defense against the Khitans for the next century, since it lay within the Great Wall.
During the Northern Song Dynasty (960 - 1127), the sixteen ceded prefectures continued to be an area of hot contention between Song China and the Liao Dynasty. The Southern Song Dynasty that came after abandoned all of North China, including Hebei, to the Jurchen Jin Dynasty in 1127.
The Mongol Yuan Dynasty divided China into provinces but did not establish Hebei as a province. The Ming Dynasty ruled Hebei as "Beizhili" (北直隸, pinyin: Běizhílì), meaning "Northern Directly Ruled", because the area contained and was directly ruled by the imperial capital, Beijing; the "Northern" designation was used because there was a southern counterpart covering present-day Jiangsu and Anhui. When the Manchu Qing Dynasty came to power in 1644, they abolished the southern counterpart, and Hebei became known as "Zhili", or simply "Directly Ruled". During the Qing Dynasty, the northern borders of Zhili extended deep into what is now Inner Mongolia, and overlapped in jurisdiction with the leagues of Inner Mongolia.
The Qing Dynasty collapsed in 1912 and was replaced by the Republic of China. Within a few years, China descended into civil war, with regional warlords vying for power. Since Zhili was so close to Peking (Beijing), the capital, it was the site of frequent wars, including the Zhiwan War, the First Zhifeng War and the Second Zhifeng War. With the success of the Northern Expedition, a successful campaign by the Kuomintang to end the rule of the warlords, the capital was moved from Peking (Beijing) to Nanking (Nanjing). As a result, the name of Zhili was changed to Hebei to reflect that fact that it had a standard provincial administration, and that the capital had been relocated elsewhere.
The founding of the People's Republic of China saw several changes: the region around Chengde, previously part of Rehe Province (historically part of Manchuria), and the region around Zhangjiakou, previously part of Chahar Province (historically part of Inner Mongolia), were merged into Hebei, extending its borders northwards beyond the Great Wall. The capital was also moved from Baoding to the upstart city of Shijiazhuang, and, for a short period, to Tianjin.
On July 28, 1976, Tangshan was struck by a powerful earthquake, the Tangshan earthquake, the deadliest of the 20th century with over 240,000 killed. A series of smaller earthquakes struck the city in the following decade.
In 2005, Chinese archaeologists unearthed what is being called the Chinese equivalent of Italy's Pompeii. The find in question, located near Liumengchun Village (柳孟春村) in Cang County in east-central Hebei, is a buried settlement destroyed nearly 700 years ago by a major earthquake. Another possible explanation may be the four successive floods which hit the area around the time when the settlement met its sudden end. The settlement appears to have been a booming commercial center during the Song Dynasty. --from wikipedia.org
 Geography & Weather
Hebei Province is in North China at longitude 113 ° 04 'to 119 ° 53' and latitude 36 ° 01 'to 42 ° 37', to the north of the lower reaches of the Yellow River. It covers an area of 187,700 square kilometres. The western part of Hebei is the Taihangshan Mountains (太行山). The Northern part is Yanshan Mountains (燕山), and the area to the north of Yanshan Mountains is Zhangbei Plateau (张北高原). The rest area with a size of 43% of Hebei is the plain. The highest elevation in Hebei is Xiaowutai peak (小五台) (2,870m above the sea level), and the elevation for the plain area is less than 100 meters.
Hebei province borders Liaoning to the northeast, Inner Mongolia to the north, Shanxi to the west, Henan to the south, and Shandong to the southeast, and Bohai Bay of the Yellow Sea is to the east. Beijing and Tianjin, two of the four provincial-level municipalities in China (which also border each other), are completed encircled inside Hebei.
Hebei is of temperate monsoon climate with distinct four seasons. Winter is cold and dry without too much snow; Summer is hot and rainy; Spring is windy with occasional dust storms; Fall is balmy and mild. The annual rainfall averages between 300 ~ 800 mm, and the temperature ranges between 32F to 56F. The best time to travel to Hebei is during fall to enjoy the clear, mild and pleasant climate.
|• Baoding (保定)||• Cangzhou (沧州)||• Chengde (承德)||• Handan (邯郸)|
|• Hengshui (衡水)||• Langfang (廊坊)||• Qinhuangdao (秦皇岛)||• Shijiazhuang (石家庄)|
|• Tangshan (唐山)||• Xingtai (邢台)||• Zhangjiakou (张家口)|
 Other Places
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Zhengding, Hebei province, built in 636 AD during the Tang Dynasty. The east end of the Ming Great Wall is located on the coast at Shanhaiguan (Shanhai Pass), near Qinhuangdao. Informally known as the "First Pass of The World" (天下第一關), Shanhaiguan was the place where Ming general Wu Sangui opened the gates to Manchu forces in 1644, beginning nearly 300 years of Manchu rule; Shanhai Pass also marks the psychological entrance / exit of Manchuria, so that for centuries Manchuria was known as "outside the Pass" or "east of the Pass". Beidaihe, located near Shanhaiguan, is a popular beach resort wellknown as a former meeting place for top governmental officials.
