Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Hang-Chow-Foo
HANG-CHOW-FOO, a city of China, in the province of Che-Keang, about 2 miles north-west of the Tseen-tang-Keang, at the southern terminus of the Imperial Canal, by which it communicates with Peking. It lies about 100 miles south-west of Shanghai, in 30° 20′ 20″ N. lat. and 120° 7′ 27″ E. long. Towards the west is the Si-hu or “Western Lake,” a beautiful sheet of water, with its banks and islands studded with villas, monuments, and gardens, and its surface traversed by gaily-painted pleasure boats. To the Chinese it is a very paradise. Exclusive of extensive and flourishing suburbs, the city has a circuit of 12 miles; its streets are well-paved and clean; and it possesses a large number of arches, public monuments, temples, hospitals, and colleges. It has long ranked as one of the great centres of Chinese commerce and Chinese learning. In 1869 the silk manufactures alone were said to give employment to 60,000 persons within its walls, and it has an extensive production of gold and silver work and tinsel paper. On one of the islands in the lake is the great Wan-lan-ko or pavilion of literary assemblies, and it is said that at the examinations for the second degree twice every three years from 10,000 to 15,000 candidates come together. In the north-east corner of the city is the Nestorian church which was noted by Marco Polo, the façade being “elaborately carved and the gates covered with elegantly wrought iron.” There is a Roman Catholic mission in Hang-chow, and the Church Missionary Society, the American Presbyterians, and the Baptists have likewise stations. The local dialect differs from the Mandarin mainly in pronunciation. The population, which is remarkable for gaiety of clothing, was formerly reckoned at 2,000,000, but is now variously estimated at 300,000, 400,000, or 800,000.