Historically, Yili was
a very impotant pass that led to the central asia countries.To
safeguard the administration of the Yili Huiyuan city,Qianlong
established Yili general office here and built the Huiyuna ancient
city.Within the city still remains the ruins of the General office.It
is one of the historical ancient city of Xinjiang.I t has ever
been the political and military,ecomonic,cultural center,It has
undergone vicissitude for years and swayed in the wind and water.But
today if you enter into the city you can still feel the elegant
The Ancient City of Huiyuan
Lying thirty kilometers west of the city of Vining, the city of Huiyuan
was the seat of the IIi General's Office-the highest military and political
organ set up by the central government of the Qing Dynasty in Xinjiang.
After suppressing the Junggar rebellion and recovering the terri-tory
of Xinjiang, the Qinq government established an IIi General's Office
in 1762 to protect the frontiers and take charge of the military and
political affairs of the entire Xinjiang area east and south of Lake
Balkash. It ordered the city of Huiyuan to be built the following year
as the seat of the administration, and from that time on Huiyuan became
the political and military center of Xinjiang until a hundred years
later in 1884 when the province of Xinjiang was founded with its capital
at Dihua (present-day Urumqi). Standing on the north bank of the IIi
River, the strategi-cally-placed city of Huiyuan was encircled by a
wall 4.7 meters high and 5,580 meters long. Being an area where the
climate is temper-ate and rainfall plentiful, the local people enjoyed
good harvests and a happy life, and as the city became a political and
military center, it grew into a prosperous town. Ancient literature
as a place "full of shops displaying a hundred
kinds of goods." The IIi General's Office was a tranquil mansion
equaling the fine gardens in southern China. Today, the relics of stone
lions, pavilions and terraces call to mind its once-magnificent splendor.
Besides the city of Huiyuan, the Qing government built eight satellite
towns on both banks of the IIi River. Together with Huiyuan, they were
known as the "nine cities of IIi" in the Qing Dynasty. In
1871 Tsarist Russia sent a strong army to invade iii , and these frontier
towns were ravaged by Russian troops who destroyed the city of Huiyuan.
Later the Qing government built a new city north of the ruins of the
old city, constructing it according to the layout and scale of the former
city. At the center of new Huiyuan stands a magnificent bell-arid-drum
tower, a three-story building built in traditional Chinese style with
curving eaves, a pavilion-like roof, painted pillars and carved beams.
Recently repaired by the local Cultural Relics Management Department,
the tower is a symbol of national heroism against foreign invasion.
From the top , the visitor gets a bird's-eye view of the natural beauty
of the iii River valley below.