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Yangguan Pass

  Yumenguan Pass, which is located 95 km northwest to Dunhuang, is one of the two important passes on the western frontier of the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220) (the other one is the Yangguan Pass). It was a strategic pass on the Silk Road.
    Along with Yangguan Pass, Yumenguan was set up under the order by Emperor Wu of Han Dynasty, who wanted to guard the remote western region and fortify the the frontier defense from the Huns. In the early Han Dynasty, the weak Han rulers took the tradition of marrying the daughters of imperial families to the Huns’ leaders when the facing the invasion of the stronger Huns, in hope of gaining temporary peace. When Emperor Wu rose to power, he took series of effective policies and revolution make his country becomes stronger, and finally fought the Huns back to far away western area.
    The name of the pass got from the Hotan jade, which was transported to the central China through this pass via the Silk Road in ancient China. And it witnessed the heyday of the Silk Road that silk from the inner China was transported to the western region in an endless stream, and the music and religion from western China were transported to central China from this pass too. 2,000 years later, Yumenguan Pass, together with Yangguan Pass, experienced its decline time when it lost its historical function as Silk Road met the ending part.
    Nowadays, it is only a rectangular yellow earth-made castle standing in the Gobi desert, covering an area of over 232 square miles, measuring 27 yards long, 29 yards wide and 32 feet high. Besides the west gate and north gate, there is a walkway measuring 1.4 yards wide on the top. Madao (Horse Ramp), by which people and horses could gain access to the top of the wall, lies in the southeast corner. While climbing to the top of the pass, the only scenery you can see is the boundless wild, some relics of the Great Wall, beacon towers sparsely scattered in the desert. A quiet corner of the history on earth, yes, there must be many scattered in some corners of Earth. 
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