Yan'an Travel Guide

Yan'an is located on a loess plateau in northern Shaanxi Province. The old town nestles against Phoenix Hill (Fenghuangshan), with Precious Pagoda Hill (Baotashan) to its east, Cool Hill (Qingliangshan) to its northeast, and the Yanhe River flowing by. The town was of great strategic importance in ancient wars and is steeped in revolutionary traditions.

Yanan City

History
From Yan'an, Li Zicheng (1606-1645) and Zhang Xianzhong (1606-1646) launched an armed peasant rebellion that overthrew the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). The city's most important historical period began in October 1935, when the Chinese workers and the Red Army completed their 12,500 kilometers Long March and established a revolutionary base against Japanese aggression. From 1937 to 1947, Yan'an was the seat of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC). Thousands of patriotic Chinese youths came here to join the revolutionary ranks against the Japanese invaders. During those hard years, they lived in yaodongs - artificial caves or dugouts carved into hillsides that were traditional dwellings in Shaanxi - ate millet they grew themselves and won the final victory in the War of Resistance against Japan. During the Second World War almost all the buildings, except a pagoda, were destroyed by Japanese bombing. When Yan'an was the center of the Chinese communist government many prominent Western journalists including Edgar Snow and Anna Louise Strong met with Mao Zedong and other important leaders here for interviews.

After the liberation of the country in 1949, places of historical significance relating to the revolution were preserved in Yan'an and have been visited by many from both home and abroad. Politically, Yan'an symbolizes for many a utopian period in modern Chinese history when the communists sought to realize their ideal vision of life, culture and social justice. This hallowed ground represents a former "golden age" when communist principles and ideals were actively pursued by many sincere, youthful supporters.

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