Infobox Settlement
name =Lanzhou
official_name =
other_name =Pinyin:Lánzhōu
native_name =兰州
nickname =
settlement_type =Prefecture-level city
motto =

imagesize =250px
image_caption =City view of Lanzhou

flag_size =

seal_size =
image_shield =
shield_size =
city_logo =
citylogo_size =

mapsize = 250px
map_caption = Location of Lanzhou Prefecture within Gansu

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 =

dot_mapsize =
dot_map_caption =
dot_x = |dot_y =

pushpin_label_position =
pushpin_map_caption =Location within China
pushpin_mapsize =
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = China
subdivision_type1 = Province
subdivision_name1 = Gansu
subdivision_type2 =
subdivision_name2 =
subdivision_type3 = County-level divisions
subdivision_name3 = 8
subdivision_type4 =
subdivision_name4 =
government_footnotes =
government_type =
leader_title =
leader_name =
leader_title1 =Mayor
leader_name1 =Zhang Jinliang (张津梁)
leader_title2 =
leader_name2 =
leader_title3 =
leader_name3 =
leader_title4 =
leader_name4 =
established_title =
established_date =
established_title2 =
established_date2 =
established_title3 =
established_date3 =
area_magnitude =
unit_pref =
area_footnotes =
area_total_km2 = 13100
area_land_km2 =
area_water_km2 =
area_total_sq_mi =
area_land_sq_mi =
area_water_sq_mi =
area_water_percent =
area_urban_km2 =
area_urban_sq_mi =
area_metro_km2 =
area_metro_sq_mi =
population_as_of = 2004
population_footnotes =
population_note =
population_total = 3200000
population_density_km2 = auto
population_density_sq_mi =
population_metro =
population_density_metro_km2 =
population_density_metro_sq_mi =
population_urban =
population_density_urban_km2 =
population_density_urban_sq_mi =
population_blank1_title =
population_blank1 =
population_density_blank1_km2 =
population_density_blank1_sq_mi =
population_blank2_title =Major nationalities
timezone = China Standard Time
utc_offset = +8
timezone_DST =
utc_offset_DST =
latd=36 |latm=02 |latNS=N
longd=103 |longm=48 |longEW=E
elevation_footnotes =
elevation_m =
elevation_ft =
postal_code_type =Postal code
postal_code =730000
area_code =931
blank_name =License plate prefixes
blank_info =甘A
blank1_name =GDP (2007)
blank1_info =CNY 73.3 billion
blank2_name = - per capita
blank2_info =CNY 22,243
blank3_name =
blank3_info =
blank4_name =
blank4_info =
website = [] (Chinese)
footnotes =
City flowers
Rugosa Rose

Lanzhou (zh-stpw |t=蘭州 |s=兰州 |p=Lánzhōu |w=Lan-chou; Postal map spelling: Lanchow) is a prefecture-level city and capital of Gansu province in northwestern China.


Originally in the territory of the Western Qiang peoples, Lanzhou became part of the territory of Qin in the 6th century BC.

In 81 BC, under the Han dynasty (206 BC–220 AD), it became the seat of Jincheng county (Xian) and later of Jincheng commandery (jun), the county being renamed Yunwu. The city used to be called the Golden City, and since at least the first millennium BC it was a major link on the ancient Northern Silk Road, [ [ Xian Xiaowei, Zhang Linyuan, Ai Nanshan and Wihelm Wohlke, "On the relation between the evolution of natural environment and human factors and the development of urban settlement—Take the Lanzhou Valley Basin as an examples", Springerlink vol.1,no.1 (1991)] ] [ [ C.Michael Hogan, "Silk Road, North China", the Megalithic Portal, ed. Andy Burnham] ] and also an important historic Yellow River crossing site. To protect the city, the Great Wall of China was extended as far as Yumen.

