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Notes on the Geography of China: Kashgar: Photo 5

world pictures China: Kashgar

Kashgar was once walled, but only short lengths of it remain, in this case hemmed in by socialist-style housing blocks whose residents probably see the wall more as a hazard than heritage. Catherine Macartney, who arrived in 1898 as the wife of the British agent and stayed for 17 years, wrote of "thick crenellated walls, in which are four massive iron gates, which are shut in sunset, and opened at daybreak, to the blowing of horns and firing of guns. And both cities are surrounded by moats, which look imposing, though I don't believe they are ever filled. Probably if they were, the water would melt the foundations of the wall, which seem to be simply of mud or of unbaked brick." (An English Lady in Chinese Turkestan, 1931 [1985 reprint], pp. 63-4.)

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