Hecang City, also known as Dafangpan City, was originally built in the Western Han Dynasty. It is located in the Gobi Desert, 60 kilometers northwest of Dunhuang and 15 kilometers west of Yumen Pass.
Hecang City is located on the concave beside the Shule River Ancient Road. There is a large lake at a distance of 50 meters to the west and deep swamp to the east. The late water is very clean, looking like a mirror. Full of reeds, red willows and licorice grow along the bank. The Hecang City was built on a platform 3 meters above the beach. Due to its location near the Shule River, it is called as Hecang City. In the north and south, there is large Gobi higher than the castles, which makes Hecang City extremely hidden. It is difficult to find this city in a far distance. Hence, the ancient people chose this place to build a quartermaster warehouse for troops. There used to be several beacon towers in Gobi Desert guarding the city, where soldiers watched vigilantly.
Hecang City is shaped rectangular. The length is about 132 meters from east to west and the width reaches 17 meters from north to south. The highest point of the ruins is 6.7 meters high. There are two walls in the north-south direction of the city, which separate the city into three equal-size warehouses. Each warehouse has a south door. Most of the walls of the warehouse have collapsed, only the north wall is complete relatively. There are small triangular holes on the wall, three on the top and five on the bottom. It might be used for ventilation or facilities for wind power. There were double fence walls outside but only preserved few ruins of broken walls.
History of the Hecang City
Hecang City was an important military depot on the Silk Road Tour. The troops from Yangguan Pass and Yumen Pass during the Han Dynasty and the Wei and Jin Dynasties (104 BC to 420 AD) received their supplies from here.
According to historic records, the generals and soldiers who guard the Yumen Pass, Yangguan Pass and the Great Wall all receive food, clothing, and forage supplies from this warehouse to ensure that they have strong combat effectiveness. Hecang City is an ancient and rare military preserved warehouse in the ancient northwest defense border of China.