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중국 Xingtai 邢台: The Oldest City in North China  
Hebei, China  
 
Seated in the southern part of Hebei (hé běi 河北) Province with Taihang Mountains (tài háng shān 太行山) rising in the west, Xingtai (xíng tái 邢台) borders Shijiazhuang (shí jiā zhuāng 石家庄) and Hengshui (héng shuǐ 衡水) in the north, Handan (hán dān 邯郸) in the south, and the provinces of Shandong (shān dōng 山东) and Shanxi (shān xī 山西) in the east and west respectively. It is 108 kilometers (67 miles) south of Shijiagzhuang City and 396 kilometers (246 miles) away from Beijing. 

Xingtai has a nickname and that is Ox City (niú chéng 牛城). It is the oldest city in North China. The history of Xingtai can be traced back 3500 years ago. During the Shang Dynasty (shāng cháo 商朝 1600 BC-1046 BC), Xingtai functioned as a capital city. During the Warring States Period (zhàn guó shí qī 战国时期 473 BC-221 BC), the Zhao Kingdom (zhào guó 赵国) made Xingtai its provisional capital. During the Sui (suí 隋 580-630) and Tang (táng 唐 630-907) Dynasties, the city was known as Xingzhou (xíng zhōu 邢州). From the times of the Yuan Dynasty (yuán cháo 元朝 1271-1368) to Qing (1644-1911) Dynasties, Xingtai was called Shundefu (shùn dé fǔ 顺德府), and functioned as a prefecture in China.

Located at the convergence of Taihang Mountains and North China Plain (huá běi píng yuán 华北平原), Xingtai city slopes from the west to the east. Its main topography is plain occupying more than half of the city area. Xingtai has reserves of black metal and other minerals. What’s more, Xingtai is the site where one of the seven famous kilns in Tang Dynasty, Xing Kiln (xíng yáo 邢窑), is seated having a brilliant history of white porcelain making.
 


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