Hangzhou is one of the seven ancient capitals of China. During the Wuyue Kingdom, "the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period" in the 10th century, it was the capital of unified China. And during the Song Dynasty, 12th and 13th centuries, it became the capital of Southern China, when the Song lost control of northern China to the Jurchen Jin dynasty.
It is believed that Hangzhou was by the 13th century the most populous city in the world, with more than one million inhabitants. It is during this period that Hangzhou became the cultural and business heart of China. Marco Polo considered Hangzhou "the finest and the noblest city in the world."
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