Halbmondsee- Crescent Lake

Crescent Lake, Dunhuang 2018

Yueya Quan, or Crescent Lake, is a crescent-shaped lake in an oasis located 6 km south of Dunhuang City in the Gansu Province of China, surrounded by high dunes. It has its name since the Qing Dynasty. It is adjacent to the up to 300 meters high so-called ‘resonant’ or ‘echoing’ sand dunes of the Mingsha Mountain of the Kumtag Desert, which is part of the Taklamakan Desert. Like an oasis, it was an important destination for travelers on the Silk Road.

A historically proven phenomenon is that the lake has not been silted up despite adjacent desert and sandstorms for over 2000 years. Verified explanations for this phenomenon are pending. The lake is almost 100 meters long from south to north. The largest width is 25 meters and the largest depth is 5 meters. During the Tang Dynasty, on the lakeside, there was a large complex of halls and towers, many of which were destroyed in later periods. At present, several Tang-style architectures form a harmonious picture with the lake.


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