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History of Zhangjiajie

By Chen Louyun | Updated : Dec 14, 2019

Approved by State Council of The People’s Republic of China, Dayong City was officially renamed as ZhangJiejie City  (prefecture-level city) in April 4,1994.

As a new-born tourism city, ZhangJiajie boasts a long history, which can date back to New Stone Age. People lived here along both banks of the Lishui River (the mother river of Zhangjiajie), now within the boundaries of Zhangjiajie City. It was recorded that Shun had visited Chong Mt in ancient Book of Documents. According to Yongding Weizhi edited by Yang Xiande in 1685, Yongding County Annals edited in 1652 and Cili County Annals and Sangzhi County Annals,

Dayong and Cili at that moment were part of Yuzhong county, China ancient county in Qing Dynasty, which is the first administrative division within Hunan Province, earlier than Changsha, the capital city. Yuzhong county consisted of Cigu County (now Taiping Village, Cili County),Sangzhi County, Dayong County (now Yongding District),Shimen County, Anxiang County, Li County, Jinshi County, as well as Gongan, Hefeng County of Huibei Province and part of Taoyuan County of Hunan Province.

In West Han Dynasty(202 B.C.- 8 A.D.), the system of prefectures and counties was implemented at local level, complemented with enfeoffment. In 5th year of Emperor Gao of West Han Dynasty(202 B.C.), Liu Bang, Emperor Gao, was in his office, and issued an order to separate Yuzhong County as Wuling County, Cigu County as Chanling County, Chongxian County(Yongding, Wuling District and Sangzhi County).   

In Three Kingdoms period (220-280),Emperor Jing of Wu Dynasty, Sun Xiu renamed Songlian Mt.to Tianmen Mt., Wuling County to Tianmen County in 263 A.D. when he saw the natural arch and took as an auspicious symbol. Besides, Zhongxian County was added and Chongxian County was divided.

In 4th year of Taikang, Western Jin Dynasty (283 A.D.),Chong County was abolished and changed into Linli County.  

In the Northern and Southern dynasties (420-589), Emperor Xiaowu of Southern Dynasty, Liu Jun, in his power, issued an order to integrate Wulling and Tianmen County into Yingzhou District in 454 A.D. But in the 3rd year of Emperor of Song Ming (467), Wuling and Tianmen County were still part of Jingzhou District.

In the 2rd year of West Wei Dynasty (555 A.D.), Emperor Gong, Tuobakuo changed Tianmen County into Lizhou County. In the 4th year of Jiande, Northern Dynasty (575), Louzhong and Linli county were changed into Chongyi County. Besides, Northern Hengzhou was newly added for praying “The 5 Mountains”. Then till Sui Dynasty, Yangjian, Emperor Wen, in his power, issued an order to change northern Hengzhou county into Chongzhou, Lingyang County into Cili County, which were all controlled by Chongzhou. In the 2rd year of Daye, Emperor Yang, Yang Guang, abolished Chongzhou, and changed Lizhou into Liyang County, having jurisdiction over six counties. Cili and Dayong were part of Liyang County.

In Tang Dynasty(618-907 A.D.),the whole country was divided into ten Dao, China ancient administrative division. In the 4th year of Wude, Tang Dynasty(621), Emperor Gao, Liyuan issued an order to set Lizhouliyang County, controlled by Southern Dao, having jurisdiction over six counties, Cili and Chongyi County were under control.

In the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period (907–979 A.D.), the whole area of ZhangJiajie was controlled by Chu
In Song Dynasty(960-1279A.D.), in order to strengthen the power of central government, Song Dynasty divided the territory into 23 Lu, with sub-divisions, such as Fu, Zhou and Jun. In the first year of Qide, Emperor Tai, Zhao Kuangyin issued that changed ZhangJiajie into Cili County, all controlled by Liyang County. Besides, three villages have been established, including, Anfu Village in Sangzhi County, Wukou Village in Yongding District and Suokou Village in Wulingyuan District.

In Yuan Dynasty(1271-1368A.D.), 11 provinces were divided across country by Emperor Shi, Hu Bilie. In the 14th year of Yuan Dynasty(1277 A.D.), Emperor issued that General Fu of Lizhou Lu was established to control four counties and Maogang Marshal office was set in Yongding District. In the first year of Yuanzheng (1295 A.D.), Emperor Cheng, Tie Muer, in his power, issued that Cili County was changed into Cili Zhou, controlling 4 counties. In 24th year of Zhizheng(1364 A.D.), Emperor Shun, abolished Anding Zhou and Shixi Zhou, and changed Lizhou Lu into Liyang Fu.
The executive secretariat (xing zhong shu sheng ,a central government department in feudal China)was one department in the Three Departments and Six Ministries government structure officially established in the Yuan dynasty in the history of China. In Ming Dynasty(1368-1644A.D.), it was replaced by 13 Buzhengshi Institution to take control over provincial civil affairs and finance. In 1369, Cili Zhou was downgraded to Dayong County, part of Li Zhou. And in 1376, Cili was controlled by Changde Fu. In the 22th year of Hongwu (1389), Dayong Wei was changed into Yongding Wei, and a year later, Jiuxi Wei was established in Cili County, both controlled by Huiguang Duishi institution and in 1396 controlled by Yuezhou Fu.
In Qing Dynasty(1616-1912A.D.), 20 provinces were set across country, with Fu, Zhou and County as sub-divisions. In the 8th year of Yongzheng, Qing Dynasty, Li Zhou was changed into direct-administered county, over Anxiang, Shimen, Cili, and Yongding Wei, Jiuxi Wei were abolished, and Yuechang Dao was changed into Yuechangli Dao.

In Republic of China(1912-1949), there were 3 Dao and 60 Counties below the provincial level, and dao was replaced by Office of the Commissioner of Administrative Supervision. In 1916, Wuling dao was revoked and Dayong, Sangzhi and Cili were put into Chenyuan Dao. In 1922, the system of Dao was cancelled, so Dayong, Cili and Sangzhi were direct-administered counties. In 1938 and 1949, the whole province was divided into 10 Commissioner of Administrative Supervisions. Dayong and Sangzhi were the 8th Supervisions, and Office of the Commissioner set in Yongshun while Cili County was the 4th, and the office was in Changde.

The founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 gave the liberation of Zhangjiajie. In 1949 and 1988, Cili County was controlled by Changde, while Dayong and Sangzhi were in charge of Yongshun in Oct 16, 1949 and Aug, 1952, governed by Tujia-Miao Autonomous Prefecture of Xiangxi and Xiangxi Miao Autonomous region after August.

In 1988 and 1990, with the approval of the State Council, Dayong was set as prefecture level city over Cili, Sangzhi and Yongding, Wulingyuan district. On April 4, 1994, with the approval of the State Council, Dayong City was changed into Zhangjiajie City, and still has jurisdiction over Yongding, Wulingyuan two districts and Zili, and Sangzhi counties remain unchanged.

2019 Zhangjiajie Bureau of Culture, Tourism, Broadcasting and Sports