Home»Other»Xi'an City Wall and Terra Cotta Warriors
July 15-16 we traveled to Xi'an by plane and returned by overnight train. There were six of us: Nelson, Trish and Joslyn Andrews, Barb, Trent and Jason. Where is Jim? Well, Jim's company had to turn in his passport for a residency application required for his time of working here. The passport did not arrive back by Friday in time for the travel so he had to stay in Beijing. :(
History and facts about the defensive wall and moat built around the city of Xi'an: When Zhu Yuanzhang, the first Emperor of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), captured Huizhou, a hermit named Zhu Sheng admonished him that he should 'built high walls, store abundant food supplies and take time to be an Emperor,' so that he could fortify the city and unify the other states. After the establishment of the Ming dynasty, Zhu Yuanzhang followed his advice and began to enlarge the wall built initially during the old Tang dynasty (618 -907), creating the modern Xian City Wall. It's the most complete city wall that has survived in China, as well being one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world.
Located in the center of Xi'an City, the Xi'an City Wall (西安城墙) measures 12 meters high, 18 meters wide at the base and 15 meters wide at the top. It is 13.7 kilometers long and the length of the east, west, south and north walls are, respectively, 2590 m, 2631.2 m, 3441.6 m and 3241 m. It has four gates; Changle Gate in the east, Anding Gate in the west, Yongning Gate in the south and Anyuan Gate in the north.
The existing wall was built between 1374 and 1378, making it over 600 years old. It is the oldest and most well preserved city wall in all of China.
The Terracotta Army or the "Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses", is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. It is a form of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210–209 BC and whose purpose was to protect the emperor in his afterlife, and to make sure that he had people to rule over. The figures vary in height according to their roles, with the tallest being the generals. The figures include warriors, chariots and horses. Current estimates are that in the three pits containing the Terracotta Army there were over 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses, the majority of which are still buried in the pits near by Qin Shi Huang's mausoleum.[ The figures, dating from 3rd century BC, were discovered in 1974 by some local farmers in Lintong District,Xi'an, Shaanxi province. (We had our photo made with one of the farmers!!)