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Trip Planner Asia  /  China  /  Henan  /  Sanmenxia
(4/5 based on 35+ reviews for 7 attractions)
Things to do: historic sites, museums, nature
Sanmenxia is a prefecture-level city in western Henan Province, China. The westernmost prefecture-level city in Henan, Sanmenxia borders Luoyang to the east, Nanyang to the southeast, Shaanxi Province to the west and Shanxi Province to the north. The city lies on the south side of the Yellow River at the point where the river cuts through the Loess Plateau on its way to the North China Plain.It was home to 2,234,018 inhabitants at the 2010 census whom 583,869 lived in the built-up area made of Hubin urban district and Pinglu county in Yuncheng, now within the agglomeration.Names and HistoryThe city's name in Chinese means "The Gorge of Three Gateways" and is derived from two islands that split the Yellow River into three parts.According to Chinese mythology, Yu the Great used a divine axe to cut the mountain ridge three times, creating the Sanmenxia gorges to prevent massive flooding. The three "men" or gates were then named "The Gateway of Man", "The Gateway of Gods" and "The Gateway of Devils".With the construction of the Sanmenxia Dam in the late 1950s, the ancient passes were flooded.During the Western Zhou Dynasty, Sanmenxia was part of the territory of the State of Western Guo, ruled by relatives of the ruling Ji family of Zhou. Guo moved its capital from modern day Baoji to Shangyang, next to Sanmenxia. Later, this territory was annexed the State of Jin.
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