Jade Gate Pass

A famous poet in Tang Dynasty Wang Zhihuan wrote in his poem Liangzhou Verse: A Tartar under the willows is lamenting on his flute, that spring never blows to him through the Jade Pass. Hanks for the famous verse, the name of the Jade Pass has become known to people in the center of China.

The ruin of Jade Pass is a small gate tower without top standing isolated among the Gobi desert, which buffeted by wind and rain of two thousand of years since Han dynasty. It is commonly called Xiaofang City, meaning square city. It was said the jade from Hetian and other area of the west region was transmitted definitely through this pass this is what the Jade Pass got its name.

In the northeast of the Jade Pass, there is road which leads to the ruin of Hecang City of Han Dynasty, commonly called as Dafangpan City which is about 13 km apart from here. It is built on the verge of the Shute River, thus named as Hecang City. Hecang City is one of the rare ancient military storing cities of the North West frontier defense which still remained till today.

To the south from the Jade Pass, a small-sized saline-alkali swamp named Naohaitu can be seen. In the Northwest there is another road forking into two one leads to the newly-developed tourist spot-the Devil city of Yadan another leads to the site of Han Dynasty Great Wall.

The Great Wall which is ended in Jiayu Pass refers to the one of Ming Dynasty. In ancient times, nearly each dynasty built or rebuilt the Great Wall. In West Han Dynasty, in order to guard against the intrusion of the Hun and reinforce the frontier defense outside, stabilize people's life and strengthen administration of the central government inside, ensure the smoothness of the Silk Road, beginning from the Lintao the starting point of the Great Wall in Qin Dynasty(221BC-207BC), the pavilion blocks were set up to the west extending to Lup Nur. Part of the Great Wall was even extended nearby the Mamitu in West Lake of Dunhuang. Till today, the site of Han Dynasty Great Wall can be seen in Linta, Yumen, Anxi, Dunhuang of Jiuquan area. As known as recent, the part of the Great Wall nearby the Jade Pass is the most integrated one of the northern part of the Han Dynasty Great Wall which has remained till now. The remaining part is more than 3 m in height, the bottom is 3 m in width, and the top is more than 1 m in width, built of earth, sand with reed. Besides the site of Han Dynasty Great Wall, there is bacon tower named Danggu Tower, the height of which is 10 m, governed by the officer called Hou in Han Dynasty who is under the supervision of Duwei officer of the Jade Pass. It is the first larger bacon tower in the westward direction of the Jade Pass, responsible for double tasks of watching out and delivering the mails.

In the north of the Jade Pass, there is a house which is the cultural relic's administrative office of Pass. Behind it is a water-plod land named Yangshuihaizi. With blue water and green grass, it is as beautiful as a picture. Yet the water is undrinkable for it is salty. In autumn and winter, the water sinks into the earth and gets less and less yet remains clean and blue. After evaporating, a circle of white saline left on the bank of the lake, the reed though changing into yellow standing straight.

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