Guilin History

Guilin is a city with the history of more than 10,000 years. Since the ancient time, Guilin had been the political center in each dynasty. In the historic record, Guilin is the most important center of Guangxi’s politics, culture, economy and military.
Guilin History Briefing
  • 10,000 years ago, it was the time of the Zengpiyan People who were in the matriarchal clan society. At that time, this area was not called Guilin.
  • Till Qin Dynasty, Guilin came into being the official prefecture in 214 B.C. It became a town of strategic importance in south China when the first Emperor of the Qin Dynasty ordered digging a canal to link the Xiang River (which flows into the Yangtze River) and the Tan River (which flows into the Pearl River), thus connecting two of China's major waterways. Because of the function of Guilin, it gradually became one of the most important strategic sport for many ambitious schemers.
  • During the Warring State period, Shian (old name of Guilin) belonged to Shu State. At that time, Shian developed into a political center gradually.
  • In the Tang Dynasty (618-907), Shian was renamed Lingui County and built to be an impressive southern prefecture.
  • In the Song Dynasty (960-1127), Guilin area covered the territory of present Hainan Island.
  • As for the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, the important position of the Guilin region both in economy and politics was unshakable. Benefiting from the solid political situation, the local culture also received further development during this period.
  • From 1911, Guilin became the capital of Guangxi Province.
  • By experiencing the liberation in 1949, Guilin was administratively divided as a part of Guangxi Zhuang Minority Autonomous Province.
  • In 1981, this ancient city was listed by the State Council as one of the four cities (the other three being Beijing, Hangzhou and Suzhou) where the protection of historical and cultural heritage, as well as natural scenery, should be treated as a priority project.
  • And since 1998, Guilin was re-divided by including more districts and formed as the present one.
Guilin Historic Colure
  • Guilin possesses rich historic and cultural relics. The discovery of Baoji rock human and Lipu human tell us that humans has been existing in Guilin more than 30,000 ago. The ancient locals called Zengpi Rock people draw pictures about hunting and fishing scenes in the original society.
  • Lingqu Canal, developed in 2,000 years ago, is the oldest canals in the world. It carries lots of civilization in Guilin. And it is a site to memory about the WWII.
  • Rock carving and stone steles in Guilin also symbols of the Guilin ancient culture. Spreading among hills and peaks, people can read these ancient poems, essays, travel stories and legends when climbing on hills in Guilin.
  • Guilin was once the center of the noted Lingnan Culture which is a typical regional culture. However, the current center of the Lingnan Culture refers in particular to Guangdong Province. Fortunately, there are a number of historic sites left in Guilin City for travelers to appreciate its past splendid culture. For example, the ancient Mansion of Prince Jingjiang is the best preserved mansion of the Prince in the Ming Dynasty. Nowadays, Solitary Beauty Peak located in the mansion is a must for travelers in Guilin.
  • Guilin is reputed as the cultural city in the world. There are 11 state level protection cultural relics, 72 in provincial level.
Guilin Historic Figures
  • Guilin has been pregnant with countless litterateurs, poems, officials, scholars as well as many famous figures in the China’s history:
  • Cao Ye – Famous Chinese poet in Late Tang Dynasty. Ranked as the first one in the top four talent poets at that time.
  • Chen Jichang – famous for his highest scores in three big exams, from the exam in county, province and nation.
  • Li Zongren – famous Chinese militarist in 20 century
  • Bai Chongxi – famous Chinese militarist in 20 century. Reputed for his intelligence. 

Recommended Guilin Tours