China & Tibet / Terracotta Warriors
China
Terracotta Warriors
China & Tibet / The Ancient City Wall
China
The Ancient City Wall
China & Tibet / The Drum Tower
China
The Drum Tower
China & Tibet / The Bell Tower
China
The Bell Tower
China & Tibet / The Great Mosque
China
The Great Mosque
China & Tibet / The Wild Goose Pagoda
China
The Wild Goose Pagoda

Xian

China's northwestern city of Xi'an was one of the world's great ancient cities. Over 2,000 years ago it provided the silk that, thousands of miles away, clothed Caesar and sparked a fashion rage in Rome; by the seventh century A.D., it was securely linked to central Asia and Europe by the Silk Road and home to thousands of foreign traders. Xi'an served as the capital for eleven successive Chinese dynasties, and touring this once dynamic, thriving metropolis is like going back in time.

Visit Xi'an's most famous attraction: the tomb of China's first emperor, which houses a massive battalion of terracotta warriors. Only recently rediscovered, the underground army exists on a grand scale. Some 6,000 life-size pottery warriors are lined up in battle formations, some standing, some on horseback. Each is an independent work of art and has a distinct expression and pose; the combined effect of the suburb workmanship is stunning.

Visit also the Wild Goose pagoda. Built in the mid-7th century to store Buddhist scriptures, it is today one of the most famous Buddhist pagodas in China. In olden days, candidates who passed imperial examinations would climb the Wild Goose Pagoda and write poems and inscriptions at its top, a ritual to symbolize a soaring career; today the poems and inscriptions are still visible. You'll also visit the ancient City Wall, the most complete city wall to have survived through China's long history. Xi'an's wall is almost 10 miles long and stands 40 feet tall and 60 feet thick at its base. the massive structure formed a complex and well-organized system of defense and played a crucial role in the city's history.

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 Xian
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