Xanadu, though not a form of natural therapy,
represents an ideal. To us, the ideal of natural health and a happy
Welcome to Xanadu
at Natural Earth
is not just an Olivia Newton John movie. Xanadu is a mythical place
from the poem "Kubla Khan" written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
He envisioned a place with a stately pleasure-dome, where the sacred
river Alph ran through endless caverns. Walls and towers were surrounded
by bright gardens and incense laden trees. Paradise.
Zanadu, or Shangdu was the summer capital of Kublai Khan's Mongol
Empire, which covered much of Asia. It is in Inner Mongolia northwest
of Duolun and northeast of Lanqui/Zhenglan Banner/Dund Hot: Latitude
42 21'35.55"N, Longitude 116 10'45.56"E. The capital consisted
of the square-shaped "Outer City", "Inner City",
and the palace, where Kublai Khan stayed in summer. The palace is
believed to have been half the size of Forbidden City in Beijing
(China). The most visible modern-day remnants are the earthen walls
("So twice five miles of fertile ground/ With walls and towers
were girdled round:..."), though there is also a (ground-level)
circular brick platform in the centre of the inner enclosure. Few
aspects of the poetic description are to be found: Artistic licence
The Mongolian Khans made very few changes to their country, imbibing
much of the Confucianist and Taoist philosophies, and remodelling
their government on the native dynasties they had defeated. However,
they opened up the empire to westerners, allowing travellers like
Venetian explorer Marco Polo in 1275 to report the wonders of the
Eastern capital to their fellow Europeans.
The reported splendour of Xanadu later inspired Samuel Taylor Coleridge
to write his great poem Kubla Khan and caused Xanadu to become a
metaphor for opulence. Xanadu is remembered today largely thanks
to this poem, which contains the following often-quoted lines:
In Xanadu did Kublai Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round:
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