Jingdezhen, formerly spelt Ching Teh Chen and known as the "Ceramics Metropolis" of China, is a synonym for Chinese porcelain.
Variably called Xinping or Changnanzhen in history, it is situated in the northeastern part of Jiangxi Province in a small basin rich in fine kaolin, hemmed by mountains which keep it supplied with firewood from their conifers. People there began to produce ceramics as early as 1,800 years ago in the Eastern Han Dynasty. In the Jingde Period (1004-1007), Emperor Zhenzong of the the Song Dynasty decreed that Changnanzhen should produce the porcelain used by the imperial court, with each inscribed at the bottom "Made in the Reign of Jingde". From then on people began to call all chinaware bearing such inscriptions "porcelain of Jingdezhen. "
The ceramic industry experienced further development at Jingdezhen during the Ming and Qing
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dynasties or from the 14th to the 19th century. When skills became perfected and the general quality more refined, government kilns were set up to cater exclusively to the need of the imperial house.
Jingdezhen, the ancient ceramics metropolis, has been regenerated with new vigor since the founding of New China. It now boasts a ceramic research institute and a ceramic museum in addition to five kaoltn quarries, 15 porcelain factories, two porcelain machinery plants, one porcelain chemical plant, two refractory materials factories and dozens of porcelain processing works.
As the leading centre of the porcelain industry, Jingdezhen has been put under state protection also as an important historical city. With 133 ancient buildings and cultural sites, it is a tourist town attracting large numbers of visitors from home and abroad.