Infobox Settlement
name = Harbin
official_name =
other_name = Харби́н
native_name = 哈尔滨市
nickname = Ice City, Oriental Paris
settlement_type = Sub-provincial city
motto =

imagesize = 300px
image_caption = Hongbo Square and surrounding


image_shield =
shield_size =
city_logo =
citylogo_size =

mapsize = 275px
map_caption = Location of Harbin Prefecture within Heilongjiang

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 =

dot_mapsize =
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pushpin_label_position = bottom
pushpin_map_caption =Location within China
pushpin_mapsize =
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = China
subdivision_type1 = Province
subdivision_name1 = Heilongjiang
subdivision_type2 =
subdivision_name2 =
subdivision_type3 = County-level divisions
subdivision_name3 = 19
subdivision_type4 =
subdivision_name4 =
government_footnotes =
government_type =
leader_title =
leader_name =
leader_title1 =Mayor
leader_name1 =Zhang Xiaolian 张效廉 (since February, 2007)
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 = 53796
area_land_km2 =
area_water_km2 =
area_total_sq_mi =
area_land_sq_mi =
area_water_sq_mi =
area_water_percent =
area_urban_km2 =4275
area_urban_sq_mi =
area_metro_km2 =
area_metro_sq_mi =
population_as_of =
population_footnotes =
population_note =
population_total = 9873742
population_density_km2 = auto
population_density_sq_mi =
population_metro =
population_density_metro_km2 =
population_density_metro_sq_mi =
population_urban = 4754753
population_density_urban_km2 = auto
population_density_urban_sq_mi =
population_blank1_title =
population_blank1 =
population_density_blank1_km2 =
population_density_blank1_sq_mi =
population_blank2_title =
timezone = China Standard Time
utc_offset = +8
timezone_DST =
utc_offset_DST =
latd=45 |latm=45 |latNS=N
longd=126 |longm=38 |longEW=E
elevation_footnotes =
elevation_m =150
elevation_ft =488
postal_code_type =Postal code
postal_code =150000
area_code =451
blank_name =License plate prefixes
blank_info =黑A
blank1_name =GDP (2007)
blank1_info =CNY 243.68 billion
blank2_name = - per capita
blank2_info =CNY 38,124
blank3_name =
blank3_info =
blank4_name =
blank4_info =
website = [http://www.harbin.gov.cn/ www.harbin.gov.cn] (Chinese)
footnotes =

Audio|zh-Harbin.ogg|Harbin (zh-stpw |s=哈尔滨 |t=哈爾濱 |p=Hāěrbīn |w=Ha-erh-pin; Russian Audio|ru-Kharbin.ogg|Харби́н "Kharbin") is a sub-provincial city and the capital of the Heilongjiang Province in Northeast China. It lies on the southern bank of the Songhua River. Harbin is ranked as the tenth largest city in China, serving as a key political, economic, scientific, cultural and communications center of Northeastern China.

Harbin is originally a Manchu word meaning "a place for drying fishing nets". Harbin bears the nicknames "The Pearl on the swan's neck" because the shape of Heilongjiang resembles a swan, and "Oriental Moscow" or "Oriental Paris" for the architecture in the city. Harbin is also known as "Ice City" for its long and cold winter. This city is most famous for its beautiful display of ice sculptures in the winter.


8 districts:
*Daoli District ( _zh. 道里区)
*Nangang District ( _zh. 南岗区)
*Xiangfang District ( _zh. 香坊区)
*Daowai District ( _zh. 道外区)
*Pingfang District ( _zh. 平房区)
*Songbei District ( _zh. 松北区)
*Hulan District ( _zh. 呼兰区)
*Acheng District ( _zh. 阿城区)

3 county-level cities:
*Shangzhi City ( _zh. 尚志市)
*Shuangcheng City ( _zh. 双城市)
*Wuchang City ( _zh. 五常市)

7 counties:
*Fangzheng County ( _zh. 方正县)
*Bin County ( _zh. 宾县)
*Yilan County ( _zh. 依兰县)
*Bayan County ( _zh. 巴彦县)
*Tonghe County ( _zh. 通河县)
*Mulan County ( _zh. 木兰县)
*Yanshu County ( _zh. 延寿县)


Industrial zones [ [http://www.kaifaqu.com.cn/cms/site/zsw/index_en.asp Harbin Eco Development Zone] ]

*Harbin Development Zone
**Harbin Economic and Technological Development Zone
**Harbin High and New Technological Development Zone

*Daqing High-tech Industrial Development Zone


Human settlement in the Harbin area dates from at least 2200 BC (late Stone Age). It was formerly called Pinkiang.

