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Songpan; former Songzhou, is a county of northwestern Sichuan province, China, and is one of the 13 counties administered by the Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture. It has an area of 8,486 square kilometres (3,276 sq mi), and a population of approximately 68,000 composed of Tibetan, Qiang, Han and Hui populations.

Songpan County

松潘县
Terrace in Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area
Location of Songpan County (red) within Ngawa Prefecture (yellow) and Sichuan
Location of Songpan County (red) within Ngawa Prefecture (yellow) and Sichuan
Songpan is located in Sichuan
Songpan
Songpan
Location of the seat in Sichuan
Coordinates: 32°39′N 103°36′E / 32.650°N 103.600°E / 32.650; 103.600Coordinates: 32°39′N 103°36′E / 32.650°N 103.600°E / 32.650; 103.600
CountryPeople's Republic of China
ProvinceSichuan
PrefectureNgawa
County seatJin'an
Area
 • Total8,486 km2 (3,276 sq mi)
Elevation
2,867 m (9,406 ft)
Population
 (2002)
 • Total67,972
 • Density8.0/km2 (21/sq mi)
 • Major nationalities
Tibetan, Han, Qiang, Hui
Time zoneUTC+8 (China Standard)
Postal code
623300
Area code(s)0837
Websitehttp://www.songpan.gov.cn/
Songpan County
Chinese name
Chinese松潘
Alternative Chinese name
Chinese松州
Tibetan name
Tibetanཟུང་ཆུ།

Contents

TransportEdit

Economy and TourismEdit

The economy of Songpan is dominated by agriculture and livestock raising. In recent years, tourism has become an increasingly important sector, and is actively promoted by the authorities. Additionally, Songpan is popular among foreign students and other Chinese language learners staying in China as the base for treks through the scenic mountains nearby. Apart from the scenic attraction of Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area which is located in the county, Songpan with its strategic location also acts as the gateway to Jiuzhaigou Valley at the north.

HistoryEdit

 
Architecture in Songpan

The ancient city of Songpan was built during the Tang dynasty and it was later rebuilt during Ming dynasty. Songpan was an important military post. It was also an important economic and trading center for horse and tea exchange between Sichuan, Gansu, Qinghai and Tibet.

During Tang rule, it was the border with the Tibetan Empire. Emperor Songtsen Gampo of Tibet tried to invade Tang China through this gate. Emperor Taizong of Tang offered him Princess Wencheng at Songzhou (now Songpan) in 641. According to Tibetan and Chinese legends, Princess Wencheng then brings with her among other things the Jowo statue to the Tibetan Empire.

In August 1935, led by Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, the retreating People's Liberation Army marched through the Songpan Grasslands to advance to the northwestern province.

While Songpan can be a charming city in its own right, the countryside surrounding the city offers a variety of tourist attractions. The hills surrounding the city are visual delights of Tibetan cattle herders leading their livestock over rolling grasses, endless valleys, and generally beautiful landscape. All of this can be seen through affordable horseback riding outlets on the outskirts of the city.

Geography and climateEdit

Songpan covers latitudes 32° 06′−33° 09′ N and longitudes 102° 38′−104° 15′ E, and has a total area of 8,608 square kilometres (3,324 sq mi). Neighbouring counties are Pingwu to the east, Beichuan to the southeast, Mao to the south, Hongyuan and Heishui to the southwest, and Jiuzhaigou and Zoigê to the north.

Due to its altitude, Songpan has a humid continental climate (Köppen Dwb), with cool winters and warm, rainy summers. The monthly 24-hour average temperature ranges from −3.4 °C (25.9 °F) in January to 14.8 °C (58.6 °F) in July, and the annual mean is 6.28 °C (43.3 °F). The high elevation also results in a large diurnal temperature variation, exceeding 17 °C (31 °F) in winter. More than 70% of the 708 mm (27.9 in) of annual precipitation occurs from May to September. With monthly percent possible sunshine ranging from 31% in September to 57% in December, the county seat receives 1,831 hours of bright sunshine annually.

See alsoEdit

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ 中国地面气候标准值月值(1981-2010) (in Chinese). China Meteorological Data Service Center. Retrieved 20 October 2018.

External linksEdit