Jingzhou is an ancient city with a very long history and brilliant culture, and it is the cradle of the Chu Empire. A legend says that the Great Yu planned nine districts in the territory of China, and Jingzhou was one of them. In ancient times, the area was called both Jing and Chu. The names refer to a certain tree species. During the Shang dynasty, Chu was a region under the jurisdiction of the Shang. Later on, the Emperor of Zhou conferred the territory of Jingzhou to the King of Chu named Xiongyi. The capital was in Danyang.
A lot of famous or outstanding people have come from this area. It is said: "Only Chu has real talents." Qu Yuan held a post here in Jingzhou for more than 20 years during the Warring States Period. Other famous people from Jingzhou include, the "Tea Sage," Lu Yu in the Tang Dynasty, Zhang Juzheng who was called the "most excellent prime minister in China" in the Ming Dynasty, the contemporary writer Cao Yu, and Ouyang Shan.
Jingzhou has always been an area of strategic military importance. During the Three Kingdoms period, Jingzhou was a strategic point where the Wei, Shu, and Wu competed. That period of time has not only engendered lots of wonderful sayings like "Liu Bei borrowed Jingzhou but never gave it back," and "Guan Yu lost Jingzhou due to negligence," but has also left behind plenty of historic sites.
The historic sites include Cao Cao Bay and Wulin Village in Honghu, Zilong Hillock and Hua Rong Dao in Jianli, Xiulin Town and Liulang Pu in Shishou, Madame Sun City in Gong'an, and other sites. Jingzhou City has a well-preserved ancient city wall dating from about 1646 during the Qing Dynasty. People consider it to be about the biggest and best preserved ancient city wall in China. The city had walls during earlier dynasties that were destroyed.
Historic spots in the area include Kaiyuan Taoist Temple and Xuanmiao Taoist Temple built in the Tang Dynasty, Taihui Taoist Temple built in the Ming Dynasty, and Wen Temple, Guan Temple and Tie Woman Temple built in the Qing Dynasty. Three Kingdoms Park, Bonsai Park, and Monument Court were constructed recently. Mingxian Tomb within the borders of ZhongXiang has the graves of the parents of the Emperor Jiajing. These are the only Ming Dynasty royal tombs in the middle and southern part of China, and the Ming buildings there are the largest group of Ming Dynasty buildings in the area.