Suzhou, formerly romanized as Soochow, is a major city in the southeast of Jiangsu Province in Eastern China, adjacent to Shanghai Municipality. The city is on the lower reaches of the Yangtze River and on the shores of Taihu Lake and is a part of the Yangtze River Delta region. Administratively, Suzhou is a prefecture-level city with an urban population of over 4 million in its core districts expanding to over 10 million in the administrative area. It is considered one of the richest major cities in China.Originally founded in 514 BC, Suzhou has over 2,500 years of rich history, and relics of the past are abundant to this day. Circa AD 100, during the Eastern Han Dynasty, it became one of the ten largest cities in the world due to immigration. Since the 10th-century Song Dynasty, it has been an important commercial center of China. During the Ming and Qing Dynasty, Suzhou was the nation's economic, cultural and commercial center, as well as the largest non-capital city in the world, until the 1860 Taiping Rebellion. When Li Hongzhang and Charles George Gordon recaptured the city three years later, Shanghai had already taken its predominant place in the nation.The city's canals, stone bridges, pagodas, and meticulously designed gardens have contributed to its status as one of the top tourist attractions in China. The classical gardens in Suzhou were added to the list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1997 and 2000. Suzhou is often dubbed the "Venice of the East" or "Venice of China".