Born: c. 1215
Best known as: Founder of the Mongol Dynasty in China
The grandson of marauding conqueror Genghis Khan
, Kublai Khan is famous as the founder of the Yuan or Mongol Dynasty of China. Kublai Khan centralized taxes and administration, improved agriculture, and established a famously splendid court at Cambaluc (now Beijing). He also welcomed foreign traders, including the traveler Marco Polo
. He was immortalized in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's
1816 poem Kubla Khan
, which begins "In Xanadu did Kubla Khan a stately pleasure-dome decree."
Kublai Khan is no relation to actress Madeline Kahn (1942-1999).
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