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Lying in the middle of the Hexi Corridor, Zhangye is a key commercial city on the ancient Silk Road. With a time-honored history, splendid culture and abundant materials, Zhangye is also called Ganzhou and reputed as the Golden Zhangye.

With Wuwei and Jinchang to the east and Jiuquan to the west, Zhangye is the one of the four prefectures in ancient Hexi and the political, economical, cultural and diplomatic center of Northwest China for the central government in successive dynasties. In 121BC, Wudi of the Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD) designated Zhangye a prefecture after General Huo Quping defeated the Huns (an ancient tribe in China. Zhangye got its name, which means cutting the arms of the Huns and stretching the armpit of central China.

Zhangye was a famous place for Buddhism along the Silk Road. It is now a national historical and cultural city as well as a well-known tourist city in western China. Zhangye was the stopover point to the Western Regions for Zhang Qian, Ban Chao, Fa Xian and Xuan Zang. Emperor Yangdi of the Sui Dynasty (581-618) invited kings and ministers from 27 kingdoms in the Western Regions in 609 to attend an international expo. Marco Polo had stayed for one year here.

Historical records show that Zhangye was a city of towers and temples. There are still many relics of the ancient architectures, tombs, battlefields, sculptures, stone carvings and so on.

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