|Xi'an, the capital of Shaanxi Province, was called
Chang'an in ancient times. It is situated in the central part of Weihe
Plain, with the Weihe River flowing in the north and the Qinling Range
rising and falling in the south. The city is the political, economic,
and cultural center of the northwest and has rich cultural heritages that
witness the social changes at different historical stages. More than 4,000
historical sites and tombs have been excavated and over 120,000 historical
relics unearthed. Among the famous tourist spots are the City Wall, the
Forest of Stone Tablets, the Drum Tower, the Bell Tower, the Guangren
Temple, the Ruins of E'pang Palace, and the Mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang.
City Wall of Xi'an
Erected during the Ming Dynasty (1638-1644), it is the world's largest
and best-preserved ancient fortress. The rectangular city wall is 13.7
kilometers in circumference and has 5,984 crenels and 98 places for
the garriosn troops to stay in. There is a gate in each of the four
sides, and each gate consists of a main tower, an embrasured watchtower,
a lock tower, and a compound. The city wall is surrounded by a moat
and a ring road lined with trees and dotted with pavilions and kiosks
to form the huge Around-the-City Park.
The Drum Tower
It is on the northern side of West Avenue in the city
proper, facing the Bell Tower across a distance. It measures 33 meters
in overall height and its rectangular base is built with grey bricks.
The stairway looks dignified and steady. In ancient times, a big drum
hanging on top of the tower was used for telling time.
The Bell Tower
Standing at the 1, crossing of the East, West, South, and North avenues
in the city proper, the Bell Tower is a three story wooden structure
topped with dark green tiles. It is a grand ancient building with traditional
Chinese architectural features.
The Greater Wild Goose Pagoda
Towering at the southern tip of Yanta
Road outside Heping Gate, the brick pagoda, a reconstruction of the
Ming Dynasty, has seven stories and is 64 meters high. A handrailed
stairway inside spirals to the top. The pogada is a major historical
relic under protection in China.
Lesser Wild Goose Pagoda
A Tang Dynasty (618-907) brick structure in the Jianfu Temple in southern
Xi'an. Originally, the pagoda had 15 stories. The top two stories were
damaged in an earthquake, and the remaining 13 stories now stand at
36 meters. A flight of wooden stairs inside the pagoda leads to the
top. There is a 1,000-kilogram iron bell in the temple, known as the
Morning Bell of the Wild Goose Pagoda.
The Mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang
Five kilometers east of the Lintong County seat, in the vicinity of
Xiahe Village, is the tomb of Qin Shi Huang. The mound is 55.05 meters
high and 2,000 meters in girth. The imposing cemetery, with a novel
layout, is divided into the inner and outer cities and has an unprecedentedly
great wealth of cultural relics. It was included into the List of World's
1 at the Mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang
Located 1.5 kilometers east of the tomb of Qin Shi Huang, Pit 1 is 230
meters from east to west, 62 meters from south to north, and five meters
deep. It is referred to as "the No.8 world's wonder" and the
largest military museum in the world. The pit houses 6,000 life-size
painted terracotta warriors and horses. The warriors, arranged in battle
formation, wear helmets and armor and carry weapons. They are dignified,
and each has a different manner.
The Louguan Tower National Forest Park
The park sprawls at the northern foot of Zhongnan Mountain, 15 kilometers
southeast of the Zhongzhi County seat in suburban Xi'an. It is named
after Louguan Tower which is held by Taoists as "the No-1 place
under heaven where immortals live." Louguan Tower is known not
only for its historic relics but also for its enchanting landscapes
of hills covered with verdant trees and tall bamboos and clear waters.
Vegetation around the temple tops the list of vegetation in Zhong Mountain.
At the nouthern foot of Mount Lishan 30 kilometers east of Xi'an, Huaqing
Pool is one of the well-known hotsprings in Shaanxi Province and a tourist
attraction known in and outside of China. The pool is tucked away among
green pines and cypresses and embellished with pavilions, towers, and
kiosks, which are linked by twisting corridors and paths.
One of the main peaks of the Qinling Range, it towers 1 ,700 meters
above sea level 40 kilometers south of Xi'an. The mountain consists
of Mount Cuihua, Mount Nanwutai, Mount Guifeng, and Mount Lishan, each
has its own rising peaks and an enchanting scenery.
The Taibai Mountain National Forest Park
The park extends for 54,000 hectares 120 kilometers outside Xi'an, along
the borders of Meixian, Taibai, and Zhouzhi counties. Mount Taibai,
the highest peak of the Qinling Range, features steep peaks of strange
shapes, virgin forests, and traces of glaciers from the Quaternary Period.