—  Prefecture-level city  —
Location of Changde within Hunan
Changde is located in China
Location in China
Coordinates: 29°02′N 111°41′E / 29.033°N 111.683°E / 29.033; 111.683
Country China
Province Hunan
 – Urban 1,061.3 sq mi (2,748.7 km2)
 – Metro 1,061.3 sq mi (2,748.7 km2)
Population (2010 census)
 – Prefecture-level city 5,717,218
 – Urban 1,232,182
 – Urban density 1,161/sq mi (448.3/km2)
 – Metro 1,232,182
 – Metro density 1,161/sq mi (448.3/km2)
Time zone China standard time (UTC+8)

Changde (Chinese: 常德; pinyin: Chángdé) is a city in the north of Hunan Province, China, with a population of 5,717,218 inhabitants at the 2010 census whom 1,232,182 in the built up area made of 2 urban districts (Dingcheng and Wuling).



Changde is known for its many Old Stone and New Stone Age sites. About 500 of them have been discovered to date.

In historical times it was also a centre from which governments controlled the mountain tribes of western Hunan. A county, named Linyuan, was established there in the 2nd century BC.

In 589 its name was changed to Wuling, and under the Tang Dynasty (618–907) it became the seat of Lang prefecture. Under the Song Dynasty (960–1279) the name of the prefecture was changed to Tingzhou, and in 1164–74 it became a superior prefecture called Changde. This status was retained until 1912, when the superior prefecture was abolished and the city became a county seat.


In the late 19th century Changde became a prosperous commercial center and the chief agricultural central market of the Yuan River basin. Many Chinese firms, and — after 1905, when it was opened to foreign trade — foreign firms as well, maintained branches there to buy rice, cotton, tung oil, and timber, so that Changde's economic influence reached out into northern Guizhou, southwestern Hubei, and parts of southeastern Sichuan province. The merchants of the Taho quarter of the city controlled much of the northwestern Hunan economy, and early in the 20th century Changde was the second city of Hunan, after Changsha.


Warlord Period

Unification & Japanese Occupation

Changde battle.jpg

In the 1943 Battle of Changde, the Kuomintang's National Revolutionary Army attempted to stop the invading Japan Imperial troops from completing their invasion of Sichuan. Frustrated, the Japanese side employed chemical and biological weapons to clear their way. During the Khabarovsk War Crime Trials, proof was presented of operations to contaminate the area with plague as early as 1941 and 1942.

People's Republic

Although the commercial dominance of Changde firms disappeared with the advent of communist rule in 1949, the city remained an important center of trade, with the majority of its population engaged either in commerce or in transportation.

In 1975, Changde was hit by Typhoon Nina.


Situated on the north bank of the Yuan River above its junction with the Lake Dongting system, Changde is a natural center of the northwest Hunan plain. It has a monsoon-influenced, four-season humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa), with cool, often chilly, winters, and hot, humid summers. Monthly mean temperatures range from 4.7 °C (40.5 °F) in January to 28.6 °C (83.5 °F) in July.

Climate data for Changde (1971-2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 8.3
Average low °C (°F) 2.0
Precipitation mm (inches) 60.1
humidity 80 80 82 81 80 82 79 80 80 80 79 77 80.0
Avg. precipitation days 11.8 11.6 16.1 16.6 14.9 14.5 11.4 10.1 9.5 12.0 9.8 8.4 146.7
Sunshine hours 83.1 68.5 80.8 116.7 149.9 150.0 224.0 213.2 155.0 135.3 118.7 106.8 1,602.0
Source: 中国气象局


The municipal executive, legislature and judiciary is in Wuling District (武陵区), together with the CPC and Public Security bureau. Wuling sits on the left bank of the Yuanjiang River (沅江); opposite is the administrative centre for Dingcheng District (鼎城区).

Changde Municipality also oversees 2 districts, one county-level city and 6 counties :

  • Wuling District
  • Dingcheng District
  • Jinshi City (津市市)
  • Shimen County (石门县)
  • Lixian County (澧县)
  • Linli County (临澧县)
  • Anxiang County (安乡县)
  • Hanshou County (汉寿县)
  • Taoyuan County (桃源县)


Today Changde is now an administrative centre and a storage and shipping point for tung oil, grain, cotton, medicinal herbs, and wood. Manufactures include ceramics, machine tools, textiles, leather, and processed foods. Grain, oil, cotton, and other commodities are loaded into medium-sized ships and taken to Yueyang, Changsha, or Hankou (Wuhan, Hubei province) for onward shipment. Timber is also rafted there and floated across Lake Dongting to Hueyang, and thus to the Yangtze River. After 1949 the city developed some light industry, mostly based on such local products as wood, leather, and bristles.


Notes and references

In Changde also lives a famous singer Yao Zhiqiang.

External links

Coordinates: 29°02′N 111°41′E / 29.033°N 111.683°E / 29.033; 111.683

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