The modern city of Harbin originated in 1898 from a small village, with the start of the construction of the Chinese Eastern Railway (KVZhD) by Russia, an extension of the Trans-Siberian Railway, shortcutting substantially the distance to Vladivostok and creating a link to the port city of Dalny (Dalian) and the Russian Naval Base Port Arthur.

Following the Russian defeat in the Russo-Japanese War (1904-5), Russia's influence declined, and several thousand nationals from 33 countries including the United States, Germany, and France moved to Harbin. Sixteen countries established consulates and set up several hundred industrial, commercial and banking companies in Harbin. The Chinese also established their own businesses in brewing, food and the textile industry. Harbin had established its status as the center of northeastern China and as an international metropolis.

In December 1918, during the Russian Civil War, defeated Russian White Guards and refugees retreated to the city: it then became a major centre of White Russian émigrés. The city became the largest Russian enclave outside Russia. The Jewish community was formed by Russian Jews and included a group of German Jews, who fled Nazi Germany in the late 1930s. Under the pro bono efforts by Japanese government officials, they later emigrated to several cities in western Japan, notably Kobe, to ensure their safety and prosperity and established the largest synagogue in Japan. The Russians established the Russian school system and published Russian language newspapers and journals.

With the establishment of Manchukuo, Japanese troops occupied Harbin on 4 February 1932. In 1935 the Soviet Union sold the railway (KVZhD) to the Japanese, which resulted in the first exodus of Russian emigres from Manchuria and Harbin in particular. The bulk of the departing Russians went back to the Soviet Union, while a substantial number moved south to Shanghai or emigrated to the United States and Australia.

The Soviet Army took the city on 20 August 1945 and Harbin never came under the control of the Kuomintang, whose troops stopped 60 km short of the city. The city's administration was transferred by the departing Soviet Army to the Chinese People's Liberation Army in April 1946.

During the short occupation of Harbin by the Soviet Army (August 1945 to April 1946, thousands of Russian emigres who fled communism after the revolution, were forcibly moved to the Soviet Union. The rest of the European community (Russians, Germans, Poles, Greeks etc.) emigrated during the years 1950-54 to Australia, Brazil and the USA, or were repatriated to their home countries. By 1988 the original Russian community numbered just thirty, all of them elderly.

The eight Harbin counties originally formed part of Shokako/Songhuajiang Prefecture ( _zh. 松花江地区), and became incorporated into Harbin on 11 August 1999, making Harbin a sub-provincial city.

Toxic leak in benzene factory

A benzene plant situated upstream in the city of Jilin along the Songhua river exploded on 13 November 2005. Benzene levels reached more than 100 times normal levels, which led authorities in Harbin to shut off the water supply, and some residents left the city while others rushed to buy bottled water. After a few days the water supply was restored. The Harbin government originally declared to the public that the water supply was temporarily off while the supply system was checked. They also denied reports of a chemical leak, claiming that it was "just a rumour." [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4464030.stm] ]


Called the Oriental St. Petersburg, Harbin is one of China's most beautiful cities. The city is well-known for its unique, Russian and European-influenced architecture.

Zhong Yang Street (Central Street, also known as Kitaiskaia St.), one of the main business streets in Harbin, is a perfect remnant of the bustling international business activities at the turn of the 20th century. The 1.4-km long street is a veritable museum of European architectural styles: Baroque and Byzantine façades, little Russian bakeries, French fashion houses, American eateries, and Japanese restaurants.

