Anyang Overview

Once the capital of the Shang Dynasty during the Bronze Age, Anyang (ānyáng, 安阳) has since become a dusty backwater manufacturing hub which often takes a back seat to Zhengzhou, Henan's provincial capital. Though the city has fallen from its former glory as the Shang capital, it boasts a number of historical sites, even as the wrecking ball of development turns older parts of town into the white-tiled, blue-windowed monotony of China's lower-tier cities.

What remains of Anyang's old town is situated around the old Bell Tower (Zhōng Lóu, 钟楼) at the southern end of Hongqi Lu (Hóngqí Lù, 红旗路). Not far away, Tianning Temple, first built in the Sui Dynasty, houses the Wenfeng Pagoda, which, though no longer being the tallest structure in Anyang, offers a panoramic survey of the city. Anyang's Temple of the City God, or Chenghuang Miao (Chéng Huáng Miào, 城隍庙), sits southeast of the Bell Tower and features works by local artists.

Outside the city, the impressive Taihang Shan Grand Canyon provides an escape from Anyang's urban scene.

Situated at the borders of Shanxi, Hebei and Shandong provinces, Anyang is a worthwhile stop on a trip through northern China, especially for those interested in Chinese history. Along with Henan's Zhengzhou, Luoyang and Kaifeng, Anyang is also an essential stop for anyone looking to discover China's ancient capitals.

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