The first thing that comes to mind when one mentions Guilin is the spectacular scenery and natural beauty of the area, the astonishing Karst landscape is something to marvel at and a must on everyone's to do list. Rarely do people think about its history, Guilin City can boasts a history that stretches all the way back to at least 10,000 years. It was the home of the Zengpiyan People. A matriarchal clan society.
Guilin was not brought into the official prefecture until 214 B.C. when the first Emperor of the Qin Dynasty (221 B.C.-206 B.C.) set up the Guilin Shire in this region. Due to the construction of the Ling Canal around the same time, Guilin became one of the gateways between the Central Plains and the Lingnan Region (current Guangdong, Guangxi and part Hunan, Jiangxi). Later, in 111 of the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220), the Shian County was founded in Guilin.
From then on, Shian (Guilin) was considered to be an important strategic spot for many ambitious schemers. During the tumultuous Three Kingdom Period (220-280), Shian was governed by the Shu State and the Wu State successively. Of course, Shian was gradually developed to be a political center. In the Tang Dynasty (618-907), Shian was renamed Lingui County and built up to be an impressive southern prefecture. Fast forward to the Song Dynasty (960-1127), the territory of this region has now extended to the current Hainan Island. As for the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, the important position of the Guilin region both in economy and politics was unshakable.
Benefiting from a solid political situation, the local culture received further development during this period. Guilin was also once the center of the noted Lingnan Culture, which is a typical regional culture. However, the current center of the Lingnan Culture now refers in particular to the Guangdong Province. Fortunately, there are a number of historic sites left in Guilin City for travelers to appreciate its splendid culture from bygone years. For example, the ancient Mansion of Prince Jingjiang is the best preserved mansion of the Prince in the Ming Dynasty. Nowadays, Solitary Beauty Peak located in the mansion is a must for travellers to Guilin.
Due to its rich resources and geographically advantageous position, Guilin become a well-known base both for the just revolutionists and the warlords in the modern era of China, especially during the period of the War of Resistance Against Japan where Guilin was the resistance cultural center with a great number of active intellectuals. Thus, Guilin's history and culture are balanced with its natural wonder.