The Great Wall 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. It is located 56 miles northwest to Dunhuang City, Gansu Province, at the western end of Hexi Corridor. In ancient times, it was the crucial gateway from central China to the western regions.
The Yumen Pass was a strategic pass on the ancient Silk Road in order to ensure the safe and smooth of Silk Road in the Han Dynasty. It is said that the jade of Hetian in what is now Xinjiang region was transported to central China through this pass, hence the name "Yumen" which just means the gate of jade in Chinese.
Wang Zhihuan, the famous poet in the Tang Dynasty poet had the famous line, "Beyond the Yumen Pass the breath of Sring has never crossed", which express the feelings for his hometown afar.
Today's Yumen Pass is a small square castle, known as Small Square City, standing on the sand mound in the east-west strip of desert.
(Photograph : Chen Huai)