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Zhangye is a prefecture-level city in northwest-central Gansu province, People's Republic of China, bordering Inner Mongolia to the north and Qinghai to the south.HistoryZhangye is in the center of the Hexi Corridor. The area was the frontier for much of China's history, forming a natural passage to the Central Asian portion of the empire. In fact, the name Zhangye (lit. "to extend the arm") is an abbreviation of (lit. To extend the arm of the country, through to the Western Realm). During the Western Han dynasty, Chinese armies were often engaged against the Xiongnu in this area. It was also an important section of the Silk Road. The Mongol Emperor Kublai Khan is said to have been born in the Dafo Temple, which is also the site of the longest reclining wooden Buddha in China.The city was formerly known as Ganzhou (甘州), a name retained both in the municipal region seat Ganzhou District and the Gan of the province of Gansu. In The Travels of Marco Polo, Marco Polo describes spending a year in a city called Campichu, which has been identified with Ganzhou (Zhangye).Geography and climateZhangye is located in far western Gansu province. In the north it borders Inner Mongolia and in the south Qinghai. It has a large area of 42,000km2 and is blessed with numerous streams, abundant sunlight and fertile soil, making it an important agricultural centre for Gansu and all of China.Plan your visit to Zhangye and other destinations in China using our China trip builder.
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