Ancient City of Gaochang

Ancient City of Gaochang Turpan Xinjiang
Today, the ancient city of Gaochang is a sea of ruins and stones covered by sand. Formerly, this ancient capital was home to a thriving ethnic community on the Silk Road. Mixture of peoples, religions and cultures has created an exceptional ancient city whose ruins are now forming a unique landscape.

Ancient Capital of the Region

Built in the first century BC, the city of Gaochang soon became a major step in the Silk Road. It was the Chinese who settled mainly in this city but still found traces of several ethnic groups who lived in community. It was first a simple garrison and then trade grew significantly; the city became the capital of the region. Yet this didn’t last long because the Uighurs who took control of the region quickly moved their capital to Turpan. The city, also known Karakhoja, however continued to prosper until the Mongol invasions of the fourteenth century.

Donkeys Cart

Sadly neglected, the great city of Gaochang is now in ruins. It is still possible to distinguish the walls of the city that are 11 meters high and 12 meters thick and encircle the town 5 kilometers! To avoid getting too tired, it is recommended take a small cart pulled by donkeys. It is then protected from the sun and you can see a lot more things. It is not easy to distinguish the roads and the original buildings (unlike the ruins of Jiaohe).

 

  • Best time to visit

    Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. 
Scroll to top
  • 21-day Silk Road expedition

    21-day Silk Road expedition

    21 days - from $3,941

  • visit Old town of Turpan

    Old town of Turpan

  • visit Grape Valley

    Grape Valley

  • visit Jiaohe Ruins

    Jiaohe Ruins

  • visit Karez Water System

    Karez Water System

  • visit Turpan Museum

    Turpan Museum

  • visit Dinner in Uyghur Family

    Dinner in Uyghur Family

  • visit Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves

    Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves

  • visit Astana-karakhoja Ancient tombs

    Astana-karakhoja Ancient tombs

  • visit Bosten Lake

    Bosten Lake

  • visit Subashi ruins

    Subashi ruins

  • visit Kuqa Old Town

    Kuqa Old Town

  • visit Kizil Thousand Buddha Caves

    Kizil Thousand Buddha Caves

  • visit Kizilgaha Beacon Tower

    Kizilgaha Beacon Tower

  • visit Hotan Cultural Museum

    Hotan Cultural Museum

  • visit Damagou Temple

    Damagou Temple

  • visit Atlas Silk Workshop

    Atlas Silk Workshop

  • visit White Jade Factory

    White Jade Factory

  • visit Melikawat Ruins

    Melikawat Ruins

  • visit Yarkand Mausoleum

    Yarkand Mausoleum

  • visit Kashgar Grand Bazaar

    Kashgar Grand Bazaar

  • visit Id Kah Mosque

    Id Kah Mosque

  • visit Abakh Hoja Tomb

    Abakh Hoja Tomb

  • visit Kashgar Old Town

    Kashgar Old Town

  • visit Karakul Lake

    Karakul Lake

  • visit Erdaoqiao market

    Erdaoqiao market

  • visit Tuva Villages

    Tuva Villages

  • visit Urho Ghost City

    Urho Ghost City

  • visit Sayram Lake

    Sayram Lake