About Xi’an

Xi’an (Chinese: 西安; pinyin: Xī’ān) is the capital of Shaanxi province, located in the northwest of the People’s Republic of China, in the center of the Guanzhong Plain. One of the oldest cities in China, with more than 3,100 years of history, the city was known as Chang’an before the Ming dynasty. Xi’an is one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China, having held the position under several of the most important dynasties in Chinese history, including Zhou, Qin, Han, Sui, and Tang. Xi’an is the starting point of the Silk Road and home to the Terracotta Army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang.

Since the 1990s, as part of the economic revival of interior China especially for the central and northwest regions, the city of Xi’an has re-emerged as an important cultural, industrial and educational center of the central-northwest region, with facilities for research and development, national security and China’s space exploration program. Xi’an currently holds sub-provincial status, administering 9 districts and 4 counties. According to the 2010 Census, nine urbanized districts of Xi’an has a population of 6,501,189, while the total population of the Municipality is up to 8,467,837. It is the most populous city in Northwest China, as well as one of the three most populous cities in Western China. According to a July 2012 report by the Economist Intelligence Unit, it was recently named as one of the 13 emerging megacities, or megalopolises, in China. The report pinpoints and highlights the demographic and income trends that are shaping these cities’ development.

Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses

The Terracotta Army or the “Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses”, is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. It is a form of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210–209 BC and whose purpose was to protect the emperor in his afterlife, and to make sure that he had people to rule over.

The figures, dating from 3rd century BC, were discovered in 1974 by some local farmers in Lintong District, Xi’an, Shaanxi province.

The figures vary in height according to their roles, with the tallest being the generals. The figures include warriors, chariots and horses. Current estimates are that in the three pits containing the Terracotta Army there were over 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses, the majority of which are still buried in the pits near by Qin Shi Huang’s mausoleum. Other terracotta non-military figures were also found in other pits and they include officials, acrobats, strongmen and musicians.

Bell Tower of Xi’an

Bell TowerThe Bell Tower of Xi’an (Chinese: 西安钟楼), built in 1384 during the early Ming Dynasty, is a symbol of the city of Xi’an and one of the grandest of its kind in China. The Bell Tower also contains several large bronze-cast bells from the Tang Dynasty. The tower base is square and it covers an area of 1,377 square meters. The tower is a brick and timber structure and close to 40 meters high.

The fortifications of Xi’an

fortificationsThe fortifications of Xi’an (Chinese: 西安城墙), an ancient capital of China, represent one of the oldest and best preserved Chinese city walls. Construction of the first city wall of Chang’an began in 194 BCE and lasted for four years. That wall measured 25.7 kilometers (16.0 mi) in length, 12–16 meters (39–52 ft.) in thickness at the base. The area within the wall was c. 36 square kilometers (14 sqm). The existing wall was started by the Ming Dynasty in 1370. It encircles a much smaller city of 14 square kilometers (5.4 sqm). The wall measures 13.7 kilometers (8.5 mi) in circumference, 12 meters (39 ft.) in height, and 15–18 meters (49–59 ft.) in thickness at the base.

Big Wild Goose Pagoda

Giant Wild Goose PagodaGiant Wild Goose Pagoda or Big Wild Goose Pagoda (Chinese: 大雁塔; pinyin: Dàyàn Tǎ), is a Buddhist pagoda located in southern Xi’an, Shaanxi province, China. It was built in 652 during the Tang Dynasty and originally had five stories, although the structure was rebuilt in 704 during the reign of Empress Wu Zetian and its exterior brick facade was renovated during the Ming Dynasty. One of the pagoda’s many functions was to hold sutras and figurines of the Buddha that were brought to China from India by the Buddhist translator and traveler Xuanzang.

Huaqing Pool

Huaqing PoolThe Huaqing Pool is located in the Lintong District 30 km east to the urban area of Xian. With Mount Li to its south and the Wei River to its north, it boasts the natural hot springs. The favorable geographical condition and natural environment make it one of the cradles where ancient people settled and. It was also a favorite place for emperors to buildtheir palaces as a resort. Since ancient times, it has ever been a famous bathing and tourist destination.

Mount Hua

Mount HuaWith the Yellow River to the north and Qinling Mountain Range at the back to the south, Mount Hua (2,160 meters above the sea level),one of the five best-known mountains in China, stands in the south of Huayin City,120 kilometers east of Xi’an ,and commands the gateway from Central China to the Northwest. It is well known for its precipitousness and picturesque beauty, acclaimed as” the first steep mountain in the world.”

Mount Hua has been listed as one of the national AAAAA scenic spots, one of the 10 famous mountains in China, and awarded a golden medal” Top 50 Destinations in China for Foreigners” in 2006.Nowadays,Mount Hua has become a heat scenic spot for tourists all over the world.