Yumenguan Pass

Yumenguan Pass means Jade Gate Pass, was built during the Han Dynasty, by order of Emperor Wu. It is located 56 miles northwest to Dunhuang City, Gansu Province, at the western end of Hexi Corridor. In the past, the beautiful jade was transported to the inner China through this pass via the Silk Road. So hence the name Yumenguan which means "Jade-Gate Pass" in English. At the time the Pass was the only way to access the northern route of the Silk Road and the rourine connecting Central Asia and China. The vital importance of the Yumenguan Pass was realized very early in the Western Han period (205 BC-24 AD). The Great Wall of Yumenguan Pass, together with Yangguan Pass, is one of the two important passes on the western frontier of the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220) lands.
In the early Han Dynasty, the Huns ceaselessly invaded the Han's area. At first, the weak Han rulers attempted to marry the daughters of imperial families to the Huns' leaders, in hope of gaining temporary peace. When Emperor Wu rose to power, he immediately gave up this cowardly policy by launching fierce counterattacks on a large scale. Finally, the Hun's troops were driven back. In order to strengthen the stability of the western frontier, this wise emperor ordered Yumenguan Pass and Yangguan Pass to be set up along the Hexi Corridor. Henceforth, these two passes of Great Wall, like two royal soldiers, honorably began to guard the western gate for their motherland. It was the crucial gateway from central China to the western regions.

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