Xi’an, the historical city, was called Chang’an in ancient times and is now the capital of Shaanxi province. Xi’an has a long history. During Xian’s 3,100 years of development, 13 dynasties such as Zhou, Qin, Han and Tang, held it as their capitals and became the oriental cultural centre of the Silk Road.
The cultural and historical significance of the area, as well as the abundant relics and sites, help Xi’an enjoy the laudatory title of “Natural History Museum”. The Museum of Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses is praised as “the eighth major miracle of the world”, Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang is listed on the World Heritage List, and the City Wall of the Ming Dynasty(1368-1644) is the largest and most intact Ming Dynasty castle in the world. The Forest of Stone Steles holds 3,000 stone steles of different periods from the Han Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty. Around Xian, the Famen Temple enjoys the reputation of being the “forefather of pagodas and temples in Central Sahanxi”, because it holds the finger bones of Sakyamuni—the founder of Buddism. The natural landscape around Xian is also marvelous Mt.Huashan, one of the five best-known mountains in China, is famous for its breath-taking cliffs and its unique characteristics.
5 Must-Do Things
|The Terracotta Warriors: forbidding sentinels of a death-defying Emperor.
In 221 B.C., Emperor Qin Shi Huang of the Qin dynasty established the first centralized feudal dynasty in China. After his death, he was buried at the north foot of Lishan Hill in the east of Lintong county. The tomb is a rammed-soil mound, 47m. high and its base is 485m.× 515m. In 1974, three large pits of terra-cotta figures were found 1.5 km. east of the mausoleum. Among the three, the largest one is pit No.1, covering 14,260 sq.m. The pit is divided into eleven corridors in which arrayed 38 columns of life-sized clay warriors, horses and chariots
The Xi’an City Wall is the best preserved, oldest and largest ancient city defense system in China. The original foundation of the Xi’an City Wall was based on the ruins of the Imperial City Wall of Chang’an City–the capital of the Tang Dynasty. Around the City Wall, there are jutting ramparts, sentry towers, corner towers, gate towers, battlements and a series of city defensive fortifications which were scientifically and compactly laid out with very strong defence capability.
|Shanxi History Museum
Shaanxi was the ancient imperial capital of China, having been the seat of more than 13 feudal dynasties, including the Zhou, Qin, Han, and Tang dynasties. The province is rich in cultural relics. With the completion of the Shaanxi History Museum, it collected over 370,000 precious relics which were unearthed in Shaanxi Province, including bronze wares, pottery figures, and mural paintings in Tang tombs. Since it was opened to the public in 1991, its architectural buildings, internal apparatus, and exhibits have made it famous as a first-class museum in China. The main part of the museum is composed of three sections: the General Exhibition Hall, the Local Themes Exhibition Hall and the Temporary Exhibition Hall. If you are interested in Chinese culture, there is the option of seeing a tomb murals exhibition for an extra charge.
|Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show
The Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show, a wonderful performance of ancient music and dance, is a must when you visit Xian. The city, which was formerly known as Chang’an has a very long history and was the imperial capital during 13 dynastic periods. Of these, the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907) was the most prosperous and glorious of all. The Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show is an outstanding exponent of this ancient stable and prosperous society, keeping alive its splendid culture and providing an insight into the peaceful lifestyle of the period.
|Dayan Pagoda Northern Square
The pagoda was originally situated within the premises of the Temple of Motherly Kindness in the Jinchang Block in the Chang’an city of the Tang Dynasty. The Pagoda itself was built in 652 (third year of Yonghui of the Tang Emperor Gaozong). A square pyramid of blue brick, it is 64 meters high, with seven stories. It is simple in shape, and of good and lofty proportion. Preserved on the four stone doors in the base of the pagoda are exquisite engravings of the Tang.
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Events in Xi’an
The lantern festival is one of the most important festivals which have originated in the Western Han Dynasty which is supposed to bring loads of good luck. This festival, as the name suggests, is about hanging lanterns and is usually celebrated on the 15th of the first month of the lunar calendar.
The Spring festival or the Lunar New Year is perhaps the biggest traditional festival that the Chinese celebrate and this festival is celebrated by the ethnic Chinese community all over the world. According to some estimates, the festival has been celebrated for some four thousand years.
It can be said without much difficulty that the spring festival binds the whole country of China together though it consists of a lot of different races and an enormous territory.
Chinese Huashan International Rock Climbing Competition
Xian City Wall International Marathon
Things to Do in Xi’an
Hanyangling(Tomb of Emperor Jingdi), Qujiangchi site Park, Forest of Stone Steles Museum, Huashan Moutain, Shuyuanmen (Ancient Culture Street), Shadows play, Muslim Quarter, Local Snack
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