BURIED MONGOL OR TARTARIAN FORTRESS ????⁉️ In the westernmost banner of Inner Mongolia, in the middle of the Gobi Desert, there once stood a prosperous kingdom. It was a center of religious learning, of art and a trading hub. According to one of the many Mongolian legends, the first descendants of the gods built Khara-Khoto, a beautiful and rich city, which housed sages, merchants, brave soldiers and skilled craftsmen. Khara-Khoto means “black city”. It was a Medieval Tangut fortress on the Silk Road, built in 1032 near Juyan Lake Basin. The remains show 9.1 m-high ramparts and 3.7 m-thick outer walls. It became a centre of Western Xia trade in the 11th century. In The Travels of Marco Polo, Marco Polo described a visit to a city called Etzina or Edzina, which was identified with Khara-Khoto. The walled fortress was first taken by Genghis Khan in 1226. It continued to flourish under the Mongols and during Kublai Khan’s time it was expanded. After 1372 it was abandoned.

Located where the westernmost flag of Inner Mongolia stands, in the middle of the Gobi desert, there was once an extremely prosperous kingdom. It was a center of religious learning, art and commerce. But all that remains now are the crumbling ramparts that once protected the city, a few remaining mud buildings and scattered sun-bleached bones.

Khara-Khoto, or “black city” in Mongolian, was founded in 1032 AD as the capital of the Western Xia Dynasty (1038–1227) and quickly became a center of trade prosperous.

The city was captured by Genghis Khan in 1226, but instead of leaving it in ruins as he often did with captured cities, Khara-Khoto actually flourished under Mongol rule. During the time of Kublai Khan, the city expanded to three times its original size and was even mentioned by Marco Polo in his travel book as Tangut of Etzina.

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