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Title: Zhangye  
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Subject: China National Highway 227, Zhangye Ganzhou Airport, Duan Ye, Lü Guang, Mongol conquest of Western Xia
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Prefecture-level city
Near Aviko french fry factory in Liuba Town, Minle County, Zhangye
Near Aviko french fry factory in Liuba Town, Minle County, Zhangye
Location of Zhangye City jurisdiction in Gansu
Location of Zhangye City jurisdiction in Gansu
Country People's Republic of China
Province Gansu
 • Total 42,000 km2 (16,000 sq mi)
Population (2010)[1]
 • Total 1,199,515
Time zone China Standard (UTC+8)
Postal code 734000
Website .cn.govzhangye

Zhangye (simplified Chinese: 张掖; traditional Chinese: 張掖; pinyin: Zhāngyè) 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.


The Dafo Temple contains the largest reclining wooden Buddha in China, and is the reputed birthplace of Kublai Khan.

Zhangye 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 国臂,以通西域 (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).[2]

Geography and climate

Zhangye 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 42,000 km2 (16,000 sq mi) and is blessed with numerous streams, abundant sunlight and fertile soil, making it an important agricultural centre for Gansu and all of China.

The Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park, covering an area of 510 square kilometres (200 sq mi), is located in Linze and Sunan counties of Zhangye, 30 kilometres (19 mi) west of the city center.[3] Known for its colorful rock formations, it has been voted by Chinese media outlets as one of the most beautiful landforms in China.[3]

Climate data for Zhangye (1971−2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 0.1
Average low °C (°F) −16.2
Precipitation mm (inches) 1.4
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 2.4 1.8 2.8 3.0 4.4 7.4 9.4 8.3 5.4 2.5 1.8 2.4 51.6
Source: Weather China


Zhangye has 1 urban district, 4 counties, 1 autonomous county, 97 towns, and 977 villages.

# Name Hanzi Hanyu Pinyin Population
Area (km²) Density
1 Ganzhou District 甘州区 Gānzhōu Qū 507,433 4,240 120
2 Minle County 民乐县 Mínlè Xiàn 219,356 3,687 59
3 Linze County 临泽县 Línzé Xiàn 134,328 2,777 48
4 Gaotai County 高台县 Gāotái Xiàn 143,446 4,312 33
5 Shandan County 山丹县 Shāndān Xiàn 161,299 5,402 30
6 Sunan Yugur Autonomous County 肃南裕固族自治县 Sùnán Yùgùzú
33,653 20,456 2


Zhangye has a total population of 1,199,515, only 260,000 being urban residents. There are 26 ethnic minorities other than Han represented including many Hui, Yugur and Tibetans.


Zhangye is served by G30 Expressway, 227 and 312.

Zhangye Railway Station is on the Lanzhou–Xinjiang Railway, located to the north east of the city. A high speed railway station is being constructed on the south west side of the city and will be called Zhangye South Railway Station on the Lanzhou–Ürümqi High-Speed Railway.

Zhangye Ganzhou Airport, a combined civilian-military airport, opened in October 2011 with flights to Lanzhou and Xi'an.


The 2002 GDP was 7.566 billion RMB, almost 9% growth over the previous year. Annual urban income was 5960 RMB,10.4% growth from the previous year and rural income was 3092 RMB, up 5%.


Parc Ferme at Zhangye International Rally 2011 in front of the Wooden Pagoda

Zhangye has hosted a round of the Chinese Rally Championship (CRC) since 2011. Held on specially constructed roads across the deserts north and to the south of the city. The event attracts over 100 entries regularly, including international foreign drivers. A stadium for side-by-side super special stages has also been constructed.


  1. ^ Main data bulletin of the sixth national census in 2010, 2011-05-09(Chinese)
  2. ^ The Travels of Marco Polo, by Marco Polo , translated by Henry Yule. Book 1, Chapter 45.
  3. ^ a b 张掖丹霞国家地质公园 [Zhangye Danxia National Geological Park] (in Chinese). Gansu Provincial Government. 2013-06-17. Retrieved 12 September 2014. 

External links

  • Official Website(Chinese)

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