The Silk Road Routes Networks of Chang’an – Tianshan Corridor is a long stretch of the Silk Road with 33 sites total. A variety of sites are here, from palaces and ruins, to religious temples and tombs. Formed thousands of years ago, sometime between the years 200 B.C. and 100 A.D., this 5,000-kilometer route played a large role in history with regards to exchanges, trading, religious beliefs, knowledge, and more.
Mostly luxury goods, such as silk, was moved along these routes, along with raw materials and food. The routes meander through a wide range of geography, from below sea level to over 7,000 meters above sea level. There is no shortage of sites for visitors to explore in this area.
12 notable sites
The route network in Central China has 12 sites that was home to the Qin and Han dynasties. There is evidence of the culture being influenced by Buddhism. Some of the notable sites include the Hangu Pass, which made up the defensive system of the Luoyang basin.
The Weiyang Palace is another great site, built in the year 200 B.C. as an administrative center. The Bin Country Cave is an interesting Buddhist Temple from the 7th-10th centuries with a large clay sculpture of a Buddhist figure.
The Hexi Corridor has 5 sites along the route. Located in this area are some of the most uniquely designed cave temples, such as ones at the Bingling Cave Temple Complex and the Mogao Caves. Sites here also include large fortresses and ancient beacon towers that travelers used in ancient times.
Post houses remain, which were used as a place for camels to be kept during a stop for travelers along a journey.
The area North and South of the Tianshan Mountains was settled by nomadic groups, and this is the area that Buddhism first came to China. The Subash Buddhist Temple Ruins, in the desert, was once the home for 10,000 monks.
The grandiose Gaochang Ancient City ruins give visitors a feel of how big cities along the Silk Road were, as this ancient city was divided into three parts.
3 sites in this World Heritage
- Site of Weiyang Palace in Chang’an City of the Western Han Dynasty
- City of Suyab (Site of Ak-Beshim)
- Site of Kayalyk