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Xian - the Ancient Capital

Xian is located in the central area of the Northwest of China, which is now the capital of Shaanxi Province of China. Xian is one of the most ancient capitals in the world since Xian was the national capital of 12 dynasties from Western Zhou (1046-771 BC) to Tang (618-907). In Han and Tang dynasties, Xian was called Changan.

What makes Xian standing out from other cities is because of its historical sites, rich cultural relics, and beautiful scenery sites. Xian is also the starting point of the famous Silk Road to the West.

Map of Xian

Here is a tourist map of Xian.

The Ancient City

The ancient city is located in the center of Xian, which is surrounded by the city wall. Inside the ancient city, there are mainly four attractions. The Great Islamic Mosque was built during the Song Dynasty (960-1279). The Bell Tower was built in the Ming Dynasty (1384). The Drum Tower was established in 1380. And the Provincial Museum has a rich collection of cultural relics, including the famous Forest of Tablet Stones, which has over 2,300 stone tablets from the Han, Wei, Sui, Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties. Those are truly the treasures of calligraphic art of the world.

Terracotta Warriors and Horses

The terracotta warriors and horses were found in 1974 on the east side of the tomb of the First Emperor Qin Shihuang. The tomb is like a pyramid. Here is a good introduction about the terracotta warriors and horses. The three terracotta pits were discovered in 1974. Here are more pictures, whole body, army 1, 2, 3, and a little closer look 1 and 2.

Goose Pagoda

There are a pair of ancient Goose Pagodas, built in the Tang Dynasty, the Large Wild Goose Pagoda (652) and the Small Wild Goose Pagoda (707-709). They are the masterpieces of Chinese architecture.

Ancient Tombs

There are other tombs from different dynasties other than the Qing tombs, such as Han and Tang's Tombs. Here is a picture of the Qianling Tomb, which is the joint mausoleum of Tang Emperor Gaozong and his consort Empress Wu Zetian.


There are many Buddhist and Taoism temples around Xian. Here is the famous Famen Temple.

Xuan Zang

Xuan Zang is a famous monk. He had spent 18 years studying Buddhism in India and returned to Xian in 1652. One of classic Chinese novels, The Journey to the West, is based on the quest of Xuan Zang. Want to read the novel, here is the link to The Journey to the West in both English and Chinese.


Chinese culture is closely associated with parks. The most well-known park in Xian is the Huaqing Pool Park, which has a history of over 3,000 years.

Banpo Culture

About 6,000 years ago, there were Neolithic people living in a small village, known as Banpo.


Huashan mountain is one of the four famous mountains in China. Here are a few pictures of Huashan.

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