Selena Travel

5 Facts About Karakorum, Mongolia’s Ancient Capital

Posted by Selena Travel / 04 20, 2024

Karakorum was the capital of the Mongolian Empire at its height. From this city, Chinggis Khan’s son Ogedei Khan ruled one of the largest empires the world has ever known. Today, you can visit this historic site and see where history was made.

  1. 1. It was the capital twice!

The first time it was the capital was during Ogedei Khan’s reign. He ordered the Tumen Amgalan Ord to be built. It means the Palace of Myriad Peace. The year was 1235, and before there were only gers. Ogedei instructed that walls and the fixed palace be built.

During the Yuan Dynasty, when Kublai Khan and his descendants ruled China as the Yuan dynasty. In the early 14th century, it was the home to prosperity. It declined soon after the end of the Yuan dynasty ended and Ming raiders destroyed the capital.

  1. 2. Home to Treasure

During the great empire’s time Karakorum was the place where the booty from Mongolian conquests was doled out. Ogedei and his successors collected the treasure there to distribute to the troops.

  1. 3. Silver Tree

The Mongolian empire was also quite good at finding useful people. During one of their raids, they captured a man named Guillaume Bouchier, a Parisian goldsmith. They soon put him to work at designing and building a large silver tree in the city’s center. The tree was made silver with golden serpents around the trunk, and even dispensed alcoholic refreshments for the emperor’s guests.

  1. 4. Re-built as a monastery

Long after the decline of the Mongolian empire, the remains were found. They were used to build the Erdene Zuu Monastery, which was one of the largest sites for monks in the country. Both Russian and German people have partnered with Mongolians to excavate what they can find of the ancient capital. They found brick and adobe buildings, buildings with floor heating systems, and remains of precious metal processing tools.

  1. 5. Great museum

Outside of the remains of the Erdene Zuu Monastery, there is a small museum that holds one of the coolest models. They reconstructed a scene from the ancient city of Karakorum. It’s large and detailed. The museum also holds a lot of other artifacts found at the site.

If you visit the modern city of Kharkhorin, you won’t be disappointed either. You can see the remains of Erdene Zuu Monastery and stay in the four-star hotel in the town, Ikh Khorum.

The restaurant there is one of the best in the whole province. If you want to visit the Ancient capital of Mongolia, join our classic Discover True Mongolia Tour or Gobi Desert tour 2020.

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