Jiaohe Ruins: World’s oldest city made of adobe 

Jiaohe Ruins: World’s oldest city made of adobe 

THE SMNI News Team visited the oldest city in the world, Xinjiang, China, and this architectural wonder was said to be made of adobe.

I’m here inside one of China’s high-speed trains. From Urumqi, we’re heading to Turpan, one of the well-known cities in Xinjiang.

Right now, the train is running at up to 250 kph.

The journey from Urumqi to Turpan aboard this high-speed train takes nearly an hour.

In this city lies the Jiaohe Ruins, the world’s best-preserved and oldest adobe city in the world.

Thousands of years have passed, but the city’s layout remains intact, including its roads, government offices, temples, pagodas, and alleyways, all within the Jiaohe Ancient City.

Many tourists wish to visit this place because it offers a unique opportunity to witness ancient China and the history of the region through the remaining structures and other architectural remnants from bygone eras.

Jiaohe Ancient City in Turpan has a dry climate and low rainfall.

The yellowish soil found here is high in calcium. It forms a gel-like substance when wet and hardens further when it dries.

This unique soil composition has preserved the ancient city for over 2,000 years, preventing its decay.

The term ‘adobe architecture’ refers to buildings constructed from uncooked materials, like digging a garden directly from the earth and forming walls directly from it.

This earthen city was established between the 2nd century BC and the 5th century AD, experiencing significant developments during the Northern and Southern Dynasties and reaching its zenith during the Tang Dynasty.

About a thousand years ago, this architectural wonder served as the headquarters of the Anxi Protectorate, the highest military institution in the Western Regions during the Tang Dynasty.

This ancient city, without walls, is a rare treasure in the world because it has been perfectly preserved.

As a renowned “world’s most perfect ruin,” Jiaohe Ancient City holds genuine historical relics with no elements of fabrication.

In 1961, it was designated as a national key cultural relic protection unit.

In 2014, Jiaohe Ancient City was included in the “Silk Roads: the Routes Network of Chang’an-Tianshan Corridor” on the UNESCO World Heritage List for serving as a key passage on the ancient Silk Road and a communication hub among various cultures.

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