Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses Museum
Opening Hours: 08:30-17:30
Admission Tickets: RMB 90
Arguably one of Chinas most famous and popular tourist sites, the Terracotta warriors (bingma yong) are among the top archaeological excavations of the 20th Century. The warriorshave made Xian the big tourist destination that it is today and the wealth in this city owes much to their discovery.
This incredible collection of 6,000 men and their horses was actually discovered completely byaccident by a group of peasants in 1974 who were digging a well! In a bizarre twist, the manwho supposedly discovered them now sits in a hall at the site signing postcards of the stone army.
The warriors are over 2000 years old and were originally constructed to protect the tomb of theEmperor Qin Shi Huang. The Warriors are now housed in a huge airplane hangar and despitetheir fame and the throngs of tourists visiting the site, they are still incredibly impressive. Theselife size warriors stand on guard as if preparing for battle. Historians believe that thesemagnificent men were originally painted.
The paint has now worn and the original bronze age weapons (including swords, arrows andlances) that many of the soldiers carried only a few years ago, are now locked up away frompublic eyes. Although there are 6000 of the statues remaining, there were actually many morewhen the tomb was first built.
It is the scale of this collection that is perhaps the most impressive aspect of the site. TheEmperor must have been an incredibly influential and impressive man to deserve this greatprotection even when he was dead! The faces of the warriors are said to be modeled on the artists who sculpted them and on the actual Imperial guards at the time.聽
Further discoveries were made in 1976 when another 1000 warriors and various othersculptures were dug up. Archaeologists also believe that there is possibly a larger and more impressive army still buried beneath the Emperors tomb.
Big Wild Goose Pagoda
Opening hours: 08:00-17:00
Admission Tickets: RMB 25
Situated in the Da Ci鈥檈n Temple, about four kilometers from the urban center, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda is one of the famous Buddhist pagodas in China.
The Big Wild Goose Pagoda was sponsored and named by the famous master Xuan Zang(Monk Tripitaka) in 652 A.D.. Xuan Zang was both a great translator and traveler of TangDynasty. At the age of 28 in 627 A.D., he went alone ot India to study Buddhist Scriptures, 17 years later he returned to Chang鈥檃n with 657 volumes of Buddhist Scriptures, He received aceremony of unprecedented grandeur for him when he moved into the temple to translate the Buddhist Scripture. In 652 A.D. Xuan Zang made a proposal to the court for a pagoda to storethe scriptures and statues he had brought back from India. Then the world famous Big Wild Goose Pagoda was finished in 652 A.D.
The storied pagoda was an architectural marvel. It was built with layers bricks but without any cement in between, it is a good example of ancient people鈥檚 wisdom and talent. Thismagnificent pagoda is a square pyramid and stands at 60 meters high and seven storeys tall.
There are fantastic views from the top of the pagoda of the grid- like streets below and it seems hard to believe today that the area around here was once countryside and fields! It is tradition to throw coins from the windows of the pagoda in the hope that this will bring goodluck.
Openning hours: 08:00-21:00
Admission Tichets: RMB 10
Tel: North Gate 029-87271081, South Gate 029-87271696
The Xian City Wall is not only the most complete city wall that has survived in China, but its also one of the largest and most complete ancient military systems of defense in the world.The city walls here were actually built on the fortifications of the Tang Forbidden City.
Located in the central area of Xi鈥檃n city, the Xi鈥檃n City Wall which built in Ming Dynasty stands 12 meters high. It is 12- 14 meters across the top, 15-18 meters thick at bottom and 13.7 kilometers in length. It is divided into several important parts such an the rampart, the gatetower, the suspend bridge, the watch tower, the moat and so on. The Ming Dynasty City Wallformed a complex and well-organized system of defense. The city wall itself is a true display ofthe ability and wisdom of the working people in ancient times. It provides invaluable and substantial material for the study of the history, military science, and architecture of the Ming Dynasty.
Openning hours: 08:30-21:00
Admission Tickets: RMB 15
The Bell Tower in Xian is situated in the very heart of the city and at the junction of four main roads. There is a huge bell hanging on the roof of the tower which was traditionally used to tell the time by and there are other, smaller bells on exhibit in the tower too.
Known as the symbol of Xian, its history can be traced back to the Ming Dynasty. Each Ming city had a bell tower and a drum tower. The bell was sounded at dawn and the drum at dusk.
The Bell Tower was originally set at the intersection of Xi Dajie (West Street) and Guangji Jie (Guangji Street) in the Yingxiang Temple, which was the center of the site of the old Tang Imperial City. It was removed to its present place in 1582 in the center of the southern section of the walled city and was restored several times.
The tower has a square-shaped brick platform, each side of which is 35.5 meters (116 feet) long and 8.6 meters (28 feet) high and on the top is a triple-eaved, two-story wooden structure with carved beams and color-painted rafters, a further 27.4 meters (90feet) high. Colorful Dougong -- a unique Chinese architecture of brackets inserted on the top of columns and crossbeams strengthen the building and enhance the artistic. The design of this kind is also perceptible from the engravings on bronzes dating back to the Warring States Period (475-221 B.C.). The inside is a remarkable example of the very intricate roof truss system used in Ming and Qing wooden architecture. In a corner of the brick platform is a Ming-period bell.