Dingzhou skyline seen from Shuohuang Railway
Location in Baoding
Location in Hebei
|Country||People's Republic of China|
|• County-level city||1,283.7 km2 (495.6 sq mi)|
|• Urban||53.00 km2 (20.46 sq mi)|
|Elevation||58 m (189 ft)|
|• County-level city||1,249,000|
|• Density||970/km2 (2,500/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+8 (China Standard)|
|License Plate Prefix||冀F|
|Literal meaning||[Seat of] Ding ("Orderly") Prefecture|
Dingzhou, or Tingchow in Postal Map Romanization, and formerly called Ding County or Dingxian, is a county-level city in the prefecture-level city of Baoding, Hebei Province. As of 2009, Dingzhou had a population of 1.2 million. Dingzhou has 3 subdistricts, 13 towns, 8 townships, and 1 ethnic township. Dingzhou is about halfway between Baoding and Shijiazhuang, 196 kilometers (122 mi) southwest of Beijing, and 68 kilometers (42 mi) northeast of Shijiazhuang.
Dingzhou was originally known as Lunu in early imperial China. A tomb about 4 kilometers (2.5 mi) southwest of Dingzhou from 55 BCE was discovered and excavated in 1973. It contained several fragments of Han literature, including manuscripts of Confucius's Analects, the Taoist Wenzi, and the Six Secret Teachings, a military treatise.
Dingzhou took its present name around 400 CE when it became the seat of Ding Prefecture under the Northern Wei, displacing the earlier An Prefecture. In the mid-6th century, its territory held 834,211 people living in 177,500 households. Under the Sui, the seat of Boling Commandery at present-day Anping was renamed "Gaoyang". In 607, Dingzhou then became the eponymous seat of a new Boling commandery and retained that name and status under the Tang until it returned to the name Dingzhou between 621 and 742 and again after 758. Its territory held only 86,869 people in 25,637 households in 639 but recovered to 496,676 people in 78,090 households by 742.
In 1055, under the Song, the city became the home of the 84-meter-tall (276 ft) Liaodi Pagoda, which is today China's tallest surviving pre-modern pagoda.
Under the early Republic, it was known as Dingxian (then romanized "Tingsien" or "Ting Hsien") from its status as the seat of Ding County. From 1926 to 1937, the county was the site of the National Association of Mass Education Movement's Ting Hsien Experiment of the Rural Reconstruction Movement. In the 1990s, the New Rural Reconstruction Movement maintained a training and outreach center.
Dingzhou is one of the transportation hubs in North China.