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    (circa 1259-1369)
    Chinese name is Shangdu
    Summer capital of Mongolian emperor Kublai Khan
    Square shaped with an outer city, an inner city and a palace
    Population peaked at 100 000
    Invaded and burned by Chinese army (1369)
    Under restoration since 2002 and officially opened to tourists on July 15, 2011
    Many assume it is an imaginary place.
    It has become a byword for exotic luxury.
    Many tacky hotels, resorts and nightclubs are named after it.
    Kublai Khan hunted game on its grounds with his pet leopard.
    Little remains of it save grass-covered mounds and crumbling ruins.
    The Mongols used Chinese and Arabian advisors to assist in its design.
    Its location was picked to protect it from invaders and floods.
    Marco Polo wrote that its paintings were ‘executed with such exquisite art that you regard them with delight and astonishment.’
    It inspired a film starring Olivia Newton-John, a song by Rush and a poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
    A reflective, icy part of Saturn's moon Titan is named ‘Xanadu.’

Credit: Georgina

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