After the fall of the Han Dynasty, Lanzhou became the capital of a succession of tribal states. Mixed with different cultural heritages, the area at present-day Gansu province, from the 5th to the 11th century, became a center for Buddhist study. In the 4th century it was briefly the capital of the independent state of Earlier Liang. The Northern Wei dynasty (386–534) reestablished Jincheng commandery, renaming the county Zicheng. Under the Sui Dynasty (581–618) the city became the seat of Lanzhou prefecture for the first time, retaining this name under the Tang Dynasty (618–907). In 763 the area was overrun by the Tibetans and was then recovered by the Tang in 843. Later it fell into the hands of the Western Xia Dynasty (which flourished in Qinghai from the 11th to 13th century) and was subsequently recovered by the Song Dynasty (960–1126) in 1041. The name Lanzhou was reestablished, and the county renamed Lanzhuan.

After 1127 it fell into the hands of the Jin Dynasty, and after 1235 it came into the possession of the Mongols.

Under the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) the prefecture was demoted to a county and placed under the administration of Lintao superior prefecture, but in 1477 Lanzhou was reestablished as a political unit.

The city acquired its current name in 1656, during the Qing Dynasty. When Gansu became a separate province in 1666, Lanzhou became its capital.

In 1739 the seat of Lintao was transferred to Lanzhou, which was later made a superior prefecture called Lanzhou.

Lanzhou was badly damaged during the rising of the Gansu Muslims in 1864–1875. In the 1920s and 1930s it became a center of Soviet influence in northwestern China. During the Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) Lanzhou, linked with Xi'an by highway in 1935, became the terminus of the 3,200 km (2,000 mile) Chinese-Soviet highway, used as a route for Soviet supplies destined for the Xi'an area. This highway remained the primary traffic route of northwestern China until the completion of the railway from Lanzhou to Urumqi, Xinjiang. During the war Lanzhou was heavily bombed by the Japanese.

The city is the seat of a currently vacant Roman Catholic diocese [ [ Archdiocese of Lanchow] at] and was previously the center of a vicariate apostolic (Vicariate Apostolic of Northern Kan-Su). [ [ Vicariate Apostolic of Northern Kan-Su] at Catholic Encyclopedia]


*Area: 14,620 km²
*Elevation: 1,600 m above sea level
*China's northwest geographical center
*More than 20 km along urban corridor along the southern banks of the Yellow River.
*Zonary basin
*Location of mountains, located on the south and north sides of the city:
**Qilian Ranges, Mt. Pingliang and Mt. Kongtong (the most famous in Taoism)
**The Yellow River flows through from west to east.

Lanzhou is situated on the upper course of the Yellow River, where the river emerges from the mountains. It has been a center since early times, being at the southern end of the route leading via the Hexi Corridor across Central Asia. It also commands the approaches to the ancient capital area of Chang'an (modern Xi'an) in Shaanxi province from both the west and the northwest, as well as from the area of Qinghai Lake via the upper waters of the Yellow River and its tributaries.

Climate and environment

Lanzhou is situated in the temperate zone and enjoys a semi-dry climate.

In regard to air pollution Lanzhou has some of the worst air quality of all cities in China. [ [ Gansu Daily, [reports lowest standing of 84 Chinese cities surveyed] ] According to the Blacksmith Institute, Lanzhou is one of the 30 most polluted cities in the world. The air quality is so poor that at times one can not see Lanshan, the mountain rising straight up along the south side of the city. The city is located in a narrow river valley with an unfortunate curve causing it to be hemmed in with no free air flow. Lanzhou is also the home of many factories, including some involved in petroleum processing, and suffers from large dust storms kicked up from the Gobi Desert, especially in the winter and spring.

The reach of the Yellow River at Lanzhou carries a high load of silt, giving the river its characteristic muddy appearance; however water quality in this reach is better than the "fetid outflow that barely passes for water two hours downstream". [ [ "Yellow River Pollution Is Price of Economic Growth", Rob Gifford. NPR, Jan. 6, 2008] ]



Since 1949 Lanzhou has been transformed from the capital of a poverty-stricken province into the center of a major industrial area. The GDP per capita of Lanzhou was 22,243 yuan (RMB) ("ca." US$2,920) in 2007, ranked no. 134 among 659 Chinese cities.

