Called Shazhou in ancient times, Dunhuang is one of China’s famous historical and cultural cities. Dunhuang lies at the western end of the Hexi Corridor in Gansu Province in Northwest China. Situated in the 40o10′ of the north latitude and the 92o48′ of the east longitude, Dunhuang connects Gansu, Qinghai provinces, and Xinjing Uygur Autonomous Region. With the Qilian Mountains to the south, the Takli-makan Desert to the west, Beisai (north area beyond the Great Wall) Mountain and Sanwei Mountain to the east, Dunhuang is an oasis surrounded by mountains, deserts and Gobis in the north edge of the Tibetan Plateau. The oasis area accounts for 4.5% of the land area with an average altitude of 1,100 meters.
Being one of the four cities west of the Hanhe River in ancient times, Dunhuang was established as a prefecture in the sixth year (111BC) of the Yuanding reign in the Western Han Dynasty (206BC-8AD). It was once called Sanwei or Guazhou. The ancient town used to be an important stopover point on the Silk Road. Dunhuang is the starting point of all the three routes to Xinjiang. Since the Han and the Tang Dynasty (618-907), Dunhuang became a metropolis and the communication center of politics, economy and culture between the East and the West.
With a long history and a splendid culture, Duhuang has an album including the best works representing different historical periods with brief introductions. There are a great many of places of interest and scenic spots, 241 of which are famous ones such as the relics of the grottos, the group of tombs, the great wall of the Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD), the ancient city, the beacon fair and the relay stations. The world famous places are the Mogao Grottos, the Yumenguan Pass, ruins of Yangguan Pass, Wuwa Pond, Sanwei Mountain, Ringing-Sand Hill, Crescent-Moon Pool and the many grotto carvings and murals. The Ringing-Sand Area is one of China’s key tourist attractions.
In 1986, the State Council proclaimed Dunhuang a Chinese historical and cultural city. The UNESCO put the Mogao Grottos on its list of world natural and cultural heritages in 1987. It was approved as an excellent tourist city of China in 1998. The melted snow water moistens the fertile land, and the forest prevents the sand and wind. Endowed by nature so much convenience, Dunhuang has good harvests of various kinds of fruits. With marvelous desert scenery and prestigious relics, Dunhuang is the homeland of the flying Aparas and the bright pearl of art in the world. It is a land of fertility and miracle.