The ancient walled city of Kaifeng is located at the eastern part of Henan Province with a total area of 6,444 square kilometers and a population of 4.5 million. It is also called Bianzhou for the reason that it lies on the bank of the Bian River. The city consists of 5 districts and 5 counties.
Being one of the seven ancient capitals in China, Kaifeng rose to fame more than 2,300 years ago during the Warring States Period, when it was capital of the Kingdom of Wei (220-265). The city's most prosperous and glorious era was between the years 960 and 1127, when it was the Eastern Capital of the Northern Song Dynasty. During that period, Kaifeng was renamed as Dongjing. The Northern Song, in particular, established its capital in Kaifeng for 168 years. The Eastern Capital, as Kaifeng was then called, was the political, economic and cultural center of the whole country, with well-developed handicrafts, bustling commerce and fine communication facilities. Having a population of over 1 million, Kaifeng then ranked among the most flourishing metropolises in the world. An old saying went that "Kaifeng was unsurpassed anywhere in splendor and prosperity".
Repeated Yellow River floods, however, caused damage to the ancient capital of Kaifeng through the years. Many of its historical relics were destroyed. Among those that have survived are the Iron Pagoda, the Dragon Pavilion, Xiangguo Monastery, Yuwang Temple and Yanqing Taoist Temple. These are all fine works of architecture. Their majestic beauty bears testimony to the wisdom and the cultural and artistic standards their creators attained.
Kaifeng has been enlisted in the first group of historically and culturally renowned cities in China. It attracts millions of Chinese and foreign tourists each year. In the long history, although the city has gone through different kinds of hardships and difficulties, many places of historical interests have survived intact. In addition, many new places of attractions and scenic spots have been created so that tourists can enjoy more than just an ancient city, like Baogong Memorial Temple, Qingming Park up the River and Yu Street of the Song Dynasty Capital.
Kaifeng City is rich in Mineral Resources, Water Resources, and Power Supply. Kaifeng City has a great variety of industrial and a strong industrial foundation. The main industries sectors are light industry, textile, pharmacy, foodstuff, cigarette, electric power, machinery, electronics, chemicals, and construction materials etc. with the light industry, foodstuff, machinery, electronics, chemical industries and pharmacy as pillar industry.
Kaifeng was the first city in China where Jews settled when arrived, via India, during the Song dynasty. A small Christian community also lives in Kaifeng alongside a much larger local Muslim minority; visitors may see churches and mosques in Kaifeng’s backstreets.