Natural resources

*Minerals: coal, gold, silver, zinc, nickel, manganese, clay, and dolomite

There is a thermal generating plant supplied with coal from fields in Qinghai. In addition, there is a hydroelectric station at Zhulama Gorge in Gansu, and a large multipurpose dam has been built in the Liujia Gorge on the Yellow River above Lanzhou. [ [ Liujiaxia Gorge and Bingling Temple] ]


Main industries include textile mills, rubber, fertilizer plants, oil refinery, petrochemical, machinery, and metallurgical industry.

Gansu has one of the largest oil refineries in the country and Lanzhou itself is the center of the province's petrochemical industry. Lanzhou has a large refinery linked to the fields at Yumen by pipeline. It also manufactures equipment for the oil industry.

Lanzhou has a large textile industry, particularly noted for the production of woolens and leather goods. In addition, Lanzhou produces locomotives and rolling stock for the northwestern railways, as well as machine tools and mining equipment. Aluminum products, industrial chemicals, and fertilizers are produced on a large scale, and there is a large rubber industry. Copper is mined in nearby Gaolan.

Lanzhou has been one of the centers of China's national atomic energy industry since the 1960s.

Industrial zones:

* Lanzhou Economic and Technological Development Zone
* Lanzhou High-tech Industrial Development Zone


Lanzhou is the collecting center and market for agricultural produce and livestock from a wide area.

*Spring wheat, vegetables, beans, oil-boiling, melon, peaches, and tobacco
*Roses and lilies


*Airlines: Lanzhou Airport serves as the main airport and is located 70 km north of Lanzhou. Flights from more than 20 cities depart and arrive at the airport.
*Railroad: linked to Beijing, Shanghai, Ürümqi and Baotou
**Lanzhou-Xinjiang Railway: linked to Xinjiang destinations only
*Highways: linked to neighboring provinces
*Bus services: serves local and provincial areas

Lanzhou is a regional rail, highway, and air hub in NW China and the junction point to Xinjiang. The Longhai Railway (Lianyungang-Lanzhou) line was extended westward to Lanzhou from Tianshui by 1953. Later Lanzhou was linked with Beijing via Baotou in Inner Mongolia, and lines have also been constructed northwest to Urumqi and westward via Haiyan on Qinghai Lake to Golmud (in Qinghai).

Places of interest

*Bingling Temple, Yongjing
*Gansu Provincial Museum
*Wuquan Mountain
*Baita Mountain
*Xinglong Mountain
*Lutusi ancient government


Lanzhou Radio serves the Lhasa and Lanzhou province regions with news and music.


The city is the cultural centre of Gansu.

*Chinese opera: Qinqiang Drama
*Cuisine: Lanzhou beef lamian noodles

Colleges and universities

The city is the seat of Lanzhou University, founded in 1909. The National Minorities Institute at Lanzhou and a number of scientific institutes are also located there.In particular, Northwest Normal University has been the key university at the provincial level, which has prepared over 100,000 teachers in schools across the province Gansu.


"Note: Institutions without full-time bachelor's degree programs are not listed."

National level

*Lanzhou University (兰州大学), founded 1909

Other public institutions

*Northwest Nationalities University
*Eastern Gansu University
*Gansu Institute of Administration
*Northwest Normal University (西北师范大学), founded 1902
*Lanzhou University of Technology (兰州理工大学), founded 1919 (formerly Gansu University of Technology)
*Lanzhou Jiaotong University (兰州交通大学), founded 1958
*Gansu Agricultural University (甘肃农业大学), founded 1958
*Lanzhou Medical College (兰州医学院) (Lanzhou Medical Institute)
*Gansu College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (甘肃中医学院)
*Lanzhou Commercial College (兰州商学院) (Lanzhou Business Institute)
*Gansu Political Science and Law Institute (甘肃政法学院)

ister cities

Sister cities of Lanzhou are:
*flagicon|United States Albuquerque, United States
*flagicon|Japan Akita, Akita, Japan
*flagicon|New Zealand Christchurch, New Zealand

ee also

*White Pagoda Hill


External links

* [ Lanzhou government website]

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