The King of Sulu Paduka Pahala from the first royal family on Sulu before the Hashemites went on a tribute mission to the Ming dynasty Yongle Emperor. He died of natural causes in China and his two sons were left in the care of Hui Muslims in Dezhou, Shandong. The two families descended from the two sons were given the surnames An and Wen by the Ming Emperors. They lived through the Ming and Qing dynasties and still live in Dezhou today.
The Kingdom of Sulu was converted to Islam, and the Hashemite Sharif ul-Hāshim of Sulu arrived in Sulu and married a princess of the previous non-Hashemite royal family, founding the Sulu Sultanate.
Tausug delegations from Sulu have visited Dezhou to see the descendants of the previous royal family.
The municipality of Dezhou comprises thirteen county-level sub divisions:Districts
Decheng District (德城区). The government of the prefecture-level city is located in this sub division.
Lingcheng District (陵城区)
Cities (县级市 xianji shi) administered by Dezhou are:Leling (乐陵市)
Counties (县 xian) administered by Dezhou are:Pingyuan (平原县)
Dezhou Economic Development District (德州经济开发区)
Dezhou Yunhe Economic Development District (德州运河经济开发区)
Dezhou lies on the main rail route from Beijing to Shanghai, which is known as Jinghu Railway. It is also one of the 23 stations on the exclusive Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway. Dezhou has always been an important transport hub since ancient times, with its reputation of "Junction of Nine Arteries" （九达天衢）and "Portal of the Capital" （神京门户）gradually established. In addition to two railways (the other is Shide Railway leading to Shijiazhuang), National Highway 104, 105 and some provincial roads cross the city as well. The Yellow River and the Grand Canal (China) both run through it.
Dezhou's biggest historical attraction is the tomb of Sultan Paduka Pahala of Sulu (Philippines), who died in Dezhou on his return journey from a visit to the Yongle Emperor in 1417. The tomb is well preserved and has been declared a national heritage site. Descendants of the sultan's Muslim followers still live in Dezhou today, and are classified as the Hui minority.
One of Dezhou's county Lingxian used to be a big county in China in history, when it was called Pingyuan County. Now part of the ancient city wall of Tang Dynasty still exists in the south of the region. Before the Three Kingdoms formed, one of the three emperors Liu Bei used to be the chief of the county, together with his fellows Guan Yu and Zhang Fei. In addition, it is the hometown of Dongfang Shuo (东方朔), the most well-known adviser during the reign of Emperor Wu of Han ; In Tang Dynasty, a major figure of Chinese calligraphy, Yan Zhenqing, once took office as the administrator of the county. Today, a memorial hall for the two historic figures is built in the People's Park of Lingxian, where a lot of materials of Dongfang Shuo and stone inscriptions of Yan Zhenqing are preserved.
For tourist attractions, there is also a famous temple in Qingyun County. It's called Haidao Jinshan Temple, which is one of the biggest centers of Buddhism in Northern China. The most attractive scene is the underground aisle where the portrait of the hell is presented using high technology.
A new industrial zone hailed as the "Solar Valley" is being built for experimenting with clean- energy urban projects and massive use of household utilities such as solar-powered water-heaters. The Washington Post describes Dezhou's Solar Valley as the "clean-tech version of Silicon Valley".
Nowadays one of the biggest and most famous industries in Dezhou is solar energy industry, with two main corporations included—Himin Group (皇明集团) and its partner Ecco Solar Group(亿家能集团). Dezhou increased its international reputation when it was selected to follow previous hosts, Daegu, South Korea (2004), Oxford, UK (2006) and Adelaide, Australia (2008) as host of the 2010 International Solar City Congress. Himin Group has developed into the world's largest solar water heater manufacturer and is also discovering new areas such as photoelectricity.
Greenpeace China cited Dezhou in May 2009 as an example of how renewable energy can become a more common reality throughout the world.
Dezhou also houses the world's largest solar-powered office building, covering around 75,000 square meters.
"Dezhou College"is a comprehensive college which was approved by the National Education Committee in March 2000. It is the aggregation of Dezhou Teachers’ College, Dezhou Education College and Evening College Municipality, which has a 30-year history.Zhang Yuqi (1986), Chinese actress
Ma Tianyu (1986), Chinese actor
Dezhou is well known for its braised chicken and watermelon.
The name of Dezhou is the same as the abbreviation of the Chinese name for the U.S. state of Texas.
Pingyuan, Dezhou is the foundation place of Yihetuan (Boxer Rebellion) against the Eight Power Allied Force during the 1900s.