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Clay Pottery on the Bluff

It is a magical place, with the people therein breathing the same air but maintaining two different cultures, separated by a two-hour time difference between this region and mainland China.

It used to be the primary transportation hub of the Silk Road thousands of years ago, connecting the far East and Europe. The Uyghur community we are talking about at this moment was built on a cliff and once accomodated nearly six hundred families at its height.

The high cliff has a history of more than two millenniums. A thousand years ago, some Uyghur forefathers established homestead here. A few decades later in the mid-ninth century AD during the Kashra Khan Dynasty, the royal palace was built on the north side of this high cliff.

Historically, the north and south slopes of the cliff were connected as a whole, which was later struck by floods and separated. Since then, the north cliff becomes the site of the present-day Karahan palace in the old city, and the south cliff has become what we currently see as the residence on the bluff.

Over a thousand years, some unusual residential buildings have gradually been developed on the ridge, which was referred to as “clay pottery family on the bluff” in the Uygur language.

吾尔民族聚居区。该区建在悬崖上,曾共有近六百户人家。高崖有两千多年的历史一千多年前有维吾尔先民在此建房安家。相传东汉名将班超、耿恭曾在此留下足迹。公元九世纪中期喀什拉汗王朝时,就把王宫建在这个高崖的北面。历史上,高崖的北坡与南坡连为一体,后来被洪水冲断,南北分隔。北崖即今老城喀喇汗王朝王宫所在地,南崖就是现在的高台民居。 阔孜其亚贝希––维吾尔语意为“高崖土陶人家”,经过千年历史的发展,高崖上形成了奇特的民居建筑。现如今,南崖已成为商业区,形成了商品街,里面还有很多学校,热闹非凡。而现在的北坡,已经荒掉了没有人居住,在半山腰只有一个可以进入的地点还留着曾经住人的痕迹。(也曾是《追风筝的人》电影取景地)

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