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Taiyuan is capital city of Shanxi Province. Ideally situated in the Taiyuan Basin in the central part of the province, it is bordered by the Taihang Mountains in the east and the Luliang Mountains in the west. The Fenhe River flows through the city.
With an area of 7 thousand square kilometers and a population of 2.67 million, Taiyuan has also got a long and splendid history, which can be traced back to the Spring and Autumn Period. But it was not until the Tang Dynasty, about one thousand years ago, that Taiyuan really became known as a "metropolis of Cathay." The first empress in Chinese history, Wu Zetian (624-705), was born here. When she came to power, she appointed Minister Cui Shenqing as governor of Bingzhou (Taiyuan). He was instructed to have a bridge built over the Fenhe River to connect the towns of Xicheng (West City) and Dongcheng (East city), making Taiyuan a true metropolis.
Taiyuan has now grown into a booming industrial city in the past few decades. Its network of railway lines provides a link to all parts of the country, and its coal and steel industries occupy an important position in China's industries system.
There are many mountains around here from east to west and in the north; there are rivers and plains in the middle part and northern part. Taiyuan's main topography is downloading; the plain only occupies five percent of the area. It is the continental climate in Temperate Zone. The annual precipitation is 456mm and the black frost period can last 170 days. Taiyuan abounds in coal and irons mine resources. There is manganese, copper, aluminum, plaster stone and sculpture, etc.
Famous scenic spots and historical sites in Taiyuan include Chongshan Monastery, Double-tower Temple, Fo-Guang Temple, Jinci Temple, the Wang Family Residence, Shanxi provincial museum, Tianlong grottoes and Mt. Wu-Tai.