Chengdu is the original city name which dates back to its founding over 2000 years ago. However, its following nicknames are well known in China.
The City of Hibiscus (Chinese: 蓉城; pinyin: Róngchéng): In the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period (907–960), Mengchang, the king of the Later Shu Kingdom, ordered the planting of hibiscus on the fortress wall surrounding the city. After this, Chengdu started being called the City of Hibiscus. Nowadays, the hibiscus is still the city flower of Chengdu, but the last city wall was torn down in the 1960s, along with the Royal Palace situated in the middle of the city, where the statue of Mao Zedong now stands.
The Brocade City simplified Chinese: 锦城; traditional Chinese: 錦城; pinyin: Jǐnchéng: In the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC – AD 23), brocade produced in Chengdu enjoyed great popularity among the royal and elite class in China. An emperor created the office of Jin Guan (錦官) to oversee brocade production in Chengdu. Since then, Chengdu has been called “Jin Guan Cheng” (錦官城) meaning “Brocade Official’s City”, or in its short form, “Jǐn Cheng” (錦城) meaning “Brocade City.”
The Turtle City (simplified Chinese: 龟城; traditional Chinese: 龜城; pinyin: Guīchéng): According to the ancient legend, when Chengdu was built in AD 310, the chief architect Zhang Yi followed the routes of a turtle to decide the city’s borders. It coincides with the fact that the city does resemble the shape of a turtle on a map.