Top 10 Attractions in Xian
Tour with Top China Travel, you will not miss any top attraction as well as special spot in Xian. This ancient capital of China is focus on its cultural connotation andhistoric meanings which are contained in it. Qin Terracotta Army, a marvelous site that shocks the world till now, is a main part in Xian tourism. Ancient City Wall, a landmark implies the historic role in China, has mixed the modern factors of Xian. Shaanxi History Museum, a platform to show the past Xian, tells visitors the grand scene of Xian. No matter which type of attractions you are interested, you can spend a leisure time by losing yourself in this charming city. The following attractions are introduced for your reference.
1.Great Wild Goose Pagoda
The Big Wild Goose Pagoda (Dayan Ta),is a Buddhistpagoda built in 652 AD during the Tang Dynasty and originally had five stories.The original construction of rammed earth with a stone exterior facade eventually collapsed five decades later but was rebuilt by Empress Wu Zetian in 704AD who added five more stories. A massive earthquake in 1556 heavily damaged the pagoda and reduced it by three stories to its current height of seven stories One of the pagoda’s many functions was to hold sutras and figurines of the Buddha that were brought to China from Indiaby Xuanzang, a famous Chinese Buddhist monk, scholar, traveler, and translator.Xuanzang is a prominent Buddhist figure mostly known for his seventeen year overland trip to India and back, which is recorded in detail in his autobiography and a biography, and which provided the inspiration for the epic novel “Journey to the West”.
The pagoda is built on the premises of the Temple of Great Maternal Grace (Da Ci’en), originally built in 589 AD and then rebuilt 647 AD by the Tang Emperor Gaozong in memory of his mother EmpressWende. Before the gates of the temple stands a statue of Xuanzang.
famous wall construction in China’s history after the middle ages as well as the most preserved ancient one in China.
Small Wild Goose Pagoda The Small Wild Goose Pagoda, sometimes Little Wild Goose Pagoda (Chinese: 小雁塔; pinyin: Xiǎoyàn Tǎ), is one of two significant pagodas in the city of Xi’an, China, the site of the old Han and Tang capital Chang’an. The other notable pagoda is the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, originally built in 652 and restored in 704. The Small Wild Goose Pagoda was built between 707–709, during the Tang Dynasty under Emperor Zhongzong of Tang (r 705–710). The pagoda stood 45 m (147 ft) until the 1556 Shaanxi earthquake. The earthquake shook the pagoda and damaged it so that it now stands at a height of 43 m (141 ft) with fifteen levels of tiers. The pagoda has a brick frame built around a hollow interior, and its square base and shape reflect the building style of other pagodas from the era. During the Tang Dynasty, the Small Wild Goose Pagoda stood across a street from its mother temple, the Dajianfu Temple. Pilgrims brought sacred Buddhist writings to the temple and pagoda from India, as the temple was one of the main centers in Chang’an for translating Buddhist texts. The temple was older than the pagoda, since it was founded in 684, exactly 100 days after the death of Emperor Gaozong of Tang (r. 649–683). Emperor Zhongzong had donated his residence to the building of a new temple here, maintaining the temple for 200 monks in honor of his deceased father Gaozong. The temple was originally called the Daxianfusi or Great Monastery of Offered Blessings by Zhongzong, until it was renamed Dajianfusi by Empress Wu Zetian in 690.
3.The Tomb of Emperor Qinshihuang
Emperor Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum and the Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses Museum. Emperor Qin Shihuang (259-210B.C.) had Ying as his surname and Zheng as his given name. He name to the throne of the Qin at age 13, and took the helm of the state at age of 22. By 221 B.C., he had annexed the six rival principalities of Qi, Chu, Yan, Han, Zhao and Wei, and established the first feudal empire in China’s history.
In the year 221 B.C., when he unified the whole country, Ying Zheng styled himself emperor. He named himself Shihuang Di, the first emperor in the hope that his later
generations be the second, the third even the one hundredth and thousandth emperors in proper order to carry on the hereditary system. Since then, the supreme feudal rulers of China’s dynasties had continued to call themselves Huang Di, the emperor.
