The city of Xiangyang (Xiangfan) stretches across the middle reach of Hanjiang River, with the city of Xiang to the south bank and the city of Fan to the north bank. The name of Xiangfan is thusly retrieved from the names of its two urban regions and had been preserved for the last 60 years, while it recently restores to its historical name Xiangyang, for this city in the northwest of Hubei Province is opulent in anecdotes and history.
People have dwelled in this place for 600,000 years. More than 2,000 years ago, in the Dynasty of Zhou, the city of Fan was granted to and named after the aristocracy Fan Muzhong. The city of Xiang, aka Xiangyang, bears a history just as long. It has been a municipality ever since Liu Biao the administrator came to rule in 190 A.D. The renowned ancient city wall is preserved well through the maintenance of a millennium, from Tang Dynasty to Qing Dynasty.
The city’s reputation is also established on its time-honored function as a transportation center, enabling the commercial and cultural exchanges of North and South China. Dozens of praising names have been bestowed upon the beautiful Xiangyang, and to name a few, “the bottleneck of the Xiang River”, “a collection of South ships and North horses” and “the thoroughfare of seven provinces”.
Apart from its fame as a transportation center, history has given Xiangyang other endowments, such as rich historical relics, cultural resorts and unique folk art. The Longzhong Mountain is universally acknowledged as the place where after a third time ardent visit, Liu Bei, a warlord in the Three Kingdom Period, managed to conduct the history-shaping “talk of Longzhong” with Zhuge Liang, the wisest man in the world. The Mountain includes places like the House of the Three Visits, the Wuhou Temple, the Recesses of Wolong, the Pavilion of Deep Meditation, the Hut Temple, the Bridge of Rainbow, the Cave of the Elder Dragon and the Plowing Field of Zhuge, all in memory of that great man of intelligence. Analog to the Longzhong Mountain, other resorts are never in want of glamour and always attract visitors, namely, the Guangde Temple, the Residence of Mi Fu the Calligrapher, the Pond of the Xis’, the Wall of Green Jade, the Creek of Sandal, the Lumen Temple and the Monument of Li Zengbo. The city’s folk art presents itself in various forms, for instance, the Xiangyang flower-drum opera, the music of Huoju Taoists and the show of Mountain Gong and Drum.
Nature is just as generous to Xiangyang city as history. Among others, the cured kohlrabi, the White Bream, candied jujube and the Green Tea of Longzhong are the well-known specialties of Xiangyang.