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Jiayuguan City and Around


The city lies in the middle section of the Hexi Corridor. It took its name from the Jiayuguan Pass, the western terminus of the Ming Dynasty Great Wall, on its outskirts. Covering an area of 1,298 square kilometers, Jiayuguan City is situated at the narrowest point of the western section of the Hexi Corridor bounded by the Qilian Mountains on the south, the Mazong (Horse's Mane) Mountains on the north, the Jiuquan Basin on the east, and the Gobi desert on the north. It has an arid climate. The average annual temperature is 7.7¢XC. Sunshine here is strong and there is a wide difference in temperature between the day and night.

Jiayuguan City is a new industrial city. It was established in 1965 in order to cater to the nee of the Jiuquan Iron and Steel Company, the latest iron and steel complex in Northwest Chin

Highlights in and around Jiayuguan City include Jiayuguan Fort, wall paintings in tomb dating from the Wei (220-265) and Jin (265-42 periods, the First Beacon Tower, the Overhan ing Great Wall, the Great Wall Museum, and ti Heishan (Black Mountain) rock paintings.

The Jiayuguan Fort

The Jiayuguan Fort sits on top of Jiayu H the highest place at the narrowest point of the middle section of the Hexi Corridor, which hemmed in by high mountains on both side About eight kilometers north of Jiayuguan is tt Hanging Great Wall that connects the fort to the Mazong Mountains, and about six kilomete south of Jiayuguan are ruins of the First Beacon Tower. The Jiayuguan Fort, built in 1372 during the early Ming Dynasty, was China's Mal ( stronghold to the west. It was referred to as the "Impregnable Defile Under Heaven."

The fort is surrounded by an inner and E outer wall and further protected by trenches. The Jiayuguan Fort constituted a powerful shield defense in ancient times.

The Xincheng Wei-Jin Art Gallery


Scattered in an area of more than 20 square kilometers east of Jiayuguan and west of Jiuquan are more than 1,400 tombs dating from the Wei and Jin periods (220-420). These tombs are brick laid and contain beautiful wall paintings. They are referred to as the largest underground gallery in the world. Excavation of some of the toms started in 1972 in the Gobi desert in the town of Xincheng some 20 kilometers northeast of Jiayuguan. The wall paintings discovered are lifelike and succinct in style and cover a wide range of subjects including politics, economics, culture, military affairs, folk customs, and science and technology during the Wei and Jin periods. They were done earlier than those in the Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang and are the first Wei-Jin wall paintings ever found in China.

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