Architecture and sightseeing: Old Quarter, St. Sophia Cathedral, Central Avenue (pedestrian street), Stalin Park
Mostpopularsouvenirsandlocalproducts: ginseng, Chinese herbs, Russian products such as furs and Russian dolls
Most popular local food: Russian-style heavy bread, European-style pastries, chicken stewed with mushroom
St Sofia Orthodox Church
The city started as a Russian-built settlement to support a railway between Vladivostok and the Russian Port Arthur. Tens of thousands of Jews settled there, and the city was known as cosmopolitan and comparatively wealthy. Now it is the largest city in the province and still has substantial Russian influence.
1898 Russians built the first buildings.
1918 Russian refugees settled in large numbers.
1932 Japan captured the city.
1946 The Soviet Union gave the city to the Chinese Communists.
Location of Harbin in China
Significance of the city: The city is now a large industrial city with substantial commerce with South Korea, Japan and Russia.