The Ancient City of Dunhuang Movie Set
Chinese name: 敦煌影视城 (Dunhuang Yingshicheng).
Location: about 25 km from downtown Dunhuang City, Gansu Province.
Opening time: 08:00-17:00.
How to get there: take a taxi from the downtown of Dunhuang City, about 15 minutes' drive.
Best time for visit: May-October.
Introduction to the Ancient City of Dunhuang Movie Set
Dunhuang Movie Set, also known as "imitated Shazhou Town of Song Dynasty (960-1279)" (仿宋沙洲城), is located between the Yellow River Stone Forest Scenic Spot and the ancient city of Yongtai (Turtle City). Covering an area of 12,700 square meters, the town is the first movie set in China steeped in native Dunhuang culture.
History of the Ancient City of Dunhuang Movie Set
The Ancient City of Dunhuang Movie Set was originally designed for the historical film "Dunhuang" which was filmed in cooperation with Japan in 1987. Based on the traditional architectural style of ancient cities in northwest China, the movie set was funded by Japan, reproducing the layout and construction on a part of the famous Chinese scroll painting "Qingming Shanghe Tu" (清明上河图, Riverside Scene at Qingming Festival).
Distributions of the Ancient City of Dunhuang Movie Set
Located by the vast Gobi Desert of northwest China, the Ancient City of Dunhuang Movie Set has become one of the major visiting spots in Dunhuang because of its special function. Just like many ancient cities in China, huge gates stood out on the east, west and south sides of the town. Entering through the gates, visitors will meet five major streets, that is, the streets of Gaochang (高昌), Dunhuang (敦煌), Ganzhou (甘州), Xingqing (兴庆) and Bianliang (汴梁), which crisscross each other in the town. Diverse constructions with distinct characteristics of the Song Dynasty are also scattered in the town, used as the properties and settings when shooting a film, e.g. temples, housing arcades, pawnshops, warehouses, restaurants, wine shops, taverns, silk stores.
Features of the Ancient City of Dunhuang Movie Set
Blending with a rich flavor of traditional customs of Western Regions of China, the movie set presents its majestic appearance and revives the ancient Dunhuang town, fully revealing the military importance of this strategic post of northwest China in the Tang (618-907) and Song (960-1279) dynasties. The complex here gives you an impression that the clock has turned backwards to ancient times. The movie set is also regarded as a museum of architectural art in West China.
Functions of the Ancient City of Dunhuang Movie Set
Dunhuang Movie Set is attracting a large number of tourists from both home and abroad, not only for its historical value for putting the vision of the ancient west China into perspective but also for its important role in movie-making industry.
Due to its unique features of shooting films with a military theme or stories happened in the northwest China, the movie set has attracted many filmmakers since its opening. Now the movie set has become the largest and the most important set for making films in northwest China. Apart from the movie "Dunhuang" made in 1987, more than twenty movies and television series have been produced here, such as "The Romance of Chinese Gods" (封神演义, a fairy tale in China), "The Prince of Shazhou" (沙洲王子), "Dragon Inn"(or "New Dragon Gate Inn", 新龙门客栈), "Castles in the air"(海市蜃楼), etc. Visitors will fell familiar with the scenes they have ever watched in Chinese movies when strolling around the town. As the first movie sett inheriting Dunhuang culture, any movie or TV drama themed on Dunhuang can be filmed here for free.
Other Attractions of the Ancient City of Dunhaung Movie Set
Some other scenic spots, like the Ancient Street of Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) Dynasties, Fulong Store, Guyi Shop and Yichun Garden, are also worthy to visit. The replica of Mogao Grotto, which was built by 1:1 ratio with the original, is the most beautiful place. About 108 caves were distributed among three layers. In order to highlight the distinguishing feature of Western Regions, the movie set is also dotted with red willows and oleaster trees.
Top attractions in Dunhuang
- Mogao Grottoes
- Mingsha Shan & Yueya Quan (Singing Sand Mountains & Crescent Moon Spring)
- Yumen Pass
- The Han Dynasty Extends of The Great Wall
- The White Horse Pagoda
- The Western Thousand-Buddha Cave
- Yadan National Geologic Park in Dunhuang
- The Ancient City of Dunhuang Movie Set
- Dunhuang Museum
- Yangguan Pass
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