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. 
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