Cangzhou (沧州 Cāngzhōu) is a city in Hebei province, China.
The city has historically been known in China for its wushu (Chinese martial arts) and acrobatics (specifically, the Wu Qiao school). Cangzhou is also famed for its historic thousand-year-old 40-ton sculpture, the Iron Lion of Cangzhou. The sculpture is reportedly the largest cast-iron sculpture in the world, cast in 953 in the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. Cangzhou, though predominated by the Han Chinese majority, is home to a sizable population of the Muslim Hui minority.
Cangzhou is only 90km from Tianjin and 180km from Beijing.
There are two train stations in Cangzhou - Cangzhou Station (沧州站 Cāngzhōu zhàn) and Cangzhou West Station (沧州西站 Cāngzhōu xī zhàn). Cangzhou West Station is the more modern of the two and is for high speed trains. The distance between the two train stations is a little over ten kilometers and they are both terminal stations for bus 402, with the journey taking roughly 30-40 minutes.
There are also two long distance bus stations, the West Bus Station (沧州西客运站 Cāngzhōu xī kèyùn zhàn) and the East Bus Station (沧州东客运站 Cāngzhōu dōng kèyùn zhàn). The West Bus Station is closer to Cangzhou West Station and is also a bus stop for bus 402. The East Bus Station is within walking distance from Cangzhou Station.
- Iron Lion of Cangzhou (铁狮子 Tiĕ shīzi) - cast in 953 AD, the iron lion is the largest known and oldest surviving iron-cast artwork in China. The iron lion is an important cultural icon in Cangzhou, although it is located in the countryside roughly 20km from the city center. To get there, take bus 901 from Cangzhou Station. Ticket: 20RMB, with visiting the nearby Song Dynasty temple an optional 10RMB.
- Sicheng Park (狮城公园 Shīchéng gōngyuán) - a park with a slightly larger replica of the famous Iron Lion with none of the original's imperfections. The statue was completed in 2011. Located near the city's stadium, roughly 7km from Cangzhou Station.
- Great North Mosque (清真北大寺 Qīngzhēn běidàsì) - built in 1420, this is one of the largest mosques in northern China. In contrast to mosques in western China, this was was built in a Chinese style commonly found throughout Hebei province. Located roughly 7km from Cangzhou Station.
- Xian County Tombs (献县汉墓群 Xiànxiàn hànmùqún) - located 70km west of Cangzhou in Xian county, there are a number of mausoleums from the Han dynasty scattered around the county. The two most important ones are Xiànwánglíng (献王陵) which is a tomb of a Han dynasty emperor's nephew and is about 5km east of Xian county, and Yúntáishān (云台山) which is a tomb of a Han dynasty prime minister and about 10km east of Xian county.
- Xian County Bridge (献县单桥 Xiànxiàn dānqiáo) - this 69 meters long stone bridge was built in 1632 and is 6km away from the county. Every sculpture on the bridge - ranging from lions, monkeys, and Buddhas - are unique, and carriage tracks from hundreds of years ago have left their mark on the bridge.
- Zhangzhuang Catholic Church (张庄天主堂 Zhāngzhuāng tiānzhǔtáng) - supposedly the first Catholic cathedral in China, it was built in 1866 although additions were made until 1937. Church services are still conducted. Located in Xian county.
- Ma Benzhai Martyr Memorial (马本斋烈士纪念馆 Mǎběnzhāi lièshì jìniànguǎn) - a memorial hall for the war hero Ma Benzhai, a Hui minority, who died during the war against the Japanese. The memorial also heavily promotes the Communist party. Located about 30km away from Xian county. Free. Hours: 8:30AM-5:30PM, though closed from 11:30AM-1:30PM for lunch.
- Ji Xiaolan Cemetery (纪晓岚墓 Jìxiǎolán mù) - located in Cang county, this cemetery is from the Ming Dynasty. There are 1,194 graves and 136 tombstones.
- Botou Mosque (泊头清真寺 Bōtóu qīngzhēnsì) - constructed in 1404, this mosque was built in a Chinese style. It's located in Nanpi county (南皮县), roughly 40km away from Cangzhou.
- Shi Jingang Statues (南皮石金刚 Nánpí shíjīngāng) - standing at 2.96 meters, these two opposing statues that resemble generals were built sometime during the Tang Dynasty. Located roughly 47km from Cangzhou in Nanpi county, in the backyard of a farmer's home.
- Huanghua Port (黄骅港 Huánghuá gǎng) - a port on the Bohai Sea, where you can walk around the port and look at ships. Located 90km from Cangzhou Station.
- Baiyangdian (白洋淀 Báiyángdiàn) - located about 10km away from Renqiu county, the main attraction appears to be taking a rowboat out among a river (or some body of water) in which there are a ton of lily pads.
A specialty of Cangzhou is called Lion's Head (狮子头 Shīzi tóu) which is a meatballs dish. Unfortunately, it is not commonly found in restaurants - ask a taxi driver to find one that serves this dish.
Donkey burger (驴肉火烧 Lǘròu huǒshāo) restaurants are all over Cangzhou and its counties.