Xi’an, called Chang’an in ancient time, is the capital of Shaanxi Province. Xi’an witnessed the most prosperous period in the history of feudal China.
After the 11th century B.C. Xi’an was the national capital of 13 dynasties, including the most powerful empires of the Qin, Han and Tang. Xi’an was the starting point of the Silk Road that linked the ancient civilizations of China and the West. With such rich historical and cultural legacies, Xi’an is acclaimed as one of the capitals of the four greatest ancient civilizations in the world, along with Athens, Rome and Cairo.
During the Han and Tang dynasties Xi’an was the most prosperous metropolis in the world. The city was full of entertainment establishments and led the world in women cosmetics and fashion. The most outstanding feature of the Han and Tang dynasties was their open policy, great vitality and self-confidence.
The glorious days in history have left many cultural sites for people of later times to appreciate.
The discovery of the burial ground of the terracotta warriors and horses of Emperor Qin Shihuang stunned the world. It is acclaimed as the 8th wonder in the world. The mausoleum with the remains of China’s only female emperor, Wu Zetian of the Tang Dynasty, is enticing with its hidden secrets. The life of the matriarchal society is re-enacted at the site of the Banpo Ruins, one of the birthplaces of the Chinese nation, to testify to the rich heritage of Xi’an. The city wall around the downtown has survived more than 1,000 years of weathering. It is the longest and best preserved city wall in extant in the world. After Monk Xuan Zang returned from India, he stayed at the Big Wild Goose Pagoda to translate the Buddhist scriptures he brought back. Emperor Xuanzhong of the Tang Dynasty and his favorite concubine Yang spent many of their romantic days at Huaqing Pool. A beacon tower tells the story King You of the Zhou Dynasty set off a fake alarm to summon his warlords in order to amuse his wife.
If you want to know about the history and culture of China, Xi’an is absolutely the best choice.