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Xi'an
Xi'an
The City of Xi'an, otherwise Chang'an (ever - lasting peace) in ancient times and situated in the middle of the Guanzhong Plain, is the capital of Shananxi Province.
Xi'an is a noted city and was one of the oldest cities. Beginning in 1126 B. C., the Western Zhou, the Qin, the Western Han, the Sui and the Tang, altogether 12 dynasties, set up their capitals in Xi'an for more than 1000 years. So, there are many cultural relics and historic sites both on and under the ground.
The Dayan Tower
The Dayan Tower (The Big Wild Goose Pagoda) has been used for the safekeeping of the scriptures and Buddha's statues brought back by Monk Xuanzang of the Tang Dynastyfrom India. It was built in the Great Ci'en Monastery of the Tang Dynasty in 652 A. D., composed of 7 store 64 meters in height. It is of high architectural art. Above the stone doors at the bottom of the tower, there remain the exquisite line - etched pictures from the Tang Dynasty. One can spiral up the tower and look around the whole view of city. It is the symbol of Xi'an.
The Bell Tower
The Bell Tower stands in the center of the city of Xi'an and was built in 1582. It is 1377.64 square meters in area and 36 meters in height. Its base in a square shape is built of gray bricks and the tower is in the architectural form of timber structure with triple water drips (i.e. triple eaves) and a pavilion roof. It is covered with dark green glazed tiles, applied with gold size and painted in dark green, looking splendid in green and gold. It is called the bell tower because an iron bell is hung in the tower to give the correct time.
The City Gates and City Walls of Xi'an
The preserved city walls of Xi'an were built in 1374 A.D. on the basis of the city of Changan in the TangDynasty. They are 11.9 kilometers in girth with the top widths of 12 to 14 meters. They are one of China's most historically - known city wall buildings remaining from the later stage of the Middle Ages. They are built of gray bricks and kept intact. The gate tower built over each of the four city gates and painted in dark green, which look lofty and magnificent and from a tight defence engineering system.
The Huaqing Pools
The Huaing Pools (The Huangqing Hot Springs of "Nine Dragons Hot Springs") are a famous scenic hot spring spot of Xi'an with a history of more than 3000 years and were used by ancient emperors as their imperial villa and excursion center. King Youwang of the Zhou Dynasty built the Lishan Palace here. Emperor Shihuang of the Qin Dynasty built a house and a pool of stone and named them the "Goddess Hot Springs". Emperor Wendi of the Sui Dynasty expanded the facilities. Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty transformed the hot spring wells into pools which were enclosed in the palace rooms, so they are known as the Huaqing Palace or the Huaqing Pools where Emperor Xuanzong and his concubine Yang amused themselves. From then on, "the Nine Dragons Hot Springs", "the Chengxiang Hall", etc, have been additionally built. In the Xi'an Incident in December.1936, patriotic generals Zhang Xueliang and Yang Hucheng arrested Chiang Kai - shek hore.
The Pavilion of Steles in the Forest of Steles
This is the location of the cream of ancient steles in Xi'an and the treasure - house of the Chinese calligraphic art. It was founded in Yuanyou 5th year (1090) of the Northern Song Dynasty. It now has a collection of more than 2300 steles through the dynasties of the Han, Wei, Jin, Sui, Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing. Among others, on display here are the famous "Cao Wuan Stele" of the Han Dynasty, "Sima Fang Stele" of the Jin Dynasty, "Shi Tai Xiao Classics Steles" of the Tang Dynasty, "Kaicheng Stone Classics Steles" of the Tang Dynasty and the "Stele of Nestorianist Popularity in China" of the Tang Dynasty and other most famous steles inscribed by great calligraphers of the Tang Dynasty including Ouyang Xun, Chun Sui Liang. Yan Zhen Qing, Liu Gong Quan and so on.
Qin Shihuang's Cemetery
Qin Shihuang (259 - 210 B.C.) founded the first unified centralized feudal dynasty in China in 221 B.C. After his death, he was buried at the northern foot of Lishan Mountain at Lintong District, 35 kilometers away from the city of Xi'an. This is a tomb hill built by ramming the earth and up to now there remains an earth tomb 47 meters in height with the bottom of 485 × 515 meters. The cemetery is divided into the inner and outer cities with the inner one 2525.4 meters in girth and the outer one 6294 meters in girth. There is a great abundance of exotic treasures in the ground palace of the inner city.
Qin Terra - Cotta Soldier and Horse Figures
Another indication of the probable magnitude and grandeur of the not - yet - excavated mausoleum is the vaults containing an army of guards for the first emperor which have been discovered 1500 meters to the east of the tomb. Commune members digging an irrigation well made the first discovery by chance in 1974 of what is now called Vault No. 1, a huge underground chamber containing six thousand terracotta soldiers and their horses and chariots, as grand as Qin Shi Huang's actual conquering army. This is the most important revelation in recent Chinese archaeology, both for its vast scale and for the realistic detail and aesthetic achievement of the buried sculptures.
Qianling Tomb
Emperor Taizong's son Li Zhi, who became the third emperor of the Tang Dynasty and reigned from 650 until 683, was known as Emperor Gaozong. Upon his death his ruthless wife intrigued to depose the next two rightful heirs to the throne and established herself as Empress Wu Zetian (reigned 691 - 705). Emperor Gaozong and Empress Wu Zetian were buried together at the Qianling Tomb.
Famen Temple

Located in Fufen County, somewhere 118 km from Xi'an, Shaanxi Fanmen Temple was originally built in 300 A. D. in the Eastern Han Dynasty.
It is said Emperor Ah Yu of Tian Zhu (Hindu) for explaining and propagating the doctrine of Buddhism, buried the cremated ashes of Buddha in 84000 pagodas to different places all over world.
Since there was the finger bones Sarira under the pagoda, Fanmen Temple was well known all over the world and worshipped by numerous pilgrims through the ages. It became an "Imperial Famen Temple" for imperial kin's men and feudal nobles. Emperors and Empresses worshipped Buddha here. It is recorded that all emperors of the Tang Dynasty except Wu Zong believed in Buddha. At piping times of peace, the door of the pagoda was opened every 30 years and the Buddha's bone was taken to the palace for Consecration, Empresses and ministers vied with each other in making donations.

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