Wednesday 30 December 2009
ABC Wednesday X is for Xanadu
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
Extract from 'Kubla Khan' written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) and published in 1816
Xanadu, previously known as Kai Ping, was the summer capital of the Yuan Dynasty. The Mongolian Yuan Dynasty was founded in 1271 by Kublai Khan, grandson of Gengis Khan. It ruled China from 1279 to 1368. Emperor Kublai Khan made Dadu, present-day Beijing, the capital of his empire, but the summer heat and humidity of the city persuaded him to establish an alternative capital closer to the cooler plains of his native Mongolia.
Xanadu first came to the notice of the Western world after Marco Polo visited the city in 1275. It was portrayed by him and later by Coleridge as exotic, mysterious and filled with riches.
Thank you to Denise Nesbitt for her hard work in organising and hosting this meme.
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