Bordering the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region and Hebei Province in the north and east, Datong lies in the north of Shanxi province. It has been the place of the strategic importance as Datong has overlooked entire Shanxi and defended Beijing since ancient times.
Datong boasts the following business cards:
1. One of the first group of famous historic and cultural cities of China.
Datong is one of the first group of famous historic and cultural cities promulgated by the State Council in 1982, and it ranks the third after Beijing and Chengde. There are 27 monuments and sites under the protection of national level.
2. The ancient Capital City of China.
Datong was inscribed into the ancient Capital city of China by the Association of Chinese Ancient Capitals in 2010, making it the ninth of its kind after Beijing, Xi-an, Nanjing, Luoyang and Kaifeng etc.
3. The Tourist City for Summer Resort.
Lying at 40 degrees northern latitudes, an area of ancient civilization of Beijing, New York, Rome, Athens, Frankfurt. With an altitude of 1000 meters above sea level, Datong enjoys average temperatures of 40 degrees in summer with relative temperature of 50% . Datong is virtually a summer resort and for that it was named tourist city of summer resort of China in 2015.
4. The National Garden City of China.
The afforestation coverage rate of 38.3% and urban average per person green area of 14.6 m2 with completion of the urban development program in 2014. Therefore it became the national garden city. Datong was named one of the five Chinese cities with most ecological competiveness at the 5th Conference of China Ecological Civilization and Green Competiveness. The days above grade II within urban area has ranked front in China for succession with blue sky and white cloud in most time of the year.
You can find a rich human history here. Oriental human beings originated in the Datong Lake 2 million years ago and they earmarked cultural remains at Xu Jiayao of Datong 100,000 years ago. Monarch Shun came here to go hunting and Emperor Qin had the Great Wall built. The territory was expanded in the reign of Wuling King of Zhao State and Prefectures and Counties were established in the Han Dynasties. Having served as the Capital of the Northern Wei Dynasty and secondary Capitals of Liao and Jin Dynasties for 96 and 190 years respectively, Datong became the important military Centre of the Ming and Qing Dynasties.
A unique culture is available here. A unique and colorful culture has been generated from merging of ethnic cultures of imperial capital and long history. The culture is comprised of old architectures, Buddhist, frontier, cuisine, the Great Wall, folklore, sculptures, and calligraphy. Having exerted a great influence on the history and culture of China, Datong’s history and culture is a glorious part of Chinese history and culture.
A famous cave built by a group of artists.
The artisans from China and abroad were mobilized to cut the Yungang Caves at Mount Wuzhou, a large- scale project implemented by Royal Empire in 460 A. D. It took 64 years to complete the one-kilometer long grottoes with 254 caves and 1200 niches. There are fifty-one thousand statues with carving area of 18,000 m2. The Yungang Caves were inscribed into the World Cultural Heritage List by the UNESCO in 2001.
An ancient city where culture is passed on.
Built on the ruins of old city in Tang, Liao, Jin and Yuan Dynasties, the Datong Old City has high walls and strong facilities, making it the masterpiece of the city defending development history in China. Inside the city are temples and churches with different styles. You can also find magnificent archways and alleyways with courtyard houses. Huayan Buddhist Temple enjoys the museum of Liao and Jin Dynasties. The statues of Bodhisattva with palms crossed and teeth opened was hailed as the only piece of work in China by Liao Sicheng, the famous Chinese architect. Shanhua Monastery which was initially constructed in Tang Dynasty, is the only of its kind in China with complete courtyard layout and plenty of sculptures and murals. The colorful exquisitely built Nine-Dragon Screen which was made in front of the Royal Palace of the Duke Dai, is the oldest and biggest of its kind in China.
You can also find a famous mountain where the emperors had worshipped in ancient times.
As the sanctuary of Taoism in North China, Mount Heng, one of the top five great mountains in China, has been the place where emperors had worshipped in ancient times. It has enjoyed the reputation of the North Pillar in the heaven and famous mountain in the frontier town. Hengshan Mountain has been listed in the catalogue of the first group of national scenic spots and famous sites as it has been inscribed into the Xiake Travel Notes by Xu Xiake, the famous traveler in Ming Dynasty for the steep and magnificent mountain, miraculous temple and unique spring. With a history of 1400 odd years, the Hanging Temple which was built on mountain cliff, is well known in China for breathtaking, exquisiteness and , is the only monastery to combine Buddhism, Daoism and Confucius in China. It is also the attic in the air and cultural shrine rarely seen in China.
Datong also boasts magnificent Great Wall Scenery.
Pastures in Dian Ziliang lies on the top of great mountain is embraced by clouds. Flowers bloom in Summer and turned silver in Fall. The sky is a blue cast; The grass extends vast. Cattle and sheep appear out of grass at a blast. 23 volcano clusters gather together to make volcano park in Datong with purple colors and different gestures just like living creatures. The Great Wall of eight hundred miles long wind its way along the Loess Plateau with 52 forts overlooking the bounder. Backed by Bai Dengshan, the four hundred acres of Wenying Lake lies on the east of Datong city with happy birds and crowded tourists.