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From the series Cities of China

My first visit to Wuhan was in January of 1984. I was travelling with a group of 17 teachers on a boat trip down the Yangtze River from Chongqing to Wuhan. We disembarked in Wuhan three days before Spring Festival, and set out to acquire 17 train tickets to Guangzhou. Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.

I did not return again to Wuhan until 2012; the last stop on my “Esther Expedition” research trip. I suppose that it goes without saying that the city was unrecognizable to me.

This video on YouTube shows what it looks like today.

Wuhan is the capital of Hubei province and has a population of over ten million. Strategically situated on the Yangtze River in Hubei province, it’s really three cities; Wuchang, Hankow, and Hanyang. It is famous for being one of China’s “furnace cities.”

The city is also famous for being the site of the Wuchang Uprising in 1911, which led to the downfall of the Qing Dynasty.

In 1858 the city became the most inland treaty port, allowing missionaries to begin deeper penetration into the Chinese interior.  The Episcopal Mission established the first congregation in Wuhan in 1868.

In addition to numerous churches in town, there is also an international church, the Wuhan International Christian Fellowship.

Image credit: Yangze, by Harald Groven, via Flickr.
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Joann Pittman

Joann Pittman

Joann Pittman is Vice President of Partnership and China Engagement and editor of ZGBriefs. Prior to joining ChinaSource, Joann spent 28 years working in China, as an English teacher, language student, program director, and cross-cultural trainer for organizations and businesses engaged in China. She has also taught Chinese at the University …View Full Bio

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