Day 4: natural tour in Jinan
Jinan, a city facing the Yellow River to the north and bordering Mount Tai to the south, has long been hailed as Quancheng (City of Springs), with more than 800 natural artesian springs dotting its landscape and creating a beautiful natural landscape. The most renowned ones are gracefully named Baotu, Black Tiger and Pearl springs, as well as the Five Dragon Pool.
More than 70 springs (including Baotu Spring, Black Tiger Spring and Five Dragon Pool), together with the city's moat and Daming Lake, form the World's Best Spring Scenic Area. It is the best choice for you to learn about the city's culture of springs, which has instilled spirit into the city for more than 4,000 years.
Besides the beautiful landscape, the area also has a profound historic and cultural heritage, with ancient walls, temples, mansions and gardens dating back to the Yuan (1271-1368), Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, such as the former residence of Li Qingzhao (1084-1151), one of the leading female poets of the Song Dynasty.
To the east of Baotu Spring and south of Daming Lake, a square called Quancheng was built in 1999. Occupying an area of 330 mu (22 hectares), in 2002 it became the first square in China given the title of International Art Square by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
It has long been the first choice for locals to receive guests from home and abroad, as well as the favored venue for holding various colorful activities. A music fountain show takes place at the square every morning, afternoon and at night unless it is raining or snowing.
Adjacent to Jinan is Tai'an, the place Chinese civilization originated. A high-speed train can carry you at an average speed of over 300 kilometers per hour from Jinan to Tai'an in just 17 minutes.
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