Trace the Past

Old Places Name in Shapingba

21th January 2018



Place names bear the regional culture and those old names are passed on by word of mouth, carrying the nostalgia of many people. The second national survey on place names is in the final acceptance phase. Nearly 400,000 place names have been recorded. In addition to the geographical attributes of the names, cultural attributes are also a focus in this survey.


News from Shapingba Civil Affairs Bureau said that, as a district of culture, more than 600 names out of more than 8,000 recorded have historical significance. What are the origins of those familiar old names? Shapingba District was the first to publish books for old place names based on the survey results. There are plans to develop an APP about place names, so that people could conveniently search for information about them.

Trace the Past-1




Hanyu Road: starting point of Hanyu Highway.

Trace the Past-2

Hanyu Road, starting from Sanjiaobei and ending at the middle ferry of Jialing River, is the only path available for many people. Many schools and factories are located by this road. What’s the origin of it?

Hanyu Highway, built for military transport during the Anti-Japanese War, connects the Hanzhong, Shaanxi Province with Chongqing. It was named by “Yu” and “Han”, the abbreviations of Chongqing and Hanzhong, respectively.




Tuwan: named by the river bend formed there.

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Many of place names in Chongqing are rather vivid. For example, Tuwan received its name from the bend formed by the long-term erosion of the Jialing River.

It is said that the old Chengdu – Chongqing Highway completed in 1932 was divided into the Upper Tuwan Road and Lower Tuwan Road at Tuwan and is still the main channel connecting Hongyanzui and Xiaolongkan.





Xinqiao: named after a bridal sedan chair passing by.

Chongqing people are very familiar with Xinqiao, but might not know why it was named that.

Legend has it that, during the reign of Tongzhi in Qing Dynasty, a bridal sedan chair happened to pass by when the bridge was completed. Therefore the bridge is called Xinqiao.

Xinqiao got its name because of a passing bride, Shuangbei received its name because of steles. During the reign of Daoguang in Qing Dynasty, two stone steles were set up respectively for the flagging leading to Xindianzi, Baxian County, and Beibei; therefore it is called Shuangbei.



Ciqikou: originally named Baiyachang.

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Ciqikou was originally called Baiyachang because of a Baiyan Temple once located there during the period of 998 to 1003 in the Northern Song Dynasty. Hereafter, eventually porcelain became the main industry of this place. The town was full of nonlocal grocers for porcelain business. Gradually, people called this place Ciqikou. As time goes by, the character Ci, which literally means ‘porcelain’ was changed into another homophone, which literally means magnetism.






Do you know the origins of these place names?

Zhanjiaxi: a brook embraces it and in 1890, a landlord Zhan built his messuage near the brook; and therefore it was called Zhanjiaxi.

Tuanjieba: formally called Baishuwan. In 1952, the Chongqing Special Steel Plant built its office building and apartments for staff there. It is therefore called Tuanjieba, which indicates unity and mutual aid.

Huxi: this place has dense forest and clear brook. It received its current name because tigers once drank water from the brook.


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