Did you know?
* 1920 was a big year for Harbin, because it was then the Harbin Institute of Technology was founded. The Institute later developed into an important research university and contributed to the invention China’s first analog computer, the first intelligent chess computer, and the first arc-welding robot.
* Also in this 1920, Harbin was considered to be the fashion capital of China as new designs from Paris and Moscow reached here first before continuing onto Shanghai.
* The Harbin Summer Music Concert hosts international artists and choirs each year for 10 days in the first weeks of August.
* The city has maintained a strong Russian presence from the 1898, when an extension of the Trans-Siberian Railway began construction from Vladivostok to Harbin, through the Soviet era, and to present day.
* Harbin had a very large Jewish settlement around the 1920's. The parents of former Israeli Prime-minister, Ehud Olmert, were born there. In 2004 Olmert came to Harbin to visit the grave of his grandfather.
* As an outpost on the Trans-Siberian Railway, Harbin cuisine is a combination of Chinese and Russian style dishes, in addition to an eclectic array of American style and Japanese restaurants.
* Because of its Russian and European influenced architecture, Harbin is sometime referred to as the "Oriental St. Petersburg". It is now a center for trade between China and the Russian Federation.
* Since 1985 the city annually hosts an elaborate exhibition of winter activity, the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival. It is one of the world’s four largest ice and snow festivals, featuring winter-swimming, Alpine skiing, and the construction of illuminated full sized buildings made from ice blocks in addition to snow carving and ice lanterns.
US China Peoples Friendship Association – Minnesota