"The Ruins of Yancheng" ,comprise the remains of a walled city located in the Wujin district of Changzhou that was founded over 3000 years ago at the beginning of the Western Zhou dynasty. The earliest record of a settlement on the site of modern Changzhou is as a commandery founded in 221 BC at the beginning of the Qin Dynasty. Changzhou got its present name meaning "ordinary prefecture" in AD 589. Following construction of the Grand Canal in AD 609, Changzhou became a canal port and transshipment point for locally-grown grain, and has maintained these roles ever since. The rural counties surrounding Changzhou are noted for the production of rice, fish, tea, silk, bamboo and fruit.
During the Taiping Rebellion of the 1850s, one of five palaces housing the leaders of the so-called "Kingdom of Celestial Peace" was constructed in Changzhou. Today the ruins of the "King's Palace" can be found near the People's No.1 Hospital.
In the 1920s, Changzhou started to attract cotton mills. The cotton industry got a boost in the late 1930s when businesses began relocating outside of Shanghai due to the Japanese occupation. Unlike many Chinese cities, Changzhou continued to prosper even during the upheavals of the Cultural Revolution of 1966–76. Today it is an important industrial center for textiles, food processing, engineering (diesel engines, generators, transformers and other machinery), and high technology