History of Jingzhou
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Jingzhou, named after the towering and meandering Jingshan Mountain in its territory, can trace its name back to “Only Jingzhou extends from Jingshan Mountain to the south of Hengshan Mountain” in Shang Shu: Yu Gong, which was compiled nearly 3,000 years ago. It is one of the nine prefectures in ancient China. Jing is another name for the ancient State of Chu, and that is why Jing and Chu have been interchangeable since ancient times.
Jingzhou is a time-honored city. As early as five or six thousand years ago, people here created primitive culture of the Daxi. Jingzhou, under the reign of Chu in the Spring and Autumn and the Warring States period (770-221 B.C.), is the cradle of Chu culture. In 689 B.C., King Wen of Chu moved the capital to Ying (now Ji’nan Ancient City of Jingzhou District), which served as the capital for over 400 years.
During the Three Kingdoms period (220-280 A.D.), Jingzhou was divided by the three kingdoms of Wei, Shu and Wu and later ruled by Wu. During the Southern and Northern dynasties (420-589 A.D.), Jingzhou was taken as capital under the reign of King He of Qi, King Yuan of Liang, etc. In 760, Jingzhou was renamed Jiangling Prefecture. In 925, King Nanping took Jiangling as capital. During the Song (960-1279 A.D.), Ming (1368-1644 A.D.) and Qing (1644-1912 A.D.) dynasties, the name of Jingzhou changed several times.
After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Jingzhou’s name and territories were also changed many times. For example, in 1994, the former Jingzhou Prefecture was renamed Jingsha City. In 1996, Jingsha City was renamed back as Jingzhou City. Correspondingly, there were several changes in its subordinate districts, counties and county-level cities.
Since 2001, Jingzhou City has two districts, namely Jingzhou and Shashi, three counties of Gongan, Jianli and Jiangling, three county-level cities of Songzi, Shishou and Honghu, including 103 towns, 12 sub-districts, 421 neighborhood councils, 2,927 village committees, and 24,476 small village groups. It covers an area of 14,067 k㎡, among which the urban area is 1,558 k㎡ and the built-up urban area is 53 k㎡. At the end of 2004, the city administrates two districts and three counties, escrowing three county-level cities, consisting of 12 sub-districts, 88 towns and 14 townships.