According to the municipal government, Harbin, the capital ice city of China’s northwestern Heilongjiang Province, has opened its arms and extended a warm invitation to the world with its ice and snow culture, natural scenery, iconic architecture, and modern music.
Harbin is well-known for its ice and snow culture, which is vividly displayed in Harbin Ice and Snow World. The best way to experience what it’s like to be surrounded by hundreds of thousands of cubic meters of ice and snow is to come and feel it. Ice is used to build stairwells, walls, railings, palaces, and castles.
Sun Island International Snow Sculpture Art Expo features a variety of extraordinary snow sculptures, some of which are nearly ten stories tall. Ice and snow are transformed into one-of-a-kind artwork, as well as into people’s daily lives.
When the first snow falls, the Harbin people’s ice and snow DNA awakens. Snowball fights, snowmen, skiing, snow circles, ice slides, ice sleds, and ice gyros are all popular winter activities. Harbin residents spend their free time playing ice and snow games.
Harbin’s story begins with its mother river, the “Songhua River,” which flows from Tinch “Heaven” Lake in Changbai Mountain. The river has brought vitality to Harbin while running through it. Harbin was also the birthplace of the Jin and Qing dynasties over a thousand years ago. The population expanded, and villages sprang up along the Songhua River.
With the fall of the Middle East Railway sleeper at the end of the nineteenth century, this once-small fishing village began to evolve. Harbin has become one of the few cities with railways, earning it the moniker “the city pulled by trains.” Harbin, which has experienced rapid internationalization, has quickly become a metropolis blending eastern and western cultures.
When people visit Harbin, the first place they go is to Central Street. This 1450-meter-long street is more of an architectural museum. Architectural styles such as Baroque, Renaissance, eclecticism, and others, as well as influential architectural schools in Western architecture history, can be found here.
St. Sophia’s Church, located two blocks from Central Street, was established in 1907. When it snowed, walking into the Church with its red bricks and green roofs felt like stepping into a fairy tale.
Another must-see is Laodaowai, also known as “Chinese Baroque Street.” On the outside, the architecture is Baroque, but the layout of the Chinese courtyard is on the inside. The relief on the outer wall represents the grain harvest, the prosperous and auspicious peony, and other symbols with beautiful meanings in Chinese.
UNESCO has designated Harbin, a city known for its love of music, as a “Music City.” Harbin was introduced to opera, ballet, and jazz at the end of the nineteenth century. Harbin was the birthplace of China’s first conservatories and symphony orchestras, making it one of the birthplaces of modern music in China.