Nanjing (南京) aka Nanking, is the capital of Jiangsu province and a city with a prominent place in Chinese history and culture. It has served as the capital of China during several historical periods, and is listed as one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China. It has a rich history as a political center, as the capital of early regimes in the south and as the Southern Capital during the Ming dynasty, as well as the seat of the Nationalist Government in the 20th century. It is 2 1/2 hours west of Shanghai by express train. Nanjing is hot and humid in summer, considered one of China’s four “furnace cities.” Winters are cold, with frequent rain or drizzle and low visibility.

Nanjing Presidential Palace Stone Boat in GardenNanjing has an extremely rich and complex history, going back some 5,000 years, documented by the discovery of several prehistoric, Shang and Zhou era sites. During the Warring States period there was a walled city. After the break up of the Han dynasty, Nanjing became the capital of a number of short-lived dynasties. At that time Nanjing was also a center for the propagation of Buddhism.  Nanjing was established as the capital of the Ming by its founder, Zhu Yuanzhang (the Hongwu Emperor). Hongwu repopulated the city with craftsmen and wealthy families from elsewhere in southeastern China, meanwhile deporting most of the resident population