After he had annexed the other six states, Emperor Qin Shihuang abolished the enfeoffment system and adopted the prefecture and county system. He standardized legal codes, written language, track, currencies, weights and measures. To protect against harassment by the Hun aristocrats. Emperor Qin Shihuang ordered the Great Wall be built. All these measures played an active role in eliminating the cause of the state of separation and division and strengthening the unification of the whole country as well as promotion the development of economy and culture. They had a great and deep influence upon China’s 2,000 year old feudal society.
Emperor Qin Shihuang ordered the books of various schools burned except those of the Qin dynasty’s history and culture, divination and medicines in an attempt to push his feudal autocracy in the ideological field. As a result, China’s ancient classics had been devastated and destroy. Moreover, he once ordered 460 scholars be buried alive. Those events were later called in history “the burning of books and the burying of Confucian scholars.”
Emperor Qin Shihuang, for his own pleasure, conscribed several hundred thousand convicts and went in for large-scale construction and had over seven hundred palaces built in the Guanzhong Plain. These palaces stretched several hundred li and he sought pleasure from one palace to the other. Often nobody knew where he ranging treasures inside the tomb, were enclosed alive.
Emperor Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum has not yet been excavated. What looks like inside could only be known when it is opened. However, the three pits of the terra-cotta warrior excavated outside the east gate of the outer enclosure of the necropolis can make one imagine how magnificent and luxurious the structure of Emperor Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum was.
No.1 Pit was stumbled upon in March 1974 when villagers of Xiyang Village of Yanzhai township, Lintong County, sank a well 1.5km east of the mausoleum. In 1976, No.2 and 3 Pits were found 20m north of No.1 Pit respectively after the drilling survey. The terra-cotta warriors and horses are arrayed according to the Qin dynasty battle formation, symbolizing the troops keeping vigil beside the mausoleum. This discovery aroused much interest both at home and abroad. In 1975, a museum, housing the site of No.1 and covering an area of 16,300 square meters was built with the permission of the State Council. The museum was formally opened to public on Oct.1, the National Day, 1979. No.1 Pit is 230 meters long from east to west, 62m wide from north to south and 5m deep, covering a total area of 14,260 square meters. It is an earth-and-wood structure in the shape of a tunnel. There are five sloping entrances on the eastern and western sides of the pit respectively. The pit is divided into eleven corridors by ten earthen partition walls, and the floors are paved with bricks. Thick rafters were placed onto the walls (but now one can only see their remains), which were covered with mats and then fine soil and earth. The battle formation of the Qin dynasty, facing east. In the east end are arrayed three lines of terra-cotta warriors, 70 pieces in each, totaling 210 pieces. They are supposed to be the van of the formation. Immediately behind them are 38 columns of infantrymen alternating with war chariots in the corridors, each being 180m long. They are probably the main body of the formation. There is one line of warriors in the left, right and west ends respectively, facing outwards. They are probably the flanks and the rear. There are altogether 27 trial trench, it is assumed that more than 6,000 clay warriors and horses could be unearthed from No.1 Pit.
No.2 Pit sis about half the size of No.1 Pit, covering about 6,000 square meters Trail diggings show this is a composite formation of infantry, cavalry and chariot soldiers, from which roughly over 1,000 clay warriors, and 500 chariots and saddled horses could be unearthed. The 2,000-year-old wooden chariots are already rotten. But their shafts, cross yokes, and wheels, etc. left clear impressions on the earth bed. The copper parts of the chariots still remain. Each chariot is pulled by four horses which are one and half meters high and two metres long. According to textual research, these clay horses were sculptures after the breed in the area of Hexi Corridor. The horses for the cavalrymen were already saddled, but with no stirrups.
