Xi’an represents one of the ancient capitals of China and remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in this colorful country. It features one of the world wonders – The Terracotta Army, though to assume there is not much more is a mistake. Xi’an is one of the world greats.
Many locals believe Xi’an to be one of the greatest cities that ever existed and a visit to China that does not lead one here, does not count, as they say. It is true, that this astonishing city has much to offer. Its history involves 6,000 years of development and Xi’an is full of memory which longs to be rediscovered.
In ancient times, the city was the eastern terminus of the Silk Road and thus was a meeting place of a variety of cultures. Xi’an functioned as a political and cultural centre as early as 1,100 B.C. The first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang admired the site so much he chose it as his final resting place. He did not wish to part with his power and glory and thus ordered an overwhelming mausoleum and an entire army of Terracotta Warriors to be constructed before his death. Until today, his huge mausoleum and the army, which features 7,000 soldiers, remain the major attraction for tourists.
Xi’an, also known as Chang’an (“Perpetual Peace”) is home to one of the greatest museums in China – the Shaanxi History Museum. It houses an impressive collection of thousands of murals, paintings, ancient pottery, and bronze, gold and silver objects. It tells the tale of this once great city which for thousands of years remained a very developed and rich city.
The Giant Wild Goose Pagoda and The Small White Goose Pagoda are astonishing towers which are more than 1,000 years old. The Giant Pagoda was used to collect Buddhist materials. They are truly spectacular and well worth visiting. The City Wall is very well preserved and if tourists fancy a bit of the bizarre, they should rent a bike and admire the beauty of Xi’an with a bit of speed.
A week is not long enough to discover all this fabulous city has to offer. The nearby natural parks are breathtaking and there are many ancient buildings and museums which are worth to explore.