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Baoding is a prefecture-level city in Hebei province, China.

Baoding is a city with a history dating back to the Western Han Dynasty. It was destroyed by the Mongols in the 13th century, but after the Mongols established the Yuan Dynasty, it was rebuilt. It acquired the name "Baoding" during the Yuan dynasty - the name is roughly interpreted as "protecting the capital", referring to the city's proximity to Beijing. Baoding served for many years as the capital of Zhili, and was a significant centre of culture in the Ming Dynasty and early Qing Dynasty. After Zhili province was abolished in 1928 Baoding became the capital of the newly formed Hebei province. During World War II, the city was the site of a headquarters for Japanese occupation forces. In 1958, the role of provincial capital was assumed by Tianjin, which had lost its status as a provincial level municipality, but when Tianjin was elevated again in 1966, Baoding regained its position. In 1970, however, the rapidly growing city of Shijiazhuang became capital instead.

Geography, Transport and Climate
Baoding is located around 140 kilometres south of Beijing. It is nearly halfway between Beijing and Shijiazhuang, the capital of Hebei province.

Baoding is situated on flat plains, to the east of the Taihang Mountains. It is surrounded by farmland. The city is roughly rectangular in shape, and is divided by the north-south Jingguang Railway. Baoding Railway Station marks the geographic centre of the city. The older part of Baoding is on the east side of the railway, and is administratively divided into the North City and South City. On the west side of the railway is the New City, an area of more recent development.

Baoding is located in the middle of Hebei Province, east of Mount Taihang. During the Monsoon season, the yearly average precipitation is 570 millimeters, the yearly average temperature is around 12.0 °C.

A courtyard in the mansion of the governor of Zhili
Another street of BaodingPerhaps the best known item to supposedly originate in Baoding are Baoding Balls.

Anxin County is home to the Quantou Village Music Association, a well known traditional music group performing on guan (oboes), sheng (mouth organs), and percussion. The village of Quantou is located on an island in Lake Baiyangdian.

The city's streets follow a rough grid pattern, although this is less obvious in the older part of the city. The traditional main street of old Baoding is Yuhua Road, running from the city's centre to its eastern edge - most of Baoding's historic buildings are located in this area, along with some of its larger shopping centres. Other major streets include Dongfeng Road and Changyang Avenue. There is a ring road around the city. Baoding is home to Hebei University, among others.

Historic Sites
Baoding contains a number of notable historic sites. In the city proper, there can be found a historic provincial governor's mansion and an ancient lotus garden. In the hills to the northwest of the city, near the suburb of Mancheng, there are the Mancheng Han Tombs, where prince Liu Sheng and his wife Dou Wan were buried.

The greater Baoding administrative area has 15 designated state-level cultural relics:

Yan State Capital Relics (475BC-221BC, Yixian County)
Great Wall at Zijinguan Pass (1368-1644, Yixian County and Laiyuan County)
Lao Morality Classic Tablet (618-907, Yixian County)
Western Qing Tombs (1730-1915, Yixian County)
Geyuan Temple (916-1125, Laiyuan County)
Ciyun Temple (1306, Dingxing County)
Yicihui Stone Pillar (550-577, Dingxing County)
Kaiyuan Temple (960-1127, Dingzhou County)
Kaishansi Temple (618-907, Gaobeidian County)
Dingzhou Porcelain Kiln Relic (960-1127, Quyang County)
Northern Mount Temple (386-543, Quyang County)
Jin-cha-ji Border Region Headquarter Ruins (1938, Fuping County)
Ranzhuang Underground Tunnel (1937-1945, Qingyuan County)
Mancheng Han Tombs (154BC-113BC, Mancheng County)
Zhili Provincial Governor Office (1730-1911, Baoding)

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