Tianjin, also Tientsin, is an important port city in northern China, 120 kilometers southeast of Beijing. The entire administrative area of the city has an area of 11,943 km² and 12,3 million inhabitants (as of 2009). The city is an industrial center, transport hub and cultural center of the region with universities, colleges, museums, and monuments.
The history of Tianjin from a fishing village to the modern trade metropolis dates back many centuries and is strongly linked to the history of Beijing. From the 11th to the 14th century, Tianjin was a small seaport, which had great importance in the Imperial Court as a hay-loaf.
In Tianjin, the streets with their buildings from the 19th and early 20th centuries are particularly interesting, mostly European style and side by side with the concrete and glass buildings of the prosperous China of today. The old town was once strictly divided according to national affiliation, and every part of it has preserved an individual character. Especially in the Italian Quarter and the Five Great Avenues.