Guyaju Caves

Useful Information

Location: 90 min drive from Bejing, northwest of Bejing, Zhangshanying Town, Yanqing County.
Open: All year daily.
Fee: Adults CNY 40.
Classification: SubterraneaCave House
Light: n/a
Guided tours: self guided, D=2 h.
Address: Guyaju Caves, Tel: +86-, Fax: +86-,
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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Guyaju Caves, China. Public Domain.

The Guyaju Caves are a series of 147 man-made caves cut into the soft rock of a cliff face. Actually there are three different layers of rock which were suitable for the creation of caves. The upper level offers great views of the flatland below, but only the lowest level of caves is open for exploration.

The caves were inhabited more than 1,000 years ago by the so-called Xi People. At some point about 1,000 years ago the caves were abandoned and the inhabitants vanished. The whole history of the caves remains enigmatic, there is no sufficient archaeological evidence to explain what happened.

The caves are more or less of square shape, but somewhat irregular, looking more like modern art than a city. Probably this was a result of changing hardness of the rock, or simply lack of sufficient tools. Some caves contain ovens or fire places, others troughs which suggests the use as stables. One of the caves is called Chieftain's Palace, because it is of bigger size having eight rooms and a fancier entry with columns. Obviously this is just a name, and no archaeologist can tell what this cave was really used for.