Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland (New Series)

Original Communications

Art. XV.—Notes on the old Mongolian Capital of Shangtu.

S. W. Bushella1

a1 Physician to H.B.M. Legation, Peking

On February 9th, 1874, I read a paper before the Royal Geographical Society entitled, “Notes of a Journey outside the Great Wall of China,” made by the Hon. T. G. Grosvenor and myself in the autumn of 1872, including an account of a visit to the ruins of the city of Shangtu, the ancient northern capital of the Yuan Dynasty, described in such glowing terms by Marco Polo, who was there in the reign of its founder, the famous Kublai Khan. They are situate on the northern bank of the Lan-ho—the Shangtu River—about twenty-five miles to the north-west of Dolonnor, the populous city founded by the Emperor Kang-hi, as a trading mart between the Chinese and the Mongolian tribes. These ruins were identified by the existence of a marble memorial tablet, with an inscription of the reign of Kublai, in an ancient form of the Chinese character. A more detailed account of the history of the city so frequently referred to by mediaeval travellers, derived from Chinese and other sources, has been drawn up; and a plan of the ruins, with a facsimile and translation of the inscription, added, in the hope that it may prove of some interest to the Members of your Society.