Yan'an or Yenan (both: yĕn-än) [key], city (1991 pop. 115,900), N Shaanxi prov., China, on the Yen River. Now a market and tourist center, it is famed as the terminus of the long march and the de facto capital (1936–47, 1948–9) of the Chinese Communists, who established arsenals, several colleges, and a military academy (now a museum) there. The city's many loess caves served as homes and air raid shelters during World War II. As a hallowed site of the revolution, Yan'an attracts thousands of pilgrims. Points of interest include the former homes of Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, and the nine-story Bao pagoda built during the Sung dynasty (960–1279) and now made into a monument to the revolution. Many people still live in cave dwellings. Oil is produced at nearby Yanchang.
See J. Myrdal, Report from a Chinese Village (tr. by M. Michael, 1965); J. K. Emmerson, A View From Yenan (1985).