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XI'AN

Xi'an is the capital of Shaanxi Province, China. A sub-provincial city on the Guanzhong Plain in northwestern China, it is one of the oldest cities in China, and the oldest of the Four Great Ancient Capitals, having held the position under several of the most important dynasties in Chinese history, including Western Zhou, Qin, Western Han, Sui, and Tang. Xi'an is the starting point of the Silk Road and home to the Terracotta Army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. 

Since the 1990s, as part of the economic revival of inland China especially for the central and northwest regions, the city of Xi'an has re-emerged as an important cultural, industrial and educational centre of the central-northwest region, with facilities for research and development, national security and space exploration. Xi'an currently holds sub-provincial status, administering 9 districts and 4 counties.  As of 2018 Xi'an has a population of 12,005,600, and the Xi'an-Xianyang metropolitan area a population of 12.9 million. It is the most populous city in Northwest China, as well as one of the three most populous cities in Western China, the other two are Chongqing and Chengdu.  In 2012, it was named as one of the 13 emerging megacities, or megalopolises, in China.

Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor

The Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor (Qin Shi Huang) is located in Lintong District, Xi'an, Shaanxi province of China. This mausoleum was constructed over 38 years, from 246 to 208 BC, and is situated underneath a 76-meter-tall tomb mound shaped like a truncated pyramid. The layout of the mausoleum is modeled on the Qin capital Xianyang, divided into inner and outer cities. The circumference of the inner city is 2.5 km (1.55 miles) and the outer is 6.3 km (3.9 miles). The tomb is located in the southwest of the inner city and faces east. The main tomb chamber housing the coffin and burial artifacts is the core of the architectural complex of the mausoleum.

Xi'an City Wall

The fortifications of Xi'an, also known as Xi'an City Wall, in Xi'an, an ancient capital of China, represent one of the oldest, largest and best preserved Chinese city walls. It was built under the rule of the Hongwu Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang as a military defense system. It exhibits the "complete features of the rampart architecture of feudal society". It has been refurbished many times since it was built in the 14th century, thrice at intervals of about 200 years in the later half of the 1500s and 1700s, and in recent years in 1983. The wall encloses an area of about 14 square kilometres (5.4 sq mi). 

The Xi'an City Wall is on the tentative list of UNESCO's World Heritage Site under the title "City Walls of the Ming and Qing Dynasties". Since 2008, it is also on the list of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage of the People's Republic of China. Since March 1961, the Xi'an City Wall is a heritage National Historical and Cultural Unit.

Drum Tower of Xi'an

The Drum Tower of Xi'an, located in the heart of Xi'an in Shaanxi province of China, along with the Bell Tower is a symbol of the city. Erected in 1380 during the early Ming Dynasty, it stands towering above the city center and offers incredible view of Xi'an.

On the Drum Tower's first floor, lies a hall which hangs many large drums. Each was decorated with intrinsic and beautiful Chinese writing, which symbolizes good fortune.

Bell Tower of Xi'an

The Bell Tower of Xi'an, built in 1384 during the early Ming Dynasty, is a symbol of the city of Xi'an and one of the grandest of its kind in China. The Bell Tower also contains several large bronze-cast bells from the Tang Dynasty. The tower base is square and it covers an area of 1,377 m2 (14,820 sq ft). The tower is a brick and timber structure and close to 40 m (130 ft) high. It is located in the center of Xi'an, at the intersection of the four streets of the east, west, south and north. It is the largest and most preserved one among the many bell towers left over from ancient China.

Giant Wild Goose Pagoda

Giant Wild Goose Pagoda or Big Wild Goose Pagoda, is a Buddhist pagoda located in southern Xi'an, Shaanxi province, China. It was built in 652 during the Tang dynasty and originally had five stories. The structure was rebuilt in 704 during the reign of Empress Wu Zetian, and its exterior brick facade was renovated during the Ming dynasty. One of the pagoda's many functions was to hold sutras and figurines of the Buddha that were brought to China from India by the Buddhist translator and traveler Xuanzang. Today, the interior walls of the pagoda feature engraved statues of Buddha by the renowned artist Yan Liben.

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