The Ming Great Wall crosses the northern part of Hebei.
The Chengde Mountain Resort and its outlying temples are a World Heritage Site. Also known as the Rehe Palace, this was the summer resort of the Manchu Qing Dynasty emperors. The Chengde Resort was built between 1703 and 1792, and consists of a palace complex, a large park area consisting of lakes, pavilions, causeways, bridges, etc., and a number of Tibetan Buddhist and Han Chinese temples in the surrounding area.
There are Qing Dynasty imperial tombs at Zunhua (Eastern Qing Tombs) and Yixian (West Qing Tombs). The Eastern Qing Tombs are the resting place of 161 Qing emperors, empresses, and other members of the Qing imperial family, while the West Qing Tombs have 76. These are also part of a World Heritage Site.
Xibaipo, a village about 90 km from Shijiazhuang, was the location of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the headquarters of the People's Liberation Army during the decisive stages of the Chinese Civil War between May 26, 1948 and March 23, 1949, at which point they were moved to Beijing. Today, the area houses a memorial site.
Dialects of Mandarin are spoken over most of the province, and most Mandarin dialects in Hebei are in turn classified as part of the Ji Lu Mandarin subdivision. Regions along the western border with Shanxi, however, have dialects that are distinct enough for linguists to consider them as part of Jin, another subdivision of Chinese, rather than Mandarin. In general, the dialects of Hebei are quite similar to and readily intelligible with the Beijing dialect, which forms the basis for Standard Mandarin, the official language of the nation. However, there are also some distinct differences, such as differences in the pronunciation of certain words that derive from entering tone syllables (syllables ending on a plosive) in Middle Chinese.
Hebei cuisine is typically based on wheat, mutton and beans.
Traditional forms of Chinese opera in Hebei include Pingju, Hebei Bangzi (also known as Hebei Clapper Opera), and Cangzhou Kuaiban Dagu. Pingju is especially popular: it tends to be colloquial in language and hence easy to understand for audiences. Originating from northeastern Hebei, Pingju has been influenced by other forms of Chinese opera like Beijing opera. Traditionally Pingju makes use of just a xiaosheng (young male lead), a xiaodan (young female lead), and a xiaohualian (young comic character), though it has since diversified with the use of other roles as well.
- Feng Dao (881-954), Confucian minister
- Yan Yuan (1635-1704), Confucian philosopher
- Chi Jushan (1876-1962), playwright and scholar
 Ethnic Groups
In addition to Han Chinese, there are Manchu, Hui, Mongolian, Zhuang, Korean, Miao, Tujia, and other 53 ethnic minorities, which account for about 4% of the total population. Hebei Province administers six ethnic minority autonomous counties.
 Colleges and Universities
Under the national Ministry of Education:
Under other national agencies:
- Central Institute for Correctional Police (中央司法警官學院)
- Chinese People's Armed Police Force Academy (中國人民武裝警察部隊學院)
- North China Institute of Science and Technology (華北科技學院)
Under the provincial government:
- Chengde Medical College (承德醫學院)
- Handan College (邯鄲學院)
- Hebei Agricultural University (河北農業大學)
- Hebei Engineering University (河北工程大學)
- Hebei Institute of Architecture and Civil Engineering (河北建築工程學院)
- Hebei Medical University (河北醫科大學)
- Hebei Normal University (河北師範大學)
- Hebei Normal University of Science and Technology (河北科技師範學院)
- Hebei North University (河北北方學院)
- Hebei Physical Educational Institute (河北體育學院)
- Hebei Polytechnic University (河北理工大學)
- Hebei University (河北大學)
- Hebei University of Economics and Business (河北經貿大學)
- Hebei University of Technology (河北工業大學)
- Hebei University of Science and Technology (河北科技大學)
- Hengshui University (衡水學院)
- Langfang Teacher's College (廊坊師範學院)
- North China Coal Medical College (華北煤炭醫學院)
- Shijiazhuang College (石家莊學院)
- Shijiazhuang Railway Institute (石家莊鐵道學院)
- Shijiazhuang University of Economics (石家莊經濟學院)
- Tangshan College (唐山學院)
- Tangshan Teacher's College (唐山師範學院)
- Xingtai University (邢台學院)
- Yanshan University (燕山大學)
 Area and Postal Codes
|City||Area Code||Postal Code||City||Area Code||Postal Code|
|Baoding (保定)||312||071000||Cangzhou (沧州)||317||061000|
|Chengde (承德)||314||067000||Handan (邯郸)||310||056000|
|Hengshui (衡水)||318||053000||Langfang (廊坊)||316||065000|
|Qinhuangdao (秦皇岛)||335||066000||Shijiazhuang (石家庄)||311||050000|
|Tangshan (唐山)||315||063000||Xingtai (邢台)||319||054000|