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Ruins of Gaochang City


* History: 100 B.C
* Distance from downtown: 40Km /1Hours Drive
* Entrance fee: RMB 20p/p
* Open Hours: 10:00-17:00
* Address: About 40 km east of Turpan City.  
* Best visiting time: May--Oct

Ruins of Gaochang City
Ruins of Gaochang City
Ruins of Gaochang City
Ruins of Gaochang City
Ruins of Gaochang City
Ruins of Gaochang City
Ruins of Gaochang City
Ruins of Gaochang City
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It is called “Duhu City” in Uygur, which is “King City”, and it ranks number three in the West Region, after the Guici King City and the Yilu City. It was established by the soldiers, who were sent to cultivate land in the former Cheshi Kingdom, during the Western Han Dynasty at one century B.C. Because of its “high position and prosperous residents” (The North History: West Region), it is called “Gaochang Wall”. During the later Han Dynasty, the Wei Dynasty and the Jin Dynasty, the rulers sent officers to govern the place and fight against the Xiongnu invaders. Therefore, the city is also called “Officer City”. The name “Gaochang Kingdom” remained unchanged during the Northern and Southern Dynasties and the Tang Dynasty. During the reign of Zhenguan, the Tang Dynasty defeated the kingdom and established Xizhou. In the mid-9th century, some Huihe people (forefather of the Uygur people) set up the Gapchang Kingdom here, which first attached to the Sui Dynasty and later to the Yuan Dynasty and changed its name to “Huozhou”. The whole city fell to ruins in the war at the end of the 13th century.

The ruins of Gaochang covers an area of 2 sq km. the roads and streets are well built and crossed. It has three layers, the outer city, the inner city and the court city, resembling the structure of Xi’an in the Tang Dynasty. The wall base of the outer city is 12-metre thick and 11.5metre high, made of rammed earth and mud. The inner city is in the center of the outer city, and the court city is located in the northernmost part. It is recorded that there were 12 gates in the city, and the city could be segmented by markets, workshops, temples and residency. In its high time, there were about 30,000 residents and 3000 monks. The ruins of a big temple is at the southwestern corner, taking up 10000 sq meters, with its gate, courtyard, big altar, niche, and tower remaining intact. It is said that the temple is the place where Xuan Zang preached for a month at the invitation of King Qu Wetai. In addition, there is a high platform made of red earth north to the center of the city. The remaining base of the platform is 15 meters high. Named “Kehanbao”, the place is believed to be the ruins of Qu Wentai’s palace. The Ruins of Gaochang were designated a cultural relic under state protection in 1961.

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