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Value and Significance of Other Landscape Resources in Geopark

Writer:Administration for Dunhuang UGGp
Time:2019-03-25 08:47


Cultural Landscape

Mogao Grottoes is not near Dunhuang downtown, 25km to the southeast. It is cut at conglomerate layer of Jiuquan Group of quaternary Pleistocene in the east of the Mount Mingshashan. It is about 1600 meters long from south to north and contains totally five layers. 735 caves in ten dynasties are preserved, including the Sixteen States, the Northern Wei Dynasty, the Western Wei Dynasty, the Northern Zhou Dynasty, Sui Dynasty, Tang Dynasty, the Five Dynasties, Song Dynasty, the Western Xia regime and Yuan Dynasty. The mural covers over 45,000 square meters. Thousand-Statue Pagoda, a coloured sculpture, is the largest, best-preserved and most comprehensive art treasury of classical culture in China, and also the world-famous Buddhist art center. Mogao Grottoes is ranked as the first batch of the protection units for national key cultural relics by the State Council in 1961; besides. It was also listed as the World Heritage List by UNESCOin 1987.

Yumenguan Pass is near Dunhuang downtown, 90 kilometers to the northwest. It is known as “Xiaofangpan city”. Yumenguan Pass is 24m long from east to west and 26m wide from south to north with the walls 9.7m high. Doors are set in the west and the north respectively, covering a total area of 630 square kilometers. The city walls surrounding are well-preserved with yellow puddle as earth rammer. As an important pass between the central plains and western regions of the ancient Silk Road, it is also an important place for station troops.

Yangguan Pass is not near Dunhuang downtown, 70kilometers to the southwest. It was first established during the Western Han Dynasty (1st century BC). Yangguan Pass, an important frontier pass and the oldest customs in Han and Tang Dynasties of China, played an important role in protecting Xinjiang and the people living there, maintaining stability of western regions and ensuring the smooth pass of the Silk Road. Today, the Yangguan Pass has become a characteristic landscape formed by historical relics in Han and Tang Dynasties, natural desert scenery, ecological agriculture sightseeing and Yangguan Museum, which is of great value in culture, tourism and leisure experience.

The Han Great Wall is near Yumenguan Pass, five kilometers to the northwest. It is 300m long, 2.6m high, with the base 3m wide. It is built by reeds with gravel layers. Despite thousands of years of wind and rain, it still stands in the desert sand. It is the best-preserved and largest great wall of the Han Dynasty, with important cultural and research value.

Hecang City is also known as Dafangpan city. It is located at the Gobi Desert, 60km to the northwest of Dunhuang and 20km to the west of Yumenguan Pass. The city was built in the Western Han Dynasty. Facing the south, it is a rammed earth construction. Rectangular in shape, it is 132m long from east to west and 17m wide from north to south, with the highest point of the ruins 6.7m. The two north-to-south walls of the city separate the city into three warehouses. Hecang City’s walls have been collapsed and only the north wall has been well-preserved. Hecang City is regarded as the oldest, large-scale and rare military warehouses in northwest frontier of Great Wall in ancient China.

Thunder Monastery is near Dunhuang downtown, 4km to the south. It covers an area of about 180mu. The Grand Bright Palace in the temple is based on a large-scale veranda of Tang style. The construction uses approximately 1500m3 Dahurian larch imported from Russia, with about 7,000 square of stones and more than 20,000 square of backfilling. It is a multi-functional Buddhist cultural site combined with beliefs, dharma, Buddhism practice, education and Buddhist exchanges.

Desert Plant Landscape

There are calligonum, glycyrrhiza inflate, bare fruit which are classified as national second-level protected plants in the territory of Geopark. Besides, there are also populus, haloxylon and sandy tamariskare ranked as national third-level protected plants.

The populus euphratica forest: Populus is also known as poon and is one of the oldest poplar species in the world. It is also praised as “Living Fossil”. The populus has strong vitality. It is hereby famous for “three-thousand-year longevity”. It is used not only for wind and sand prevention, improvement of ecological environment of desert, but also provides a good vegetation landscape for the visitors. 

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