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Gaochang Ruins, once the capital city of Gaochang Kingdom, is also called “King City” by the Uyghur people. It is located in the Mutou Valley of southern Flaming Mountain, 27 kilometers away from Turpan. Built in the 1st century BC, Gaochang Ruins played a key role as the political, economic and cultural center of Xinjiang in ancient times, making it a significant hub on the Silk Road.
Gaochang Ruins consists of three parts, outer city, inner city and palace city. With 5.4 kilometers in circumference, the outer city is enclosed with a city wall, which is 12-meter thick with 11.5-meter high. Among nine city gates located in its four cardinal points, gates in the west are the best preserved. Inner city, occupies the center of the outer city, and palace city, located in the northern Gaochang shares its southern wall with inner city and northern wall with outer city. The ancient city got spoiled at the end of 13th century with its most constructions disappeared. In the southwestern and southeastern points, stand two temple ruins which are preserved in a good state. An irregular abode square, situated in the northern parts of inner city, is called “Khan’s Castle” by local residents.
Being one of the key stops along the Silk Road, Gaochang Ruins was also a constellation for world religious culture. Today with the development of tourism, Gaochang Ruins has become a must-see spot for sightseeing and archaeology.