No.3 Pit covers an area of 520m2 with only four horses, one chariot and 68 warriors, supposed to be the command post of the battle formation. Now, No.2 and 3 Pits have been refilled, but visitors can see some clay figures and weapons displayed in the exhibition halls in the museum that had been unearthed from these two pits. The floors of both No.1 and 2 Pits were covered with a layer of silt of 15 to 20cm thick. In these pits, one can see traces of burnt beams everywhere, some relics which were mostly broken. Analysis shows that the pits were burned down by Xiang Yu, leader of a peasant army. All of the clay warriors in the three pits held real weapons in their hands and face east, showing Emperor Qin Shihuang’s strong determination of wiping out the six states and unifying the whole country.
The height of the terra-cotta warriors varies from 1.78m, the shortest, to 1.97m, the tallest. They look healthy and strong and have different facial expressions. Probably they were sculpted by craftsmen according to real soldiers of the Qin dynasty. They organically combined the skills of round engraving, bas-relief and linear engraving, and utilized the six traditional folk crafts of sculpturing, such as hand-moulding, sticking, cutting, painting and so on. The clay models were then put in kilns, baked and colour-painted. As the terra-cotta figures have been burnt and have gone through the natural process of decay, we can’t see their original gorgeous colours. However, most of the terra-cotta figures bear the trace of the original colours, and few of them are still as bright as new. They are found to be painted by mineral dyestuffs of vermilion, bright red, pink dark green, powder green, purple, blue, orange, black and white colours.
Thousands of real weapons were unearthed from these terra-cotta army pits, including broad knives, swords, spears, dagger-axes, halberds, bows, crossbows and arrowheads. These weapons were exquisitely made. Some of themes are still very sharp; analyses show that they are made of alloys of copper and tin, containing more than ten kinds of other metals. Since their surfaces were treated with chromium, they are as bright as new, though buried underground for more than 2,000 years. This indicates that Qin dynasty’s metallurgical technology and weapon-manufacturing technique already reached quite a high level.
In December 1980, two teams of large painted bronze chariots and horses were unearthed 20 metres west of the mound of Emperor Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum. These single shaft four-horse chariots each comprises 3,462 spare parts, and has a body with two compartments, one behind the other, and an elliptical umbrella like canopy. The four horses harnessed to the chariot are 65-67 centimeters tall. The restored bronze chariots and horses are exact imitations of true chariot, horse and driver in half life-size.The chariots and horses are decorated with coloured drawings against white background. They have been fitted with more than 1,500 pieces of gold and silvers and decorations, looking luxurious, splendid and graceful. Probably they were meant for the use of Emperor Qin Shihuang’s soul to go on inspection. The bronze chariots and horses were made by lost wax casting, which shows a high level of technology. For instance, the tortoise-shell-like canopy is about 4mm thick, and the window is only 1mm thick on which are many small holes for ventilation. According to a preliminary study, the technology of manufacturing the bronze chariots and horses has involved casting, welding, reveting, inlaying embedding and chiseling. The excavation of the bronze chariots and horses provides extremely valuable material and data for the textual research of the metallurgical technique, the mechanism of the chariot and technological modeling of the Qin dynasty.
No.2 bronze chariot and horses now on display were found broken into 1,555 pieces when excavated. After two-and-half years’ careful and painstaking restoration by
archaeologists and various specialists, they were formally exhibited in the museum on October 1, 1983. No.1 bronze chariot hand horses are on display from 1988.
4. The Drum Tower
The Drum Tower was built in 1380 during the early Ming Dynasty, and got its name from the hugedrum located within the building. In contrast to the Bell Tower ,where bell
was stricken at dawn, drum was beat at sunset to indicate the end ofthe day. There are twenty-four drums in the northand south sides of the Drum Tower . These drums
standfor the Twenty-four Solar Terms, a form of weather calendar created by theChinese in order to guide the agricultural production.
5. The Bell Tower
Centrally located on the “Four Main Roads” junction is the Bell Tower, of Xi’an. The original City Bell Tower was constructed in 1582 and situated in the west, but on its
reconstruction in 1739, the tower was relocated to its present site. A Ming dynasty bell weighing approximately 14.76 tons hangs in the tower, but no longer chimes to inform residents of the time of day. Visitors have the chance to inspect up-close a number of smaller bells. Although the site itself is more of a landmark than an attraction, it is frequently enlivened with local performances. Visitors interested in local music should visit the site in the morning and early afternoon. Originally, the towerhad a number of entrances, but today, it only has one accessible entrance located on Bei Dajie close to the Admission Ticket Office.
