It was in the 4th century BC that the King of Shu built the first town in the area. He moved the capital here from what is now Shuangliu and so the name Chengdu means "became a capital" in Chinese.
In 311BC a six kilometre wall was added to the city and from this time until the present the city has remained an important economic, military and political centre in South West China. Chengdu first became provincial capital of Sichuan during the Yuan Dynasty and remained as such through the Ming and Qing dynasties and following the 1949 revolution.
Chengdu Panda Breeding Research Base
This rare and beautiful animal is now only found in Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces and current numbers have declined to less than a 1000. Eighty percent of these exist in the province of Sichuan. The base is located 10km from Chengdu and consists of 92 acres of which over 90% is verdure.
As well as giant pandas the base houses red pandas, black-necked cranes, and white storks. In 1993 a museum was added to the site which is the only theme based museum for rare and endangered animal species in the world. The center is open to visitors from 07:30 to 18:00 and entry costs 30¥.
Wuhou Memorial Temple
This temple is dedicated to Zhuge Liang (181-234), Prime Minister of Shu during the Three Kingdoms period. It covers just under 400,000 square feet and is located in the southern district of Chengdu. At the start of the Ming Dynasty it was merged with the adjacent temple of Liu Bei and in 1672 was rebuilt to its current glory. Wuhou Memorial Temple is open to visitors from 8AM to 5.50PM and entry costs 30¥.
Thatched Cottage of Du Fu
Du Fu ( 712AD to 770AD ) hailed from Nan province and was one of the most famous poets of the Tang Dynasty. As the writer of almost 1500 poems he was a great spokesman for the sufferings of the common people during the decline of that period. Almost 250 were written during his four year residence at the cottage in Chengdu. The Thatched Cottage of Du Fu is open to visitors from 7AM to 8PM and entry costs 30¥.
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