Huiyuan Old Town – Sleeping With Rich History

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The Huiyuan Old Town is situated in Huocheng County under the Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture in Xinjiang of China. This town is situated close to the River Ili. It is almost thirty kilometres far from western part of Yining, a chief city in Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture. It is eight kilometres far from the southern part of Shuiding which is the seat of the county. The population in the Huiyuan as per census reports of 2002 was just 20,564. From the year 1762 to 1866, Huiyuan City was centre of authority of China in Xinjiang. At present it is situated in area near modern town of Huiyuan.

Historical facts:

During the twenty second year of period of Qianlong in Qing Dynasty, that is, in 1757, Qing government suppressed Junggar revolt and made it under administration of the central government again. To maintain the stability as well as integrity of city border during twenty seventh year of Qianlong period in 1762, central government of Qing Dynasty set the designation of the Yili General officially to manage area in administration levels as well as military. The region covered a huge land in southern and eastern parts of Lake Balkhash. During the year 1763, General commanded to construct the Huiyuan city. It was then made the ruling residence of General. From that moment onwards, Huiyuan ancient town was made military cum political centre in entire Xinjiang province of China. The circumstances never changed till tenth year of the Guangxu period. During 1884, the province of Xinjiang was completely set. The capital was changed to Dihua, which is currently known by the name Urumqi.

A city developed in the banks of River Yili:

The city of Huiyuan was constructed in the northern bank of River Yili. The wall of city measures 4.67 meters in terms of height. The city has a circumference that amounts to five thousand five hundred and eighty meters. The scope of Huiyuan city was then much extensive and was very simple to protect. The climate of Huiyuan ancient town was mild specifically in the Yili Valley with lot of materials and abundant rainfall. The added benefit of this city was that it is the military as well as political centre of Xinjiang. These factors made the old city a very prosperous location gradually.

Czar of Russia invasion:

During the times of Huiyuan ancient city, as per the records of Chinese history, it states that there were plenty of shops in the city. The piles of goods and crowded markets with customers and vendors reflected the glorious period of Huiyuan. The general residence at Yili was very magnificent. It appeared just as popular garden located in South China. As time passed a lot, now there have been lot many changes in the residence. The remains of pavilions, broken stone lions and more still remind visitors on the huge prosperity of Huiyuan Ancient Town. When Huiyuan was constructed, Qing government built 8 other satellite cities. Czar Russia started invading Yili and this led to damage of cities. Thus Huiyuan Old Town got destroyed in war. The Qing government constructed another Huiyuan Town in northern side of Huiyuan Old Town with same layout as the old one.

Travel tips

Bus services are available to Huiyuan Old Town. The opening hours starts from 9 am to 7 pm. Never miss to visit the popular Bell Drum Mounted Building! 

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