The oldest remains found in this area date back to the Neolithic Age, but the history of Urumqi City really begins in the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-9 AD), when troops were stationed here to safeguard the flourishing Silk Road and corn was grown to feed them. This remained the status quo for hundreds of years and though the settlement remained little more than a small oasis and trading post, its strategic positioning in the pass between the Tarim and Zhunggar basins ensured its survival.
In 1763, Xinjiang was formally incorporated into the Chinese Empire after a centuries-long struggle between China and various Mongolian warlords for control of the region. The city now known as Urumqi was renamed Dihua, and when formal trade routes were opened up with Russia over a century later, Dihua was named capital of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
In the first half of the 20th Century, the city was split into three distinct areas: the older Muslim community, a newer district of Chinese groups and an area housing a large Russian population, who fled to China in the wake of the Russian Revolution. Warlords still controlled much of Xinjiang until 1950, continuing to use the City of Dihua as the capital. After the establishment of Communist Party rule brought the Chinese Civil War to a close in the late 1940' s, Dihua had its name changed to Urumqi in 1954.
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From October 13, transport authorities in Urumqi will begin installing SOS emergency call systems at bus stops around the city.
For an extravagant weekend, or during a holiday, a visit to Kashgar is very doable from Urumqi. The city allegedly boasts the largest bazaar in Asia, and arguably the best food in the country originates here. So what are you waiting for?
On September 1, Urumqi Railway station will officially change its name to Urumqi South Railway Station, and will be printed on tickets as such.
The NW of China has been hit by some crazy weather recently, with sandstorms sweeping over Gansu province in the past few days. Now Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, is receiving its share of strange weather patterns with a freak snowfall on Wednesday.
On December 20 Richard Clayderman will be entertaining audiences at the People’s Hall of Xinjiang in Urumqi.
Urumqi may be a in a far-away and mysterious land to some, but that doesn’t mean that it hasn’t got its fair share of entertainment amenities; particularly cinemas. Here, we give a rundown of some of the best cinemas in Urumqi.
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