|Coordinates (Tianshui municipal government):|
|Country||People's Republic of China|
|Municipal seat||Qinzhou District|
|• Prefecture-level city||14,280 km2 (5,510 sq mi)|
|• Urban||5,866 km2 (2,265 sq mi)|
|• Metro||5,866 km2 (2,265 sq mi)|
|Elevation||1,171 m (3,842 ft)|
|• Prefecture-level city||2,984,659|
|• Density||210/km2 (540/sq mi)|
|• Urban density||210/km2 (540/sq mi)|
|• Metro density||210/km2 (540/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+8 (China Standard)|
|ISO 3166 code||CN-GS-05|
|Licence plate prefixes||甘E|
|Literal meaning||City of Sky and Water|
|Literal meaning||Qin Province|
|Literal meaning||Commandery of Heaven and Water|
Tianshui is the second-largest city in Gansu Province, China. The city is located in the southeast of the province, along the upper reaches of the Wei River and at the boundary of the Loess Plateau and the Qinling Mountains. As of the 2020 census, its population was 2,984,659 inhabitants, of which 1,212,791 lived in the built-up (or metro) area made of the 2 urban districts of Qinzhou and Maiji. The city and its surroundings have played an important role in the early history of China, as still visible in the form of historic sites such as the Maijishan Grottoes.
Qin, whose House of Ying were the founding dynasty of the Chinese empire, developed from Quanqiu (present-day Lixian) to the south. After the invasions of the Rong which unseated the Western Zhou, Qin recovered the territory of Tianshui from the nomads. It became an important region of their duchy and, later, kingdom. Characteristically Qin tombs have been excavated at Fangmatan nearby, including one 2200-year-old map of Qin's Gui County.
Under the Qin Empire, the area was part of Longxi Commandery but the Emperor Wu of the Han separated the region as the Tianshui Commandery in 114 BC as part of his expansion towards the Tarim Basin. The general Li Guang came from the city. The Han conquests and explorations eventually resulted in the development of the Northern Silk Road: Tianshui formed its junction with the Wei River, after which it followed the road past Mount Long to Chang'an (present-day Xi'an). Nearby are the Maijishan Grottoes, filled with thousands of Buddhist sculptures representing figures such as Buddha and the original male form of Guanyin, produced between the Wei and Song dynasties by monks travelling along the road and by local Buddhists.
During the Northern Wei, the city was known as Hanyang and was the center of the Hanyang Commandery. During the Western Wei, this name was changed to Hanyang County. During the Tang and Five Dynasties, the city of Tianshui was known as Shanggui (上邽). It alternated with Chengji (present-day Qin'an) as the capital of the province of Qinzhou (秦州). Li County was separated from Tianshui's jurisdiction during the ninth year of Chenghua (AD 1473) during the Ming dynasty.
According to a legend, the name Tianshui (天水) originates from a lake formed from heaven, which would remain the same size year round.
|Qinzhou District||秦州区||Qínzhōu Qū||650,000||2,442||266|
|Maiji District||麦积区||Màijī Qū||580,000||3,452||188|
|Qingshui County||清水县||Qīngshuǐ Xiàn||310,000||2,003||155|
|Qin'an County||秦安县||Qín'ān Xiàn||600,000||1,601||375|
|Gangu County||甘谷县||Gāngǔ Xiàn||600,000||1,572||382|
|Wushan County||武山县||Wǔshān Xiàn||440,000||2,011||219|
Tianshui is located in the valley of the Jie River, a major tributary of the Wei River, and on the boundary between the Loess Plateau and Qinling Mountains. The city has a monsoon-influenced, cool semi-arid (Köppen BSk)/humid continental (Dwa) climate, with four distinct seasons of comparatively equal length. Winters are cold but dry, with January 24-hour average temperature of −1.5 °C (29.3 °F), while summers are warm and somewhat humid, with July 24-hour average temperature of 23.2 °C (73.8 °F). Much of the annual rainfall occurs from June to September, and the annual mean temperature is 11.44 °C (52.6 °F). With monthly percent possible sunshine ranging from 34% in September to 50% in December, the city receives 1,911 hours of bright sunshine annually.
|Climate data for Tianshui (1981−2010 normals)|
|Record high °C (°F)||12.1
|Average high °C (°F)||3.9
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−1.5
|Average low °C (°F)||−5.4
|Record low °C (°F)||−19.2
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||4.9
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)||5.0||5.2||7.9||8.9||10.5||11.2||11.8||10.7||11.2||10.6||5.4||3.0||101.4|
|Average relative humidity (%)||61||60||59||57||60||64||68||71||76||76||70||64||66|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||144.3||128.4||142.2||182.0||201.7||190.0||195.7||193.4||125.4||123.7||133.4||151.0||1,911.2|
|Percent possible sunshine||46||42||39||47||47||44||45||47||34||35||43||50||43|
|Source: China Meteorological Administration (precipitation days and sunshine 1971–2000)|
Due to the mild climate, Tianshui is a large producer of fruits, in particular apples.
It is also a major industrial centre in Gansu province, especially regarding electronics. Some major industries include:
Tianshui Maijishan Airport is located near the built up area.
Tianshui is currently serviced by Tianshui railway station on the Longhai Railway. The railway station is connected to downtown by the Tianshui Tram.
A new high-speed railway station, Tianshui South railway station, opened in 2017.
The Tianshui–Longnan railway is currently under construction and will add a north–south link to the county.
The Lianyungang–Khorgas Expressway connects Tianshui to Baoji/Xi'an in the east and Dingxi, Lanzhou towards the northwest and supersedes highway G310. G310 runs as a motorway within the urban centre.
Tianshui's signature dish is Guagua (呱呱), a sticky boiled buckwheat flour meal, seasoned with chili oil, sesame paste, mustard, oil, salt, vinegar and garlic paste. The dish is normally eaten as a breakfast. According to legends it was the imperial food during Han dynasty general Wei Xiao's rule.
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