Kaifeng is known as one of the six major centers of ancient Chinese civilization; the capital of the Kingdom of Wei (475-331 B.C.), Later Liang, Later Han and Later Zhou dynasties of the Five dynasties(907-960), Northern Song dynasty(960-1137), and the Jin dynasty(1115-1334). Kaifeng Map
Located in downtown Kaifeng, the Grand Xiangguo Monatery is one of the most famous Buddhist monasteries in China. It was set up in 555 during the Northern Qi Dynasty. In the Northern Song Dynasty, it was enlarged many times because the royal court thought highly of it.
Built in A.D.974, the Fan Tower( Thriving Pagoda) is the oldest building in Kaifeng. It is a courtyard-like tower in the Song style, situated at the northern end of the imperial street, consisting of five buildings, three stories each: the East, the West,the South, the North and the Center.
Erected in 1049 during the Northern Song Dynasty, the 13-story octagonal Iron Tower is situated in the Iron Tower Park in Kaifeng, 55.88 meters in height. It has been renowned for its excellent, exquisitely-designed wooden structure. The bricks with carved trenches fit together perfectly.
Resting in the northwestern part of Kaifeng, the Dragon Pavilion Scenic Spot is the largest of its kind in the city, with an area of 83.13 hectares. It has been built on the ancient ruins of the imperial palaces of the Song, the Jin and the Ming dynasties.
The Memorial Temple to Lord Bao, a famous uprighted officer in ancient China, is located along the lakeside of Lord Bao in south western Kaifeng. The temple covers and area of 1 hectare and consists of the Main Hall, the Second Hall, the Eastern and Western Halls, Banbi Corridor and the Stele Pavilion.
Archeological discoveries reveal that Jews, many from Persia, first came
to China as merchants, often in dusty camel caravans, along the Silk Road
as well as by sea and coastal areas. The descendents of those merchants formed
the first permanent Jewish community in Kaifeng.
The story of the once-thriving Kaifeng Jewish community, with a total population of about 4000 to 5000 by the 15th and 16th centuries, is a model of prosperity, assimilation, intermarriage -- and ultimately, disappearance.
Drawings and prints in a mini-museum in Kaifeng reveal Jews of the time wearing Chinese garb and to be flourishing and influential in Chinese political and social circles. They intermarried, changed their names to Chinese and absorbed Chinese traditions. Finally, by the late 17th century, they had lost contact with the Jewish world outside. The Kaifeng synagogue and the once-vibrant religious traditions and communal life it inspired lay in ruins.
Nowadays around 100 jews live in Kaifeng, they holds Friday and Shabbat services (but observe no other religious traditions) and meet with curious visiting Jews from abroad (here is one of their story).