Wenzhou (pronounced [wə́n.ʈʂóu] (About this sound listen); Wenzhounese pronunciation: [ʔy33-11 tɕiɤu33-32] (iu ciou), Chinese: 温州) is a prefecture-level city in southeastern Zhejiang province in the People's Republic of China. Wenzhou is located at the extreme south east of Zhejiang Province with its borders connecting to Lishui on the west, Taizhou on the north, and Fujian to the south. It is surrounded by mountains, the East China Sea, and 436 islands, while its lowlands are almost entirely along its East China Sea coast, which is nearly 355 kilometres (221 miles) long. Most of Wenzhou's area is mountainous as almost 76 percent of its 11,784-square-kilometre (4,550 sq mi) surface area is classified as mountains and hills.It is said that Wenzhou has 7/10 mountains, 1/10 water, and 2/10 farmland.
At the time of the 2010 Chinese census, 3,039,500 people lived in Wenzhou's urban area;the area under its jurisdiction (which includes two satellite cities and six counties) held a population of 9,122,100 of which 31.16% are non-local residents from outside of Wenzhou.
Wenzhou, which translates to "a mild and pleasant land", derives its name from its climate, as it is neither extremely hot in summer nor extremely cold in the winter.
Originally known as Yongjia, Yung-chia or Yungkia (Chinese: 永嘉; pinyin: Yǒngjiā),Wenzhou was a prosperous foreign treaty port, which remains well-preserved today. It is situated in a mountainous region and, as a result, has been isolated for most of its history from the rest of the country, making the local culture and language very distinct not only from the rest of China but from neighbouring areas as well. It is also known for its emigrants who leave their native land for Europe and the United States, with a reputation for being entrepreneurs who start restaurants, retail and wholesale businesses in their adopted countries. Wenzhou people make up a large number of ethnic Chinese residents of Italy (where they comprise 90% of all Chinese residents), France, and Spain.
Wenzhou has a history which goes back to about 2500 BC, when it became known for its pottery production as one of the cities of origin of celadon in ancient China.
Wenzhou was the capital of the ancient Dong'ou Kingdom (東甌) which existed from 191 BC until it was conquered by Minyue Kingdom in 138 BC.
In the early 2nd century BC, shortly after the destruction of Qin Dynasty, military and political leader Zou Yao (驺摇) of Wenzhou helped the emperor Gaozu of Han, the first emperor of Han Dynasty, defeat the prominent warlord Xiang Yu of Qin Dynasty.After the victory, emperor Hui of Han, the second emperor of Han Dynasty named Zhou Yao the King of Dong'ou (Wenzhou), and under the administration of emperor Hui, Wenzhou became the capital of the Dong'ou Kingdom which is the now area of Southern Zhejiang Province.Around 760AD in Tang Dynasty, the founding emperor Emperor Gaozu of Tang named Yongkia (earlier as Dong'ou) by its current name Wenzhou because of its mild weather.
Throughout its history, Wenzhou's traditional economic role has been as a port giving access to the mountainous interior of southern Zhejiang Province. In early European sources, the name Wenzhou-Fu or -Foo was often transcribed Ouen-tcheou-fou after the accounts of French-speaking missionaries.In 1876, Wenzhou was opened for tea exports, but no foreign settlement was ever established there. Between 1937 and 1942, during the Second Sino-Japanese War (i.e., World War II), Wenzhou achieved importance as one of the few ports still under Chinese control. It declined in the later years of the war, but began to recover after coastal trade along the Zhejiang coast was re-established in 1955.
With jurisdiction over four districts, two county-level cities and five counties, Wenzhou covers a land area of 11,784 km2 (4,550 sq mi) and sea area of 11,000 km2 (4,200 sq mi). The population of the prefectural level city is 9.12 million including 2.30 million urban residents, divided among 2 county-level cities and 4 districts.
Much of Wenzhou is mountainous, with many mountain tops reaching altitudes in excess of 1,000 m (3,300 ft), for example in the Yandang Mountains, a coastal mountain range dominating the eastern part of prefecture. Another dominating landscape element is the Ou River, the largest river in Wenzhou prefecture. There are some coastal plains, notably around the mouth of the Ou (where the city proper of Wenzhou is located), and further south, around the mouth of the Feiyun River (in Rui'an, a county-level city). Other notable rivers include the Nanxi River, a tributary of the Ou. Coastal plains are used intensively for agriculture but also host much of the population and industry.
The 339 kilometres (211 mi) long coastline gives the city abundant marine resources and many beautiful islands. Dongtou, one of the districts in Wenzhou, has also been called the "County of one hundred islands"(Dongtou County was re-named as Dongtou District in September 2015 following the State Council-sanctioned administrative region adjustment)
Wenzhou boasts wonderful landscapes with rugged mountains and tranquil waters, including three state-level scenic spots, namely the Yandang Mountains, the Nanxi River and the Baizhangji Fall-Feiyun Lake, and two national nature reserves, namely the Wuyanling Ridge and the Nanji Islands, among which Yandang Mountain has been named as World Geopark, while Nanji Islands are listed as UNESCO’s Marine Nature Reserve of World Biosphere Reserves. Scenic area accounts for 25% of the city’s land space.
Wenzhou derives its present name from its climate, and has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen: Cfa) with short winters and long, hot, humid summers. Summers are similar to the remainder of the province (albeit slightly cooler during the daytime as compared to inland areas), but winter is much milder, partly due to the southerly location and partly due to the sheltering effect of the surrounding mountains. The monthly 24-hour average temperature ranges from 8.0 °C (46.4 °F) in January to 28.0 °C (82.4 °F) in July and August, while the annual mean is 18.08 °C (64.5 °F). Heavy rainfalls occur in late spring and early summer due to the plum rains of the East Asian monsoon, while typhoons are commonly a threat in the second half of summer causing considerable damage and destruction. With monthly percent possible sunshine ranging from 26% in March to 53% in August, the city receives 1,706 hours of bright sunshine annually.