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Posted on on June 5th, 2011
by Pincas Jawetz (

I went today to XANADU as per an email invitation that promised this is a Chinese restaurant – and so it was.

The place is frequented by Chinese people and the food is General Asian. It has a well stocked Teppanyaki self-choice buffet, soup, vegetables, fruit, and a good choice of deserts. It is beyond the Naschmarkt at the U4 stop at Kettenbruekengasse 13, 1060 Wien.

From there I took the subway to the Am Hoff Square to see those preparations for events next week that will be open to the public. It promises fun.

XANADU to me had magical-mystic connotations. After all the name had meanings with the Citizen Caine – his fictitious mansion, with Bill Gates – Xanadu 2.0, the nickname of his futuristic private estate, as well as Mandrake the Magician‘s fictitious home. XANADU is also  a mountain in the Arrigetch Peaks in Alaska and an enigmatic bright feature on the surface of Saturn’s moon Titan.

XANADU/XANGDU thus migrated to all sorts of places, to Spain, Brazil, and outer space but what I learned looking up the internet it actually originated from China – Xanadu, or more accurately Shangdu, was the summer capital of Kublai Khan’s Yuan empire – so, to my honest surprise – it really has Chinese connotations – a reference to the past and a guide to the future ?


From Wikipedia at :

Xanadu (Chinese??pinyinShàngd?) was the summer capital of Kublai Khan‘s Yuan Dynasty in China, before he decided to move the seat of his dynasty to the Jin Dynasty capital of Zh?ngd? (Chinese??), which he renamed Dàd?the present-day Beijing. The city was located in what is now called Inner Mongolia, 275 kilometres (171 miles) north of Beijing, about 28 kilometers (17 miles) northwest of the modern town of Duolun. The layout of the capital is roughly square shaped with sides of about 2,200m; it consists of an “Outer City”, and an “Inner City” in the southeast of the capital which has also roughly a square layout with sides about 1,400m, and the palace, where Kublai Khan stayed in summer. The palace has sides of roughly 550m, covering an area of around 40% the size of the Forbidden City in Beijing. The most visible modern-day remnants are the earthen walls though there is also a ground-level, circular brick platform in the centre of the inner enclosure.

The city, originally named K?ipíng (??), was designed by Chinese architect Liu Bingzhong and built from 1252 to 1256 during the Mongol invasion.[1] In 1264 it was renamed Shàngd?, the “Supreme Capital”.[2] At its zenith, over 100,000 people lived within its walls. In 1369 Shàngd? was occupied by the Ming army and put to the torch. The last reigning Khan, Toghun Temür, fled the city.

Today, only ruins remain, surrounded by a grassy mound that was once the city walls. Since 2002 a reconstruction effort has been undertaken.

In March 2008, China submitted a proposal to UNESCO to make the ruin a World Heritage Site under the title “Sites of the Yuan Dynasty Upper Capital (Xanadu) and Middle Capital”.[3]

  1. ^ Shangdu city uncovered
  2. ^ Frederick W. Mote, Imperial China 900-1800,Harvard University Press, 2003 p.457
  3. ^


Whatever the story – I thought that the fill of Chinese food this Sunday will do me good this coming week.

As we posted already –…

Whatever will be decided there – it is clear that China will be called to finance it. In this context we found funny the news that 31 Chinese weddings were performed to couples at the Ludwig Castle in Bavaria – a neat inflow of money from China to Germany.
This in context of 20 times 10 to the 12th in EU and US Government debt (20 trillion) EURO – you guess how much of this to China. Will the Vienna meeting try to co-opt the Central Asian former Soviet Republics to stand with their oil at the EU side? We think that the best the economists will find in Vienna this coming week will be the Am Hoff activities including the Burgenland Wines and Beers.
In regard to what the papers started to call the “VERGURKUNG” of Europe – this is what happens when the internal disagreements about everything – from basic ideology to money  – is bursting in the open because of a serious series of infections by a mutant of Escherichia Coli. The situation is serious indeed and the New York Times editorial of today (…) is witness, but the articles in European Press are ridiculous because rather then trying to find the reason for the outbreak, we see attempts at trading blames and in seeking advantage for this or the other agriculture interest. Spain was crucified, but who looks into genetic engineering that might occur right under your own nose at home? Are there any transgressions when switching to Bio-products?

After talking Greece out of the Union – will some local interests want preventively to talk out of the union also Spain and Italy who indeed might pose much higher financial strains on the Union when their turn comes to default? Oh well – we will opt for XANADU.

Even though Matteo Ricci and Bento de Góis had already proven that Cathay is simply another name for China, the English cartographer John Speed in 1626 continued the tradition of showing “Cathaya, the Chief Kingdome of Great Cam” to the northeast of China. On his map, he placed Xandu east of the “Cathayan metropolis” Cambalu

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