Wuhan is located at the confluence of the Han and Yangtze rivers.
Wuhan was formed in 1950 when the cities of Wuchang, Hankou, and Hanyang-were combined into one administrative unit. The name Wuhan is an abbreviation for the cities, which retained their individual identities.
Wuchang, the administrative and educational center and provincial capital, is on the eastern bank of the Yangtze. It was a capital of the Wu kingdom in the 3rd century.
Hankou, the commercial center and largest of the three, occupies the northwestern quadrant, lying west of the Yangtze and north of the Han River. Hankou became the leading commercial center of central China and was opened as a treaty port in 1861.
Hanyang, the smallest of the three and a manufacturing and residential section, lies west of the Yangtze and south of the Han River. Hanyang was founded during the Sui dynasty (589-618).
Modern industrialization started in the late 19th century and accelerated after 1949, stimulated by construction of the bridge over the Yangtze (1957), the integrated iron and steel complex (1956-1959), and aluminum-fabricating facilities (1971).
The integrated iron and steel complex at nearby Wukang, one of the largest of its type in China, supports a variety of manufactures, including heavy machinery, railroad equipment, and motor vehicles. Other products include glass, chemicals, textiles, paper, and aluminum.
Major cities near Wuhan: