Harbin is the capital and largest city of Heilongjiang Province in Northeast China, as well as the tenth most populated city in the People's Republic of China. According to the 2010 China census data, the city's urban area has 5,878,939 inhabitants, while the total population of the sub-provincial city is up to 10,635,971.
Harbin serves as a key political, economic, scientific, cultural and communications hub in Northeast China.
Harbin, which is originally a Manchu word meaning "a place for drying fishing nets", grew from a small rural settlement on the Songhua River to become one of the largest cities in Northeast China. Founded in 1898 with the coming of the Chinese Eastern Railway, the city first prospered as a region inhabited by an overwhelming majority of the Jewish immigrants. It is known for its bitterly cold winters and is often called the "Ice City." Harbin is notable for its beautiful ice sculptures in winter and its Russian legacy, and still plays an important part in Sino-Russian trade today. In the 1920s, the city was considered China's fashion capital as new designs from Paris and Moscow reached there first before arriving in Shanghai. In 2010 it was declared a UNESCO "City of Music"