Xi’an, the capital of Shanxi Province, is located in the heart of the Guanzhong Basin, with the Weihe River running in the north. It is the largest metropolis in northwestern China. Known as Chang’an in ancient China, Xi’an is a world-renowned ancient capital. For 1,062 years starting from the 11th century B.C., Xi’an was the capital of 13 dynasties including Western Zhou, Qin, Western Han, Eastern Han, Sui, and Tang. Thus Xi’an has a great number of precious relics and historical sites. The most well known among these is the Tomb of Emperor Qin Shihuang, with the terra-cotta Warriors and Horses. Xi’an is also at one end of the ancient Silk Road.
Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses: Known as the Eighth Wonder of the World, more than 7,000 life-sized terra-cotta warriors and horses have been unearthed near the Tomb of the tomb of Emperor Qin Shihuang.
Greater Wild Goose Pagoda: The Silk Road brought all sorts of strange and wonderful ideas to China in addition to the material trade. In 652 A.D., Xuan Zang returned from India, where he had spent 18 years studying Buddhism. The entire city celebrated his return. The crown prince Li Zhi had built the Temple of Great Mercy and Goodness in 648 A.D. in honor of his mother. The Big Wild Goose Pagoda was added to preserve the manuscripts of Buddhist texts that Xuan Zang had brought with him to translate into Chinese. Of note is the calligraphy set into the walls on both sides of the south door of the pagoda. It is one of the famous Buddhist pagodas in China, and also is the symbol of Xi’an.
Tomb of Emperor Qin Shihuang: Emperor Qin Shihuang was the first emperor to unite China. His tomb is the largest imperial tomb in China, began in 247 BC soon after Qin Shi Huang ascended to the throne and was still underway at his death 210 BC.
Xi’an City Wall: City Wall of Xi’an is an extension of the old Tang dynasty structure, as a result of the wall-building campaign ordered by Zhu Yuanzhang, the first emperor of Ming dynasty (from 1370 A.D.- 1375 A.D). It is the only well-preserved large-scale city wall surrounded by moats in China. While the architecture of the Ming is steadfastly angular, the curved rampart of Hun design adds grace to the overall effect. The walls are flat and straight, tempting one to a 15K jog.
Huangqing Pool: It has been a famous hot spring since ancient times. Unfortunately, it was damaged during the An Lushan Rebellion at the middle Tang. The present site was rebuilt on the site of the Qing dynasty structure.
Banpo Village Ruins: The ruins, 6,000 years old, are from a matriarchal commune of the Yellow River region.
Qianling Mausoleum: It is the burial ground of Emperor Gao Zong(also as known as Li Zhi) and Empress Wu of the Tang Dynasty.