Zhangye is located in the middle section
of the Hexi Corridor. The city owes its historical significance
to its geographical location and fertile oasis, which means that
throughout the dynasties it has been the political, economic,
cultural and diplomatic centre of the Northwest China. Many famous
figures such as envoy Zhang Qian, general Ban Chao, Buddhist monks
Fa Xian and Xuan Zang went to Western Region via Zhangye. And
evenmore the Italian traveller Marco Polo lived there for about
is also one of 12 national key commodity grain bases of China,
a beautiful and richly endowed place in Hexi, and got the name
"Gold Zhangye" from the past.
Matisi grottoes is situated in Sunan Yugur Autonomous County,
some 62km to Zhangye City. The spectacular spots around this tourist
zone are grotto arts and national scenery of prairie, forest and
snow-covered Qilian Mountain. However, there is fascinating Yugur
folklore. Yugur is a unique nomadic minority of Gansu. The sociologists
believe that Yugur people have the snipe historical origins with
Shandan Army Horse Ranch is situated in Damayin pastureland of
Qilian Mountain, 55km south of Shandan county of Zhangye prefecture.
This Ranch has a history of ever 2000 years. Today, it takes the
second position in the world and the largest in Asia. There are
still about 10,000 army horses herded there.