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Yumen Pass

Introducing Yumen Pass, Yumen Pass Guide, Yumen Pass Travel Guide, Yumen Pass Information.
Article from China Culture

Yumen Pass, also known as Jade Gate or Pass of the Jade Gate, is the name of a pass located west of Dunhuang. In ancient times, this was a pass through which the Silk Road passed, and was the one road connecting Central Asia and China, the former called the Western Regions. Just to the south was the Yangguan pass, which was also an important point on the Silk Road.

"Travellers to ‘The Western Regions’ left China through the famous Yumenguan, or ‘Jade Gate Frontier-post,' named for the many jade caravans that passed through it. The original Jade Gate was erected by Emperor Wudi (Emperor Wu of Han) soon after 121 BCE and its ruins may still be seen about 80 kilometers (50 miles) to the northwest of Dunhuang which was, until the 6th century, the final outpost of Chinese territory for caravans on their long caravan journeys to India, Parthia, and the Roman Empire."

The remains of these two important Han-dynasty gates are about 68 kilometres (42 miles) apart, at either end of the Dunhuang extension of the Great Wall. Until the Tang dynasty, when the gates fell into disuse, all caravans travelling through Dunhuang were required to pass through one of these gates, then the westernmost passes of China. Yumenguan lies about 80 kilometres (50 miles) northwest of Dunhuang. It was originally called the ‘Square City,’ but because the great jade caravans from Khotan entered through its portals, it became known as the Jade Gate Pass. In the third and fourth centuries, turmoil swept through Central Asia, disrupting overland trade, and the sea route via India began to supplant it. By the sixth century, as caravans favored the northern route via Hami, the pass was abandoned. In 1907, Sir Aurel Stein found bamboo slips naming the site as Yumenguan, and in 1944 Chinese archaeologists discovered relics that confirmed this. With its 10-metre-high (32 foot) mud walls pierced by four gateways, the square enclosure covered more than 600 square metres (718 square yards) in the midst of unbounded desolation.

Quick Facts on Yumen Pass

• Name: Yumen Pass
• Location: 80 Km Northwest of Dunhuang
• Phone: +86-931-8411259
• Dates: Han Dynasty
• Best Time to Visit: June to October
• Recommended Time for a Visit: 2 Hours
• Opening Hours: 08:00-18:00
• Admission Fee: CNY 40

 

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