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Monday, February 6, 2012

The Legend Of Xanadu

To the one
who is victorious,
I will give the right
to eat from the tree of life,
which is in the paradise of God.
~ Revelation 2

Xanadu (Mongolian: šanadu), or Shangdu (Chinese: ; pinyin: Shàngdū) was the summer capital of Kublai Khan's Yuan Dynasty in China, before he decided to move the seat of his dynasty to the Jin Dynasty capital of Zhōngdū (Chinese: ), which he renamed Dàdū, the present-day Beijing. Xanadu was described by the Venetian traveler Marco Polo, and in 1797 inspired a famous poem, Kubla Khan, by one of the leading English poets of the Romanticism movement, Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Xanadu was located in what is now called Inner Mongolia, 275 kilometres (171 mi) north of Beijing, about 28 kilometres (17 mi) northwest of the modern town of Duolun. The layout of the capital is roughly square shaped with sides of about 2,200m; it consists of an "Outer City", and an "Inner City" in the southeast of the capital which has also roughly a square layout with sides about 1,400m, and the palace, where Kublai Khan stayed in summer. The palace has sides of roughly 550m, covering an area of around 40% the size of the Forbidden City in Beijing. The most visible modern-day remnants are the earthen walls though there is also a ground-level, circular brick platform in the centre of the inner enclosure.


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