Kaifeng£¬known as "the Capital of Seven Dynasties", is one of the Eight Ancient Capitals in China. With its long history and splendid culture, this ancient city is immersed in a dense cultural atmosphere. During the Northern Song Dynasty, the prime of Kaifeng, it especially enjoyed the reputation as one of the most prosperous capital cities in the world. The famous painting Market Day at the QingMing Festival by Zhang Zeduan (a famous painter of the Northern Song Dynasty) and other works, represented the prosperous times and various customs of Kaifeng.
With lots of well-protected ancient relics and abundant water resources, Kaifeng, is a good combination of the time-honored history, culture and tradition. Kaifeng was culturally established quite early. Historically, it was one of the first developed regions due to the abundant water resources, advanced irrigation systems, mild climate and convenient transportation. During the Northern Song Dynasty, its magnificence, magnitude and splendor made the Capital Dongjing (the ancient name of Kaifeng) not only the political, economical, scientific and cultural center of China, but also one of the most prosperous metropolises in the world. The city was uniquely designed to include three parts£¨the inner city, the outer city and the imperial palace£©, three city walls and moats. Inside it, both the roads and channels were well-built, thus forming a convenient mode of transportation. With the increase of non-agricultural citizens, the handcraft and business industries blossomed, thus establishing it as the most attractive metropolis both at home and abroad.
The famous royal garden, Genyue Garden, embodies the features of all the famous Chinese mountains, with various rare plants, flowers and animals. Thus the historians call it the transitional masterpiece in Chinese Gardening History. Kaifeng has abundant relics, including 23 cultural relics which are listed as state or provincial level protection, and 162 relics listed at municipal or county level. Many ancient tourist sites, like the Iron Pagoda, Xiangguo Temple, the Qingming Festival Market Garden, Dragon Pavilion Scenic Spot, the Memorial Temple of Lord Bao, Kaifeng Fu (the official institution in charge of judicature during the Northern Song Dynasty) and the Stele Forest of the Imperial Academy in Feudal China, are endowed with high historical and cultural value. As one of the three bases for stone steles and inscriptions, Kaifeng has various kinds of stone inscriptions; more than 1,000 are on display at the Kaifeng Museum and various other tourist spots. Those valuable inscriptions, which date from the Han Dynasty to the Minguo period (1911¡ª1949, the period of the Republic of China), are treasures for history research as well as for calligraphy.