Known as the capital city of six or ten dynasties in China's history, it has a brilliant cultural heritage. In spite of its glorious times, the city also witnessed the hardest moments of China. In 1839, the Opium War burst out after Lin Zexu, an assiduous official, burnt twenty thousand boxes of opium in Humen. On a battleship the Qing government, under threat by British troops, signed the notorious Nanjing Treaty, which ceded Hong Kong away from China for more than hundred years. There are more negative memories of the city. In 1937 the inhuman Nanjing Massacre happened. In six weeks more than 300,000 Chinese people were killed by the Japanese, including women and children.
Nanjing served as the capital of Republic of China, and is listed as one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China. The statistics in 2007 estimated the total population of Nanjing to be 7.4 million. Great changes have taken place in the city in recent years and it has become a sparkling metropolis like Shanghai and Beijing with skyscrapers, luxury hotels, fashion shopping malls and supermarkets.
The average temperature in Nanjing is about 15C and the time from mid-June to July is the rain period. Known as one of the three hottest cities in China, Nanjing's scorching summer period is to be avoided. The average ground temperature can reach 35C and the extreme highest point could reach 40C sometimes. The short comfortable autumn time from October to mid-November is the best travel period for the city. Unlike other southern cities in China, in December it sometimes snows in the city. In the coldest months, January, the temperature could be as low as -7C.
In addition to historical sights, memorials, museums and cultural sights also attracts thousand of travelers. The famous Confucius Temple is not only a memorial place for the Great Saga in China, but it has a surrounding area bustling with shops, restaurants and a snack street housed in traditional Chinese buildings. In the city center, Nanjing Museum is a must for travelers with a collection of more than 420 thousand pieces, including about 2,000 that are rare and valued.