The Russian Orthodox church, St. Sophia Cathedral, is also located in this central district of Daoli. St. Sophia took nine years to build and was completed in 1932. It has now been made into a museum as a showcase of the multi-cultural architecture of Harbin.

Many citizens believe that the Orthodox church damaged the local feng shui, so they donated money to build a Chinese monastery in 1921, the Ji Le Temple. There were more than 15 Russian Orthodox churches and two cemeteries in Harbin until 1949. Mao's Communist Revolution, and the subsequent Cultural Revolution, saw many of them destroyed. Now, about 10 churches remain, while services are held only in one.


The Harbin local culture is based on Han culture, combined with Manchu culture, Russian culture and Jewish culture. This combination of cultures influences the local architecture style, food, customs and even language.

Russian influence

Harbin today is still very much influenced by its Russian past. A city once under Russian rule, it is now a center of trade with that country.

The influence of Russia came with the construction of the China Far East Railway, an extension of the Trans-Siberian Railway, and Harbin, known formerly as a fishing village began to prosper as the largest commercial, economical center of North Eastern Asia.

Tsarist Russia encouraged Russian settlement in their important Trans-Siberian-Railway outpost by waiving the then 25 year long military service. For Jews who settled there, the restrictions applying in Russia were also waived.

The local cuisine in Harbin is also Russian-influenced. Harbin's bakeries are famous for their bread (lie-ba in local dialect, derived from the Russian word "khleb" for "bread"). Harbin's sausages (qiu-lin hong-chang) are another notable product, in that they tend to be of a much more European flavour than other Chinese sausages.

The Harbin dialect also retains other vocabulary items originating in the Russian language.

Winter culture

Harbin is one of the sources of ice and snow culture in the world. Geographically, it is located in Northeast China under the direct influence of the cold winter wind from Siberia. The average temperature in summer is 21.2 degrees Celsius, −16.8 degrees Celsius in winter. It can be as cold as −38.1 degrees Celsius in winter.

The annual Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival has been held since 1985. Although the official start date is January 5th each year, in practice, many of the sculptures can be seen before. While there are ice sculptures throughout the city, there are two main exhibition areas: Enormous snow sculptures at Sun Island (a recreational area on the opposite side of the Songhua River from the city) and the separate "Ice and Snow World" that operates each night. Ice and Snow World features illuminated full size buildings made from blocks of ice. Winter activities in the festival include Yabuli Alpine Skiing, winter-swimming in Songhua River, and the ice-lantern exhibition in Zhaolin Garden. Snow carving and ice and snow recreations are world famous.

The "Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival" is one of the world's four largest ice and snow festivals, along with Japan's Sapporo Snow Festival, Canada's Quebec City Winter Carnival, and Norway's Ski Festival.

Every November, the city of Harbin sends teams of ice artisans to the United States to promote their unique art form. It takes more than 100 artisans to create ICE!, the annual display of indoor Christmas-themed ice carvings in Nashville, Tennessee; [http://www.gaylordpalms.com/ice Kissimmee, Florida] ; and Grapevine, Texas.

The third Winter Asian Games took place in Harbin in 1996. The city of Harbin bid for hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics. The Alpine skiing events would have taken place in the Yabuli ski resort. In the frame of this campaign to assert its role on the world scene, Harbin will also be the host city of the 2009 Winter Universiade. Harbin plans to spend US$ 1.5 billion in construction and renovation of its sport infrastructure for this Universiade. Harbin is bidding for the 2012 Winter Youth Olympics.

Harbin Summer Music Concert

Harbin Summer Music Concert ('Concert' for short) is a national concert festival, which is held on August 6th every two years for a period of 10~11 days. During the concert, multiple evenings, concert, race and activities are held. The artists come from all over the world. The 'Harbin Summer Music Month', which was then renamed as 'Harbin Summer Music Concert', was held in August 1958. The first formal Concert was held on August 5, 1961 in Harbin Youth Palace, and kept on every year until 1966 when the Cultural Revolution started in China. In 1979, the Concert was recovered and from 1994, it has been held every two years.In 2008, the 29th Harbin Summer Music Concert will be held on August 6th.


