Striding the Yellow River in the north and against Mount Tai in the south, Jinan has been renowned throughout history. As a time-honored city, Jinan has become a window of the Chinese history, through which one can see a vista of all social forms. Jinan, a place propitious for giving birth to great persons, is also an ancient and beautiful "spring city".
The history of Jinan traces back to the remote antiquity. As early as more than 5,000 years ago, our ancestors multiplied and lived on this beautiful and richly endowed land, going in for primitive agriculture and livestock farming. According to legend, Shun, a chief of the Dongyi People, once tilled at the foot of Mount Lishan.
Jinan has been called differently throughout the history. In the Shang and Zhou Dynasty, Jinan was named Tan, and during the Spring and Autumn Period renamed as Luo county. According to Spring and Autumn, the annals of Lu Kingdom, "In the year 694 B.C., Duke Huan met Duke of Qi in Luo." The character "luo" is found in the inscriptions on bones or tortoise shells, representing today''s Jinan. During the Warring States Period, Jinan was renamed as "Lixia" county. "Licheng" county, Jinan''s name at the beginning of the Han Dynasty, was given after the Mount Lishan in the south of the city. According to the record in The Annals, "in the year 187 B.C. (the Han Dynasty), Jinan of Qi was ceded to King Lü", which proves that the name "Jinan" has been used since the Han Dynasty. From then on, the name "Jinan" has been adopted by all the dynasties for the past 2,000-plus years of history.
Thanks to the uninterrupted revamps by different dynasties, the city layout of Jinan is very rational and logic from outside to inside, to crown it, so many scenic spots, including Qianfo Mountain, Daming Lake, the 72 springs, such as Baotu Spring, have served to set off the city look traidional and sublime. The praise from poet Liu Fenggao, "Surrounded by lotus, willows swaying in three sides; whole city scene deriving from the mountain, half city being water", is a highly artistic condensation of Jinan''s time-honored beauty.
Since the foundation of New China, the administrative districts of Jinan have experienced several changes. Currently, Jinan City governs Lixia District, Shizhong District, Huaiyin District, Tianqiao District, Licheng District, Zhangqiu City, Changqing District, Pingyin County, Jiyang County and Shanghe County, covering a total area of 8,177km2, with total city population of 5.69 million. As the politiccal, economic and cultural center of Shandong Province, Jinan has achieved all-around development after more than 20 year of reform and opening to the outside. Nowadays, Jinan has become a unique modernized metropolis with beautiful scenery and friendly climate.