Xian, China: A Hidden Treasure
A Swirl Of Historic Treasures Await You In Xi’an
Historically known as the city of Chang’an, Xi’an is an ancient capital that has served as a refuge to some of the most important dynasties in the history of China, including Tang, Sui, Han, Qin and Zhou dynasties. An epicenter of Chinese civilization, Xi’an was a flourishing city of soldiers, merchants, monks, poets, courtesans and emperors. Furthermore, it was a place where a lot of the world’s great religions harmoniously coexisted and the Chinese culture reached a zenith of sophistication and creativity.
As the fabled end and beginning of the legendary Silk Road, the city was a whirl of lute music, color, and desert dust, in which camel caravans take a load off goods from Eurasian nations, and packed up China’s aspects that have influenced the world.
But, like other great ancient cities, Chang’an’s glory came to an end. Today, not much of the city’s former grandeur is visible within its confines, with the constant political changes and warfare that plagued China throughout the 20th century. As a matter of fact, the city now features a mesmerizing cosmopolitan flair. Still, it has an amazing collection of historic sites and attractions that would give its visitors a sneak peek of Chang’an’s rich and colorful history.
For most history buffs, the visual highlight of their trip to Xi’an is the Terracotta Army. Not only is the Terracotta Army a premier tourist site in Xi’an, but is also one of the world’s greatest and most popular archaeological finds. A 16, 300 square meter excavation, this historic site reveals over 7,000 life-size Terracotta statues of horses and warriors arranged in battle formations. A funerary art entombed with Emperor Qin Shi Huang, these figures were designed to protect their fearless leader in his afterlife. Indeed, no trip to China is complete without a visit to this iconic archaeological site.
Xi’an City Wall
Known as the largest city wall in the world, the Xi’an City Wall is truly a mesmerizing you cannot afford to miss in Xi’an. Built during the Ming Dynasty in 1370, this lofty historic site is one of the few remaining and standing city walls in all of China. What’s more, the wall still looks strong and sturdy, as it has been restored on numerous occasions. Aside from the breathtaking and towering walls, the site is also surrounded with parks where locals can do a variety of things, such as Tai Chi, exercise as well as play music, mahjong and cards.
Shaanxi Historic Museum
Learn more about the city’s intriguing past by making a stop at the Shaanxi Historic Museum. As a guest in this museum, you will get to lay eyes on wide collection of fascinating artifacts and exhibits that span throughout the province’s history, from the Neolithic period to the Qing Dynasty. Often dubbed as one of the best museums in China, this charming history museum has a plethora of awe-inspiring and eye-catching exhibits, such as the preserved pottery the Banpo village and Shang Dynasty bronzes. In addition, it showcases high-definition films about the city’s history in its exhibition walls.
One of the biggest mosques in the country, Xian’s Great Mosque is a remarkable blend of Islamic and Chinese architecture. Founded in the 8th century, the Great Mosque is also the first ever mosque built in the entire country. Besides its fascinating architecture, the site also has lush and tranquil gardens coupled with archways, pagodas and beautiful rocks.