The 2,000-year-old Silk Road, a trade route linking Asia and Europe, began in Xian, capital of northwest China's Shaanxi Province, and ended in Europe after passing through southern and central Asia countries. More than half of the 7,000-km-long route was in China.
In this ancient Silk Road route, there are many historical sites left, such as the eighth wonder of the world-Terracotta Warriors; the world famous art treasure-Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes; the end of the Great Wall-Jiayuguan; and the mysterious Turpan Basin.
Terracotta Warriors in Xian, known as the eighth wonder of the world, is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. Now, it is a museum to display the terracotta warriors and horses which were made in Qin Dynasty. Qin terracotta warriors have guarded the mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang for over 2000 years. In 1987, the Mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang and Terracotta Warriors were approved by UNESCO to list in the World Heritage List. The Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum is the first and largest mausoleum in China (built from 246 BC to 208 BC).
Terracotta Warriors is a real-life theme art. Its means of artistic expression is delicate, lucid and lively. The gestures and facial expressions are different between two terracotta warriors, with distinct personality and strong characteristics of that age, showing peak clay sculpture art at that time.
Gansu province has been a place of communion for eastern and western culture since ancient times. The ancient Silk Road, from the east to the west, passed through the whole territory of Gansu province along with full of bright natural and cultural treasures. Dunhuang, as the end of the eastern Silk Road and one of the most important station of the Silk Road, carries too important task of Chinese and foreign exchange.
The Mogao Grottoes is the embodiment of cultural exchange. The murals and sculpture here are well-known around the world. Its content is really profound; there is not only figure of Buddha, buddhist stories, buddhist monuments, decoration design religious subjects, and many paintings of social life like hunting, farming, textile, transportation, war, construction, dance, weddings and funerals. After one thousand years, these sites have been still vivid, telling the story of the great Silk Road to us.
Jiayuguan Pass, one of the main passes of the Great Wall, is well-known as "the Impregnable Pass under the Heaven". It is also the most magnificent and best-preserved pass among the total over one thousand passes along the Great Wall of China. It faces the Gobi, a vast open terrain that once served as a battle ground in ancient times.
Xinjiang is the biggest hub of Chinese mainland economy and European Mediterranean economy, forming a trade route which took the Chinese silk as the main commodity, namely the famous ancient inland Silk Road.
Jiaohe Ancient City, isolated on a 30-meter-high plateau in the Ya'ernaizi Valley, 10 kilometers east of Turpan, is the oldest and largest best preserved soil building city in the world, as well as the most complete city relic which has a history of more than two thousand years. The highest military-political institution of the Western Regions in Tang Dynasty was set here. There were a lot of cultural relics unearthed here, such as Lotus Scripture of Tang Dynasty, Buddha's relics, underground temples, etc…
Gaochang Ancient City is the largest ancient city relic retained since ancient Western Regions. Gaochang, an ancient country of the Western Regions, located in the southeast of Turpan, are ancient transportation hub in the Western Regions. It was the world's most active and the most developed place of ancient religions; also it is one of the fields of fortune of the world’s religious culture. Xuanzang passed Gaochang along the Silk Road to India, traveling all around Afghanistan, Pakistan and India States. Gaochang Ancient City is testimony of thousand year vicissitudes of Turpan.