Shenyang ([ʂə̀n.jǎŋ]; Chinese: 沈阳), formerly known by its Manchu name Mukden or Fengtian (Chinese: 奉天; pinyin: Fèngtiān), is the provincial capital and the largest city of Liaoning Province, People's Republic of China, as well as the largest city in Northeast China by urban population.According to the 2010 census, the city's urban area has 6.3 million inhabitants, while the total population of the Shenyang municipality, which holds the administrative status of a sub-provincial city, is up to 8.1 million. Shenyang's city region includes the ten metropolitan districts of Shenyang proper, the county-level city of Xinmin, and two counties of Kangping and Faku.
In the 17th century, Shenyang was conquered by the Manchu people and briefly used as the capital of the Qing dynasty.
Along with its nearby cities, Shenyang is an important industrial center in China, and serves as the transportation and commercial hub of China's northeast — particularly with Japan, Russia and Korea. A center of heavy industry in China since the 1930s, and the spearhead of the Chinese central government's Northeast Area Revitalization Plan, the city has been diversifying its industry.
The city's name, Shenyang, literally means "the Yang side of the Shen River", referring to the fact that the Hun River, formerly called the Shen River (瀋水; Shěn Shuǐ), is at the south side of the city. According to Chinese tradition, a river's north bank and a mountain's south slope are considered to be the "sunny" – or "Yang" – side.
Shenyang ranges in latitude from 41° 11' to 43° 02' N and in longitude from 122° 25' to 123° 48' E, and is located in the central part of Liaoning Province. The western parts of the city's administrative area are located on the alluvial plain of the Liao River system, while the eastern part consists of the hinterlands of the Changbai Mountains, and is covered with forests. The highest point in Shenyang is 414 m (1,358 ft) above sea level and the lowest point only 7 m (23 ft). The average elevation of the urban area is 45 m (148 ft).
The city's main urban area is located to the north of Hun River, formerly the largest tributary of the Liao River proper and often locally referred as the city's "mother river". The central urban area is surrounded by three artificial rivers — respectively the South Canal (南運河) from the south and southeast, the Xinkai River (新開河, formerly the North Canal) from the north and northeast, and the Weigong River (衛工河, formerly the Weigong Nullah) from the west, all interconnected by channels as a continuous waterway. The South Canal in particular, famous for the series of linear parks and gardens along it, was constructed upon the old course of the Wanquan River (萬泉河; "ten thousand springs river"), historically also called the Little Shen River (小瀋水) or Wuli River (五里河; "five-li river"), which was a principal water source for the old city. These are reinforced on the peripheries by smaller rivers such as Xi River (細河), Puhe River (蒲河) and Mantang River (满堂河), and drains into the Hun River at three different locations on the southeast, due south and southwest side of the city. There was also previously another canal on the east side called Huishan Nullah (輝山明渠) that drains into Xinkai River's lower section, but is now no longer existent due to land reclamation from urban constructions.
Shenyang has a monsoon-influenced humid continental climate (Köppen Dwa) characterised by hot, humid summers due to the monsoon, and dry, cold winters due to the Siberian anticyclone. The four seasons here are distinctive. Nearly half of the annual rainfall occurs in July and August. Monthly mean temperatures range from −11.0 °C (12.2 °F) in January to 24.7 °C (76.5 °F) in July, for an annual average of 8.39 °C (47.1 °F). The frost-free period is 183 days, which is long considering the severity of the winters. The city receives 2,468 hours of bright sunshine annually; monthly percent of possible ranges from 45 percent in July to 62 percent in October. Extreme temperatures range from −33.1 °C (−28 °F) to 39.3 °C (103 °F).