Yumen Pass

Opening Hours: 7:00-19:30

Tickets: ¥40

Established during the Western Han Dynasty and located approximately 95 kilometers northwest of Dunhuang, Yumenguan Pass served as a crucial strategic outpost along the ancient Silk Road. The name “Yumenguan” translates to “Jade Gate” in Chinese, deriving from its historical role as a conduit for the transportation of jade from Hotan, located in what is now the Xinjiang region, to central China.

Yumenguan Pass holds a prominent place in literature and cultural lore, thanks in part to the renowned poet Wang Zhihuan, who immortalized the pass in his famous line: “Beyond the Yumenguan Pass the breath of Spring has never crossed.” This poetic reference has further enhanced the pass’s renown and significance in Chinese history.

The pass itself is square in shape, boasting well-preserved city walls punctuated by gates in the west and north. These imposing walls, standing at a height of 10 meters and with a width of three meters at the top and five meters at the bottom, offer both pedestrians and equestrians direct access to the upper platform of the pass wall. The construction of the pass utilized stable loess, ensuring its durability and longevity over the centuries.

Yumenguan Pass stands as a testament to the strategic importance of the Silk Road and serves as a tangible link to the rich history and cultural exchanges that occurred along this ancient trade route. Its imposing walls and historic significance continue to captivate visitors, offering a glimpse into the past and the enduring legacy of the Silk Road civilization.

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