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Jiayuguan Fort

Listed under Forts and Fortifications in Jiayuguan, China.

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Jiayuguan Fort was once the most remote outpost of the Chinese Empire; a desperate attempt to stem attacks from the barbarians to the west at the narrowest point between mountains in this desert region. It is an impressive looking building but, as a static solution to a dynamic problem, it never really worked.

The fort and its location at the west end of the Great Wall of China make a visit essential for anyone heading out along the ancient Silk Road. There is plenty to occupy a half day, possibly longer. It is fun to shoot arrows down from the parapets at straw targets that look less like hardy warriors than something out of the Wizard of Oz. That feeling returns when the tin-men 'soldiers' perform their drills.

The museum as you exit is well worth a stop. It contains much information about the Great Wall in the area as well as weaponry.

Written by  Ian Ford.

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