Hefei, also known as Luzhou or Luyang in ancient times, is a historical city located in the central area of Anhui Province, between Changjiang and Huaihe Rivers, bordering Chaohu Lake in the south. Its administration covers Eastern City, Western City, Central City, as well as 4 suburban districts and 3 counties including Changfeng, Feidong, and Feixi. The total area is 7266 km2 (458 km2 for urban area) with a population of 4.259 million (1.2794 million in urban area). Broad avenues and beautiful landscape, modern constructions and historical relics present Hefei as a youthful yet time-honored city.
As the capital city of Anhui Province, Hefei is the center of politics, economy, education, culture, information, finance, commerce, and communication. It is also a national A-level opening city, national education base, and one of the three technology innovation pilot cities. Nobel laureate Yang Zhenning was born here. There are 13 institutions of higher learning, including: University of Science and Technology of China, Anhui University, and HeFei University of Technology, 20 colleges of continuing education, 50 technical secondary schools, 5 secondary normal schools, 73 vocational middle schools, 24 technical schools, 11 adult technical secondary schools, and over 200 scientific institutions including the Hefei Branch of Chinese Academy of Sciences. Its specialized technical personnel amounts to 170,000, and the talents reserve ranks among the top in China.
The origin of the name Hefei may have come from some of the following sources. In the Annotation to 'Scripture of Hydrology and Geography written by Li Daoyuan of Northern Wei Dynasty, "in summer, the rising flow of Shi River joined ("He-") the Fei River, hence the name". The Shi River is commonly called the Southern Fei River, and the original Fei River named as Eastern Fei River. Another version from the Tang Dynasty indicates that the Fei River, originating from Jiming Mountain, forked off after 20 li (Chinese miles). One branch (Southern Fei River) went southeast into the Chaohu Lake; the other branch (Eastern Fei River) went northwest for 200 li out of Shouchun to Huaihe River. In Erya, the book of explanations, Fei is defined as branches from the same origin. Both rivers are Feis that are joined ("He-") at the fountainhead and therefore called Hefei.
Historically, Hefei is known for its relics from the Three Kingdoms times, and is the hometown of Baozheng, a famous judge in Chinese history. It was a strategic spot by Huai River and in southeast China, where military forces often vied for occupation. A famous battle in the Three Kingdoms times took place in Hefei, then known as Xiaoyaojin, where Zhang Liao defeated a troop of 100,000 from one of his major rival forces Sun Quan. A trade center was formed in the area over 2000 years ago. It developed into a county in Qin and Han Dynasties, and became the city of Luzhou in Ming and Qing Dynasties. In the Republic China, Hefei was the capital of Anhui Province. Now it is a commercial center accommodating thousands of businesses and millions of people.
Reputed as "Green City" and "Garden City", Hefei has an elegantly built park around the city in the place of the relics of city wall, following the undulating terrains and embellished by greenwood and the ancient city moat. The park extends 9 km and is divided into six sections, including the most famous Yinhe Section with the greenery of woods and bamboos, Xishan Section where maple trees cast their reflections in the clear water, and Huanbei Section covered with verdant trees and grasses all year long. The delicate southern-style of Chinese landscape along uninterrupted water presents a charming and unforgettable memory for all visitors.
In recent years, Hefei has witnessed accelerated economic development with revolutionary progress in urban construction. High-Tech Development Zone, Economic Development Zone, Longgang Industrial Park has emerged around the city. The modernized city, with Fei River passing through and city park encircling, still celebrates the attractive Xiaoyaojin, Baohe River, and Yaohai Park. The dawn of the Shu Mountain, the history in the Cemetery of Baozheng, the chimes from the Jiaonu Platform, and the traces of the King of Wu all leave something to remember.
Hefei hosts many places of interest. The once famous "Eight Scenes of Luyang" include: Corner of Huai River, Chimes in Temple, Grass under Boat, Pine over Platform, Snow Topping Shu Mountain, Melting Huai River, Moon over Chao Lake, and Dawn of Four Peaks. The Moon over Chao Lake and Dawn of Four Peaks are no longer part of Hefei City, and some other scenes, like the Corner of Huai River, have been worn down by the tide of history. The remaining notable places are Jiaonu Platform, Mingjiao Temple, Xiaoyaojin, and the Temple of Baogong (Baozheng).
As a city of abundance, Hefei has nurtured many famous people in Chinese history. Now in the Renaissance of China, Hefei is embracing a new era for development and as a city of science, industries, gardening, and of healthy environment, Hefei is extending open arms to welcome friends from all over the world.