Lanzhou is the capital of Gansu province in the northwest of the People’s Republic of China. Originally belonging to the Qiang area, Lanzhou was built in the 6th century BC. as part of the Kingdom Qin. At that time, Lanzhou was known as Jincheng – Golden City. It is the only city in China, through which the Yellow River flows. Lanzhou is surrounded by loess mountains.
At least since the first millennium BC, the city was an important junction of the historic Northern Silk Road and also an important crossroad of the Yellow River. To protect the city, the Great Wall of China was extended to Yumen. In the year 763, the area was occupied by Tibet but was reconquered in 843 by the Tang Dynasty. From 1235, the city belonged to the territory of the Mongols. In 1477 the old status was restored. The city received its present name in 1656 under the Qing Dynasty.
In the 1920s and 1930s, Lanzhou became a center of Soviet influence in northwest China. During the Second Japanese-Chinese War, Lanzhou was the terminus of the 3,200-kilometer highway used for Soviet deliveries to the Xi’an region. The highway was completed in 1935 and remained until the construction of the railway to Urumqi, the most important transport link in northwest China.