Despite such violent conflicts, culture in Jinan continued to thrive during the Jin (1115–1234) and Yuan (1271–1368) dynasties: One of the most renowned artists of the Yuan dynasty, Zhao Mengfu (赵孟頫, 1254–1322) was appointed to the post of governor of Jinan in 1293 and spent three years in the city.

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The new course of the Yellow River connected the city to the Grand Canal and regional waterways in northern Shandong and southern Hebei.

German influence in Jinan grew after the Qing dynasty ceded Qingdao to the German Empire in 1897.

During the Spring and Autumn period (722–481 BCE) and Warring States period (475–221 BCE), the area of Jinan was split between two states: the state of Lu in the west and the state of Qi in the east.

In 685 BCE, the state of Qi started to build the Great Wall of Qi( During the times of the Han dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE), Jinan was the capital of the Kingdom of Jibei (济北国/濟北國; pinyin: Jǐbĕi Guó) and evolved into the cultural and economic hub of the region.

The Ji River disappeared in 1852 when the Yellow River changed its course northwards and took over its bed.

The current pronunciation of the character "Ji" with the third tone ("jǐ") was established in the late 1970s.

The Han dynasty tomb where the last king of Jibei, Liú Kuān (刘宽/劉寬), was buried at Shuangru Mountain was excavated by archaeologists from Shandong University in 19.

His son, Cao Pi, overthrew the last emperor of the Han and founded the Wei Kingdom (220 – 265 CE) of the Three Kingdoms Period.

After Jinan came under control of the Jin dynasty, both Li Qingzhao and Xin Qiji had to abandon their homes and reflected this experience in their works.