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History and Culture

It was primarily the Russians who laid out the city with broad avenues and a circular grid.

As early as 6000 years ago, our ancestors first exploited Dalian region. In Qin and Han period (221B.C.-220A.D.), Dalian region was under the jurisdiction of Liaodong County. In the early period of Tang Dynasty (618-907), Dalian region was under the jurisdiction of Andong Prefecture in Jili state, and in Liao Dynasty (916-1125); it was under the jurisdiction of Dong Jing Tong Liaoyang County. Dalian was named Sanshan in the period of Weijin (220-420), San Shanpu in Tang Dynasty (618-907), Sanshan Seaport in Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and Qing Niwakou in Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). In the 1880's, Qing government constructed loading bridges and fortifications with built-in cannons, and set up mine camps in the northern coast of Dalian gulf, making it become a small town. After the invasion and occupation of Russia, the city was called Qing Niwa and was renamed Dalian in 1899.

The Yamato hotel, built in 1914

There were three Yamato hotels in Dairen, now called Dalian. (Yamato was the name of an old Japanese province, and because of its importance, at one time stood for all of Japan.) The first hotel, called simply No.1, was built in 1914 on the main traffic circle.

Today’s Yamato hotel is renamed as Dalian Hotel

 “The visitor to Dairen, South Manchuria, who steps down from a drosky in front of the Yamato Hotel, scarcely realizes that he is in China, especially in a part of the once Celestial Empire that thirty years ago was in an almost primitive state. The marquis over the entrance and the great majestic fa?ade itself give one the impression that he is in Paris. This Yamato Hotel is one of the chains of five large hotels maintained by the South Manchurian Railway in its effort to modernize and open up this richly endowed part of China which is now under the “Open Door Policy,” with Japan exercising control as a lessee.”

—— Quota from a 1927 travel book

During the 1st and 2nd Opium War, Dalian was invaded and harassed by the British army. As the main battlefield of the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895 and Japanese-Russian War, Dalian suffered great calamity in these two wars in modern history. Consequently, Dalian became Russian and Japanese colony for nearly half a century, meanwhile under the Japanese colonial rule for 40 years. The unconditional surrender of Japan on August of 1945 marks the liberation of Dalian in the anti-fascist war, thus ends 40 years' colonial rule over the city. On September of the same year, the Preparatory Committee of Dalian Workers' Union was founded. On October, the northeast bureau of the Communist Party of China appointed Mr. Hanguan secretary of the CPC Dalian Committee, and the CPC Dalian Committee and Dalian municipal government were founded.

On July of 1946, the CPC Dalian Committee was reorganized into the CPC Luda committee. From 1949 to 1956, the socialist transformation was almost finished. From 1957 to 1966, the all-around socialist construction started. From 1966 to 1976, Dalian experienced the Cultural Revolution. After 1976, Dalian entered the new period of socialist modernization construction. In 1984, Dalian was approved by the State Council to be the coastal open-up city and was designated as the city with separate economic plan in 1985, enjoying provincial level decision-making authority.

Unique Culture

There are two things that have earned the city a great reputation. One is Football and the other is Fashion. Given the name of 'Oriental Brazil', it hosts many Chinese football matches and has the most successful football teams in China. The enthusiastic fans in the football club of the four-star Wanda International Hotel tell everyone how much the Chinese like this game.

Dalian Football fans acclaiming in a match; Models in Dalian International Fashion Festival

Another carnival event in the city is Dalian International Fashion Festival, during which thousands of dazzling celebrities, designers, pop stars and clothing merchants from both home and abroad get together to present an In-Fashion feast to the world. Consequently, Dalian stirs shopping lovers' blood with all sorts of skyscraper shopping malls and markets. If you are lucky enough to come to the city around September, a sea of world-class fashion brands will delight you. There are also many other social and cultural events held in Dalian, namely, " the In honor of the Mass Performances Celebration Week for the 60th Anniversary of New China"; a series of "Ode to Motherland" and the 15th Korean Folk Culture and Art Festival and so on.

Besides, the city is also rich in historical relics and art resources. There are 12 cultural art galleries and 7 public museums in the city and 2010 items of immovable historical relics were recovered or newly discovered during the third national survey.

Bathing Paradise

As a coastal city at the tip of Liaodong Peninsular, Dalian has rich beach resources and is famous for its ocean culture. The bathing places along the city's coastline are good choices for a beach resort holiday and paradises for water sports lovers. The famous Fujiazhuang, Bangchuidao and Jianshitan bathing places in this region feature relatively lower water temperatures, steep slopes and big waves. The western coastal line of the city in Baohai Sea has plain seashores with smooth banks, and calm waters. The bathing places in this region are more suitable for beginners and children. A well known bathing place is at Xiajia Hezi.

SICAS Reminder:

Xinghai Park Bathing Place
Located in Xinghai Park; this is one of the four best bathing places in Dalian with all necessary amenities.
Getting there: Bus 23, 406, 28, 202 (tram), 801 (tourist bus) and 901 (tourist bus)
Admission: free

Fujiazhuang Park Bathing Place
This bathing center is famous for its soft sand and limpid waters.
Getting there: Bus 702, 5, 541
Admission: five yuan from 6:00 to18:00; three yuan from 18:00-22:00, students half price.