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Khar Balgas Interview with Henrick Rholand

Khar Balgas

Year: 2016

Khar Balgas or Ordu-Baliq « the city of the army » is located in the grassy plain of Talal-khain-dala steppe, in the Arkhangai province, at around 30km away from the ancient capital Kharkhorin. Also known under the names of Mubalik and Karabalghasun, was the capital of Uyghur Khaganate. For over a century, Ordu-Baliq was the capital of Uyghur Khaganate. Its ruins, Kharbalgas « the black city », are now part of the world heritage site: Orkhon Valley cultural landscape.

In 744 Ordu Baliq was established as capital, but collapsed in 840 with the conquest of the turcs Yenisey Kyrgyzes. Therefore with a wingspan of 32km2, the former capital was split into three parts, a central part devoted to the royal residence, as well as the religious area with their numerous temples. This mini-citadel Ordu Baliq not only played a major role as commandery, but also as a commercial warehouse, due to its location on the Silk Road. According to archaeological findings, parts of the city were devoted to crafts and trade exchanges. Today we can still observe on the site the remains of the fortifications and some administrative and merchants buildings. The German archaeologist Henrick Rholand explains the story of this magnificent citadel. H. Rholand works for the German Archeological Institute and he collaborates on a joint project with the Mongolian Academy of Sciences and the Mongolian State University.