The Xi’an Circumvallation site is located at the center of xi’an city with the form of a rectangular. The circumvallation, with its wall height of 12 meters, bottom width
of 18 meters and top width of 15 meters, consists of 4 city gates: changle gate to the east, anding gate to the west, yongling gate to the south and anyuan gate to the
north. Its east wall has the length of 2590 meters, west wall of 2631.2 meters, south wall of 3441.6 meters and north wall of 3241 meters. It was constructed on the basis of the tang imperial city and under the strategic consideration of defense. The thickness of the wall is larger than its height and is very solid that cars can run on it. The
existing circumvallation was built during 1373-1378 with the history of more than 600 years. It is one of the most famous wall construction in China’s history after the middle ages as well as the most preserved ancient one in China.
7.The Huaqing Pond
Huaqing Hot Springs, also known as Huaqing Palace, is a well-known historic site and an AAAAA tourist attraction of China. It gets its fame for being the place where the romantic story of Emperor Tangxuanzong of Tang Dynasty (618-907) and his beloved Yang Guifei (or Concubine Yang) took place. As a matter of fact, the site had been as an imperial palace for emperors’ short stays away from the capital for more than 3000 years. Emperors of Zhou, Qin, Han, Sui and Tang dynasties spent the winter at this place every year. Emperor Zhouyouwang of Western Zhou Dynasty (1046BC-771BC) is said to be the first emperor who ordered to build a palace at the site. In the following dynasties, the palace was repaired and expanded for several times, given the name of “Hot Spring Palace” and finally denominated “Huaqqing Palace” by Emperor Tangxuanzong. The palace was constructed above hot springs, hence the site is also called “Huaqing Hot Springs”.
8. The Famen Temple
Famen Temple, renowned for storing the veritable Finger Bone of the Sakyamuni Buddha, is located in Fufeng County of Shaanxi Province.
Famen Temple was established in the Eastern Han Dynasty (25–220) for spreading Buddhism. The most representative structures in the temple are the Famen Temple Pagoda and Famen Temple Museum. Many royal treasures and jewelry were found here. But why? Famen Temple was the royal temple during the Sui Dynasty (581-618) and Tang Dynasty. Emperors in Sui and Tang believed that enshrining and worshiping the bone of Sakyamuni would bring richness and peace to the land and its people. So an offering of treasure to the finger bone was made, which was housed in the Underground Palace.
9.The Huanghe Hukou Waterfall
The Hukou waterfall on the Huanghe River west of Jixian County, Shanxi, is formed when the river flows to the Hukou Mountains on the Shanxi-Shaanxi border and its 250- meter-wide bed, sandwiched between the canyons on its banks, abruptly narrows into a trough 50 meters wide and 30 meters deep and falls down into a big stone-strewn pool.
The section of the river here is like the mouth of a water-flash. Hence the name of the waterfall, which means “ Flask Mouth waterfall”. The waterfall has a descent of 15
-20 meters in the low-water season, but it is scarcely noticeable as a waterfall in the high –water season when the waters burst into rapid torrents. The section is rich in
hydroelectric power potential.
10. Lotus palace of Tang Dynasty
Tang Paradise lies in the Qujiang New District, Xi’An City, Shannxi Province, with 66.7 hectares building areas and 20 hectares of lake areas inside. The garden is the
biggest culture theme part in Northwest China, with 1.3 billion RMB investments. The Tang Paradise, which was rebuilt at the north of archaeological site of Lotus Palace of Tang Dynasty, is the first large scale royal garden culture theme garden which fully exhibits the living styles and features of Glorious age of Tang Dynasty. In this project, we created a unique night view of “Splendid and magnificent, Glorious age of Tang Dynasty”, by fully controlling the combination of “Lighting” and “Shadow”.