Feb 21, 2018

A Wealth of History - Xi'an

 

Ancient China has left behind numerous relics of its past splendour… everything from monuments to whole cities. One example of such a city is Xi’an. One of the Four Great Ancient Capitals, Xi’an is one of the oldest cities in China. It lies today in what is known as the Guanzhong Plain region of North-Western China, and holds incomparable charms and allures that are quite unique from that which you will find anywhere else in the world. Some of the unmissable things to see and experience while in Xi’an are:

 

 

Terracotta Warriors

 

Considered one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of the 20th century, the Terracotta Warriors comprise a

UNESCO World Heritage Site. The discovery includes 8,000 terracotta warriors, horses, and around 10,000 bronze weapons.

These were constructed around 246-206 BC, as part of the funeral procession of the first Emperor of the Qin Dynasty, Qin Shi Huang.

A group of farmers accidentally discovered these Terracotta Warriors after they had laid underground for more than 2,000 years. Excavations continue, with new warriors being found as recently as 2012!

These figurines were built by moulding, firing and then assembling. They represented the Emperor’s Army, and no two warriors – of the 8,000 strong horde – share the same features. Distinct facial features, hairstyles and body structure were given to each warrior. Three main sites or vaults exist close to each other where these warriors were found, which were named Vault 1, Vault 2 and Vault 3.

 

 

City Wall of Xi’an

 

The City Wall which surrounds the old town of Xi’an is one of the oldest surviving military defensive systems in the world. The wall stretches about 13.74 kilometres in length, 15 metres in width, and is 12 metres tall. The city wall was initially built in the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) and was enlarged during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD).

Four watchtowers are present, one on each point of the compass. The southern watchtower, also known as the

Southern Gate, was used as the main entrance during ancient times to welcome important guests.

Today, the wall is open to the public and can be used to walk or ride bicycles upon. People can rent bicycles and get spectacular views of the city. On one side of the wall lies the ancient city and grandeur of what once was, while on the other side sparkles a modern city studded with high rise buildings.

 

 

 

Muslim Quarters

 

Many historians believe that Xi’an is the starting point of the famous Silk Road. This ancient trade route connected China with the Middle East and Europe.

The Muslim Quarter portrays a fabulous mix of cultures, with shops selling everything from Arabian clothes to food. The area is home to the local Muslim Hui people, a Muslim ethnic group in China. The Muslim quarters are home to ten mosques, including The Great Mosque. The Great Mosque is one of the oldest, largest and most well-preserved Islamic mosques in China.

The most noticeable distinction of this mosque when compared to any other mosque is that the architecture and structure of this mosque are completely Chinese except for some Arabic calligraphy that adorns the walls of the mosque.

 

 

Big Goose Pagoda

 

The Daci’en Temple is an old temple in the middle of the fast-growing and modern city of Xi’an. The temple is home to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. Both the temple and the pagoda were originally built during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). The temple stretches to 64 metres in height, has seven storeys and provides panoramic views of the city.

A 110,000-square-metre plaza is present at the foot of the pagoda, which is mostly used for the entertainment of the public. Musical fountain performances are held twice a day at the plaza.

The temple is regularly visited by the city’s Buddhist population and tourists alike. It is a good place to learn about Chinese Buddhist Culture.

 

Shaanxi Museum

 

Take a dip into the heart of art and culture of Xi’an with the Shaanxi History Museum. It is a huge museum which educates the visitor about Chinese art and culture, especially in the times of the Tang Dynasty. The handsome building boasts of around 370,000 cultural relics, dating from as far back as the Stone Age to as recent as 1840 AD.

Everything from old artefacts to Emperors’ tombs to relics from the historical Silk Road can be found inside the museum. It also houses some of the Terracotta Warriors.

 

The ancient city packs many stories from the chapters of Chinese and World History. It awaits travellers and those seeking the new experience of the ancient. Visit Xi’an. Unfold its pages. Read a tale of centuries, of lives and empires, packed into the streets of a city.

 

Mozaic and Lightfoot Travel are offering a trip to Xi’an on Mar.29-Apr. 1, 2018. Please click below button for more details.

More Details

 

 

#Mozaic #LightFootTravel #Travel #Xian #TerracottaWarriors

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