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With the construction of the first dam on Yellow River, the city of Sanmenxia was built in 1957 on the site of Gucheng in Shanzhou county. As legend goes, when Da Yu fighting the flood, he used his axe to divide the high mountain into three gorges, which were named People Gate, God Gate and Ghost Gate, therefore the place is called Sanmenxia Gorge, in Chinese it means three gates gorge. Today, as the center of economy, communication and culture on the borders of the three provinces, Sanmenxia is reputed as a bright pearl beset along Yellow River.

Sanmenxia measures 10496 square kilometers, with the landform mainly in mountainous area, hills and loess tableland. Most of the areas stand on the height above the sea level between 300 and 1500 meters, the highest mountain is Laoyacha, also called the little Qin mountain, is 2413.8 meters high above the sea level. The city of Sanmenxia lies on the terrace of the south bank of Yellow River, it faces Sanmenxia reservoir on three sides like a peninsula, therefore it is a  landscape city surrounded with mountains and waters.

As one of the birth places of Chinese civilization, Sanmenxia was dwelled by great clans and tribes 5000~6000 years ago. It was the governing center of  both Xia Dynasty and Shang Dynasty. In Western Zhoucentury, it belonged to Guo state, in Qin Dynasty, it was called Sanchuan county, in Western Han Dynasty, it was named Henan prefecture, when Wudi became the emperor, he called the place Hongnong county, and after it was refounded as Shanzhou county in Northern Wei, the name was kept untill Ming and Qing Dynasty.

Sanmenxia has its unique resources of traveling. It is perfectly combined with the ancient Chinese civilization, modern scenery, beautiful mountains and lakes in the south and magnificent landscape in the north. It has the relics of Yangshao civilization in the Neolithic times, pits of chariots and horses of Guo state in the late Western Zhou and the beginning of Spring and Autumn period, the tomb of Huangdi at Jinshan mountain, the meeting platform of officials from Qin and Zhao states in the Warring States Period, Hangu pass where Laozi wrote his famous book Classic of the Way and Virtue and Baolunsi Tower, one of the four ancient echo buildings.

It also has the old site of Shengchi military station of the Eight Route Army, cave-houses for visiting and the world famous Yellow River Dam. The Yellow River civilization, together with unique civilian art, covers the whole city like mountain flowers. The main traveling line, the Tour of Yellow River, was opened in April, 1986, now has hosted five sessions of International Yellow River Travelling Festival.

Listed as one of fourteen travelling lines in China by the National Tourism Bureau, the tour of Yellow River is opened to international market. In the season of traveling, by boat, you can enjoy the magnificent sight of Yellow River and the agreeable country sight along the river, at the same time experience the fairyland scenery in which the boat going through willows and fish jumping briskly above the river.

Now, the city of Sanmenxia has established friendship with 15 cities in China, Kitagami City in Japan and Murray-Bridge city in Australia.

Location: The city of Sanmenxia lies on the west frontier of Henan Province, on the borders of three provinces. It connects with Luoyang in the east, Nanyang in the south, Shaanxi Province in the west and Shanxi Province in the north. It is three hours' drive from the city to Zhengzhou.

Area code: 0398
Postal code: 472000

Tips & articles

July 7,at 14:00, the flow discharged from Wanjiazhai reservoir butts against Sanmenxia reservoir successfully ,and the Yellow River's third regulation of flow and sediment enters crucial stage.The discharged flow from Wanjiazhai reservoir flushes the non-flood ...Read More
On July 5, the utilization of Sanmenxia reservoir in the Yellow River s third regulation experiment of flow and sediment begins.Vice commander of the experiment and vice director of Sanmenxia Multi-purpose Project Administrative Bureau Liu Hongbin indicates ...Read More
Up to October 23,the Yellow River s summer and autumn flood season of this year had finished, and during this period,Sanmenxia reservoir area didn t happen serious flood. According to the flood control department s introduction,in this year,the average ...Read More

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Recent posts

by Jinesh 2011-05-20
The pictures show us the view over the Sanmenxia reservoir area that many beautiful swans are flying freely.After each Beginning of Winter,there always has lots of swans in crowds coming to Sanmenxia to live through the winter. Source: yellowriver website Editor: yangxue
by Vavrin 2011-05-20
On July 5 Sanmenxia reservoir sluices Outfalls of bottom outlets Night scene of Sanmenxia reservoir sluices Source: yrcc website Editor: yangxue
by Rani 2011-05-20
Recently, thousands of migratory birds fly to the wetland of Sanmenxia to live through the winter.And among the birds,there are more than 100 swans,which came from Siberia. Inspector is observing the migratory birds. Source: yellowriver.gov.cn Editor: yangxue