Jingdezhen (Chingtechen)

Jingdezhen (Chingtechen)

Jingdezhen, 景德镇 in Chinese, is a famous city of Jiangxi Province, located in northeastern Jiangxi Province in a small basin rich in fine kaolin, hemmed in by mountains which keep it supplied with firewood from conifers. Its area is 5,246 square kilometers and it has a population of 1, 499, 200. Its highest point is 1, 618 meters, with plains to the south with an average height of 200meters. It produces kaolinite, coal, manganese, and lime.

Jingdezhen is one of the famous historic and cultural cities in China. Formerly spelt Chingtechen and known as the "Ceramics Metropolis" of China, now it is a synonym for Chinese porcelain.

Previously, it was called Xinping or Changnanzhen. People there began to produce ceramics as early as 1, 800 years ago in the Eastern Han Dynasty. In the Jingde Period (1004-1007),Emperor Zhenzong of Song Dynasty decreed that Changnanzhen should produce the porcelain used by the imperial court, with each piece inscribed at the bottom "Made in the Reign of Jingde."From then on people began to call al chinaware bearing such inscriptions "porcelain of Jingdezhen."During the Sui and Tang Dynasties, the white-glazed porcelain produced in Jingdezhen was called "artificial jadeware."The ceramic industry experienced further development at Jingdezhen during theMing and Qing Dynasties or from the14th to the 19th century, when skills became perfected and the general quality more refined ; government kilns were set up to cater exclusively to the needs of the imperial house.

Jingdezhen, the ancient ceramics metropolis, has been regenerated with new vigor since the founding of people's Republic of China. It now boasts a ceramic research institute and a ceramic museum in addition to five kaolin quarries, fifteen porcelain factories, two porcelain machinery plants, one porcelain chemical plant, two refractory materials factories and dozens of porcelain processing works.

At present, there are about300, 000 people at Jingdezhen, nearly one-fifth of them work either in the porcelain industry or related businesses. The varieties of traditional wares and tableware have increased from 375 in 1949 to over 1, 200. Nearly three hundred million pieces of porcelain are exported every year to more than 100 countries.

The major tourist spots include the Hutian Ancient Porcelain Kiln, the Ancient Porcelain Factory and Kiln, the Exhibition Hall of Folk Architecture and the Ceramics of the Ming Dynasty, the Ceramic Museum, the Porcelain Sculptured Factory and the Research Institute of Ceramics.