The Heilongjiang Television and Harbin Economy Radio both serve as the media outlets of this region.



Harbin Railway-Bureau is the first one in Chinese History, of which the railway density is the highest in China. Harbin Railway Station is one of the three modernized railway-networks.


Harbin has an advanced system of highways. Food and other products are shipped on these roads. The highways in Harbin have a big impact on the way of life these people have, despite most are tolled.


Harbin Taiping International Airport serves Harbin and is an important transportation hub for northeastern China. It is the largest northernmost airport of China and its terminal building (along with Shenyang-Taoxian Airport) is currently one of the largest in northeastern China. The technical level of flight district is 4E, which allows all kinds of large and medium civil aircraft. There are flights to over thirty cities including Beijing, Tianjing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Qingdao, Wenzhou, Xiamen, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Shenyang, Dalian, Xi'an, Xianggang etc. Besides, there are also scheduled flights between Harbin and cities of some countries, including USA, Russia, Korea, Japan, and Singapore.


On the 5th of December,2006 , Harbin Subway Network Project has stated. The total investment for the first phase is 5.89 billion RMB. 20 stations will be set on this 14.4km long line starting from Harbin East Railway Station to the 2nd Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University in the west of the city. A subway depot, a command center and two transformer substations will be built along the line. Most of the subway's route follow the air defence evacuation Tunnel left from the World War II.

Colleges and universities

*Harbin Institute of Technology
*Harbin Engineering University (former Harbin Shipbuilding Engineering Institute)
*Heilongjiang University
*Harbin Jewish Research Center
*Harbin Medical University
*Harbin Normal University
*Harbin University of Science and Technology
*Heilongjiang University of Chinese Medicine
*Heilongjiang Institute of Technology
*Northeast Agricultural University
*Northeast Forestry University

ister cities


*Chengdu, Sichuan
*Dalian, Liaoning
*Guangzhou, Guangdong
*Hangzhou, Zhejiang
*Wenzhou, Zhejiang
*Xiamen, Fujian
*Xining, Qinghai


*flagicon|Japan Niigata, Japan (1979)
*flagicon|Denmark Aarhus, Denmark
*flagicon|Canada flagicon|Alberta Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (1985)
*flagicon|Russia Sverdlovsk Oblast, Russia
*flagicon|United States flagicon|Minnesota Minneapolis, Minnesota United States (1992)
*flagicon|United States flagicon|Alaska Anchorage, Alaska United States
*flagicon|South Africa Ekhuruleni, South Africa
*flagicon|Poland Warsaw, Poland (1993)
*flagicon|Latvia Daugavpils, Latvia
*flagicon|Russia Khabarovsk, Russia
*flagicon|Romania Ploieşti, Romania
*flagicon|Japan Asahikawa, Japan
*flagicon|South Korea Bucheon, South Korea
*flagicon|Brazil Salvador, Brazil
*flagicon|Israel Givatayim, Israel
*flagicon|Australia Griffith, Australia
*flagicon|Russia Krasnodar, Russia
*flagicon|Philippines Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines (2007)
*flagicon|Finland Rovaniemi, Finland
*flagicon|Germany Magdeburg, Germany (2008)

ee also

*Harbin Russians
*Nikos Kavvadias, a popular Greek poet born in Harbin by Greek parents from Kefalonia, Greece
*List of cities in the People's Republic of China by population
*List of current and former capitals of subnational entities of China


*Thomas Lahusen. "Harbin and Manchuria: Place, Space, and Identity". November 15, 2001. ISBN 0-8223-6475-1.

Further reading

*Meyer, Mike, "Manchuria Under Ice", "Departures Magazine", Nov/Dec 2006, 292–297.

External links

* [http://www.harbin.gov.cn/ Harbin Government website]
* [http://www.harbin.gov.cn/english/ Harbin Government website (English)]
* [http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=45.743491,126.641577&spn=0.234507,0.324200&t=k&hl=en Satellite photo] Google Maps
*Template group
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