City overview
City Impression
- Heaven on the Earth
- Cradle of Wu culture
- Oriental Venice
 
Numbers
1---one of 24 nationwide historical and cultural cities
4,000---the city Suzhou with a history of 4,000 years
589---Named Suzhou in AD 589
 
Geography and Climate
Suzhou is located in the center of the Yangtze Delta, in the south of Jiangsu Province, with Shanghai to the east, Zhejiang Province to the south, Wuxi City to the west and the Yangtze River to the north. Since 42% area of the city is covered by water, including a vast number of ponds and streams, Suzhou is praised as the 'Oriental Venice'.
 
Suzhou is located in a subtropical monsoon zone, so the weather is mild and moist with four distinct seasons. It's best to visit Suzhou between January and April because the temperature is not too low and the flowers are in full bloom until June. The Plum Rain Season of June is followed by a hot July. After July, a harvest autumn arrives. Both the fresh fruits and the seafood will surely whet your appetite. To promote tourism in Suzhou, a number of tourist festivals are held here every year.
 
History Evolution
The history of Suzhou can be traced back to the year 484 BC, when the city was the capital of the State of Wu for a short period of time. With the construction of the Grand Canal, Suzhou developed into an important administration and trade centre. The city flourished during the Ming and early Qing dynasties. Innumerable families of wealthy landowners, high-ranking officials and merchants settled here. During this period, most of the gardens were laid out. Suzhou was a center of finance and banking, of arts and scholarship; the silk industry and the art of embroidery made the city wealthy. From 1860 - 1863 it was occupied by the troops of the Taiping Rebellion and badly damaged. After the failure of the Taiping movement, attempts were made to obliterate the traces of this period and to rebuild the economy, but in the meantime, the city had already relinquished its leading position as a trade center to Shanghai. Today Suzhou is a center of the silk and cotton industries.
 
Development
Soon there may be little more than the famous gardens themselves to provide testimony to the city's past. Suzhou, rich in its natural and man resources, has been praised as "a paradise on earth". Welcome to the beautiful ancient city---Suzhou.
2012 China University Ranking
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