China Travel Info/Cities and Attractions/Shanghai

The largest city in China , Shanghai contains the most striking blend of oriental and western cultures and of the past and present. In this city, European-style buildings can be seen standing alongside typical Chinese structures and ancient temples. Modern ocean-going vessels sail past junks. A flourishing commercial and industrial center , Shanghai has a population of over 16 million and a land area of 3,355 sq uare miles .
Although early records indicate that a settlement was founded during the Song Dynasty (960-1380 AD), at a time when invaders from the north were retreating to their own borders, it remained a small fishing village and did not become a town until the mid- 13th century. Compared with other major cities in China it has had a relatively short history.
During the Ming Dynasty, many walls were erected to enclose the town and protect it from Japanese pirates. The town prospered from foreign trade in the Qing Dynasty. Prior to the outbreak of the Opium War in 1840 , Shanghai had grown into a port with 500,000 inhabitants.
After the Opium War, Shanghai was forced by European powers to open as a "treaty port . " From that time on aggressors from many countries began to flock in and the city became known as a notorious "paradise for adventurers . " Carving out their own spheres of influence, they settled there by seizing their respective "concessions , " which were characteristic of this colonial period.

The Chinese response to th e foreign dominance took several decades to become strong. During the W ar of Resistance Against Japan (1937-1945), Shanghai was occupied by Japanese troops, and was reclaimed by the nationalist army after the surrender of Japan . The city was seized by the People's Liberation A rmy on May 38, 1949. Since then , Shanghai has changed from a consumer city of the past into a major modern industrial city.  

Cultural activities include theater groups, film studios, a symphony orchestra, the ballet, opera companies, acrobatics and even a circus. Due to many years of foreign influence, Shanghai , the first Chinese city to open a disco for foreign visitors, is perhaps China 's most cosmopolitan city. It also offers the tourist art and history museums tracing China 's growth through the ages, and magnificent examples of Chinese architecture in its temples and buildings.
Jade Buddha Temple
Oriental Pearl TV Tower
The Bund
Shanghai Museum
Yuyuan Garden
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