Guilin History

Guilin is renowned worldwide for its unique and beautiful landscape, and its centuries-old culture and history fire every traveller's imagination. As the first batch of historic cities released by the State Council, Guilin has a long and rich history stretching back more than 2,000 years. 

Guilin was first established by Emperor Qingshihuang (the first emperor in Chinese history) as the Guilin Shire in 214 BC. It is located near the junction of two waterways connecting South and Central China. Its unique strategic location made it an important historical city-- especially after the digging of the Ling Canal. During the Three Kingdoms Period, Guilin began to thrive and develop as a political centre because it served as the capital of the Shi’an Shire (a kind of administrative unit used in China’s ancient Qin and Han Dynasties more than 2,000 years ago). During the Tang Dynasty, Guilin was established as a major city, with imposing city walls and great halls. In the Song Dynasty, Guilin was the capital of Guangnanxilu which administrated today’s Guangxi and Hainan Provinces. For a long time, Guilin served as the capital city of Guangxi Province until the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 when it was replaced by Nanning.

Over the last few thousand years, generations of famous writers and poets have praised the city in their verse and prose. Many of these writings have been passed down through the generations to the present day through various carvings and inscriptions.

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