Cityview Datong Shanxi.jpg
Datong Shanhua Si 2013.08.29 13-19-10.jpg
Datong Huayan Si 2013.08.29 09-58-58.jpg
Datong 14 grotta.jpg
Tower in Lingyan Temple, Yungang Grottoes.jpg
Datong Wenmiao 2013.08.29 11-59-31.jpg
Datong Guandi Miao 2013.08.29 10-44-56.jpg
Wikiwyprawa 2015 IGP5026.jpg
From top down, left to right: Datong panorama; Shanhua Temple; Huayan Temple; Yungang Grottoes; Tower at Lingyan Temple; Temple of Confucius (Wenmiao); Guandi Temple; Yinghui Gate of the City Wall
Location of Datong City jurisdiction in Shanxi
Location of Datong City jurisdiction in Shanxi
Datong is located in Shanxi
Location of the city center in Shanxi
Coordinates: 40°05′N 113°18′E / 40°05′N 113°18′E / 40.083; 113.300
Literal meaningGreat Unity
Great Togetherness
Former names
Traditional Chinese平城
Simplified Chinese平城
Literal meaningPeaceful City County
Pacified City County
Literal meaningWestern Capital

Datong is a prefecture-level city in northern Shanxi Province in the People's Republic of China. It is located in the Datong Basin at an elevation of 1,040 metres (3,410 ft) and borders Inner Mongolia to the north and west and Hebei to the east. It had a population of 3,318,057 during the 2010 census, of whom 1,629,035 lived in the built-up area made of the three urban districts of Chengqu, Kuangqu and Nanjiao.


The Drum Tower (鼓楼)

The area of present-day Datong was close to the Beidi ("Northern Barbarian") state of Dai, which was conquered by the Zhao clan of Jin in 457 BC. It was a frontier land between the agricultural Chinese and Beidi and the nomads of the Eurasian steppe (known to the Chinese as the Hu or Donghu). The area was well known for its trade in horses.

Pingcheng County formed part of the Qin commandery of Yanmen.[1] It continued under the Han, who founded a site within present-day Datong in 200 BC following their victory against the Xiongnu nomads at the Battle of Baideng. Located near a pass to Inner Mongolia along the Great Wall, Pingcheng blossomed during the following period and became a stop-off point for camel caravans moving from China into Mongolia and beyond. It was sacked at the end of the Eastern Han. Pingcheng became the capital of Northern Wei from AD 398–494. The Yungang Grottoes were constructed during the later part of this period (460–494). During the mid to late 520s, Pingcheng was the seat of Northern Wei's Dai Commandery.[2]

The city was renamed Datong in 1048. It was the Xijing ("Western Capital") of the Jurchen Jin dynasty prior to being sacked by the Mongols. It was sacked again at the end of the Ming in 1649, but promptly rebuilt in 1652.