The Ancient City of Gaochang was founded on the first century BC in the Western Han Dynasty. . To its disuse in the thirteenth century, it has been using for thirteen hundred years. It has been more than 2000 years since the city was firstly founded. It’s the witness of the long history of Turpan district.
Climb high and have a overlook, the city is flat is in irregular square, the layout can be divided into the outer city, inner city and palace with total area of 200 hectares. The outer city wall is 12 meter thick, 111.5 meter high and about 5 km in circumference. There are three gates at the south, and two gates at each other directions. The best preserved gate is the north one in the west wall. The inner city is inside the outer city which is full of rammed earth wall, the west and south wall is in good condition. It was built earlier than the outer city. The palace is in the most north location. The north wall of the outer city is the north wall of the palace, and the north wall of the inner city is the south wall of the palace.
There’s a temple at the southwest side of the outer city, it covers an area of nearly 10,000 square meters and consists of gate, yard, lecture hall, collection house, front hall and monk dormitory. Judging from the architectural feature and pattern on the remnants of murals, it should be built in the 6th century. There are some markets and square ruins around the temple; they might be small handicrafts workshops and commercial markets. Another temple is in the southeast side of the outer city, preserved of a polygon tower and a cave. This is the only place that preserved well condition murals. According to the mural style and tower shape, they were built between 12th to 13th centuries.
In the middle of the north inner city, there is a slightly irregular square small fortress. Local people call is Khan Fort. In the northern palace retained many tall temple bases, generally 3.5 to 4 meters tall. From the relics we can see the four stories tall palace building.
To the north side of the Gaochang city used to be a plain desert. Gaochang residents usually were buried here. The whole tomb area spreads from the northeast to the northwest; it lasts about 5 km long, 2 km wide and 10 square meters large. Since the new century, more than 500 tombs were dig out and organized. Unearthed documents, silky cotton fabric, epitaphs, coins, Nisumudiao figurines, wooden pottery ware, paintings, crops, fruits and food and other historical relics, the quantity is as large as 10,000.
Author:Will Posted on June 27, 2014