The most considerable range of mountains occupies the centre of the province, the highest peak being the T`ai-shan (5060 ft.), a mountain famous in Chinese history for more than 4000 years, and to which hundreds of pilgrims annually resort.
The Grand Canal runs through it from south to north; the Yangtszekiang crosses its southern portion from west to east; it possesses several lakes, of which the T'ai-hu is the most noteworthy, and numberless streams connect the canal with the sea.
Nanking, "the Southern Capital," was the seat of the Chinese court until the beginning of the 15th century, and it was the headquarters of the T'ai-p'ing rebels from 1853, when they took the city by assault, to 1864, when its garrison yielded to Colonel Gordon's army.
Hang-chow Fu and Su-chow Fu, situated on the T'ai-hu, are reckoned the most beautiful cities in China.
In 1853 the prosperity of the settlements received a severe check in consequence of the capture of the native city by the T'ai-p'ing rebels, who held possession of the walls from September in that year to February 1855.
Of the T'ai-p'ing rebels added enormously to the value of land.
With the disappearance of the T'ai-p'ings the refugees returned to their homes, leaving whole quarters deserted.