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TOP FIVE ATTRACTIONS IN XIAN:
NOT ONLY TERRACOTTA ARMY
XIAN: FACE TO FACE WITH THE HISTORY OF CHINA
Xian City Wall
Bell Drum Tower
Big wild Goose Pagoda
Famen Temple: found 2500 treasures
Top five attractions in Xian
A city that is around for three thousand years and has also been the central attraction by being power centre of dynasties for the last fifteen hundred years should have been old and neglected today but Xian in China has remodified itself by being contemporary even now. The history has been improved upon by brushing up some of the past artefacts and making them tourist friendly or modern but the city itself, an important mark on the ancient silk route has retained both the terracotta soldiers in their primitive form to maintain heritage and has improved upon the city walls to extend their life and provide good tourist support. The city of Xian is famous for the terracotta soldiers’ mausoleum, Xian city wall, big wild Goose pagoda, Bell and Drum tower and Famen Temple. The city itself has developed into a centre for cultural as well as business in the recent times.
Terracotta Army Mausoleum
This is an excavated artefact mausoleum. On an area of 20,000 sqm, positioned in three vaults, there are more than 8.200 terracotta warriors, 32.000 weapons and about 200 chariots. The statues are all different, they represent imperial warriors who really existed, reproduced in their battle attire. This extraordinary army, often defined the Eighth Wonder of the World, was built to oversee the corpse of the first great Chinese emperor, Qin Shihuang Di, the emperor who unified China in 220 BC. The mausoleum is itself more than two thousand years old and has been excavated in the recent quarter of the last century only. Today this is a World Cultural Heritage Site listed by UNESCO and mentioned in almost all the tourist guides on China as a must see.
Xian City Wall
This is an imposing structure around the city built in the medieval period of fourteenth century, during the Ming dynasty. The wall was erected to make the city a fort against enemy invasions and in the beginning it was made with dirt. Once the wall lost its use in the latter years the wall was rebuilt with brick and mortar to last for some time. This is one of the most advanced ancient methods in land defence system with layered defence to protect the city. The wall itself is like a fortress with adequate thickness for double file marches and adequately tall. There are provisions for rooms at short intervals to work as watch tower and the distance is kept low between them to allow arrow shots top any climber even near the other tower. The Xi'an city wall is 12,3 m high, 18,2 m wide at base 15m wide at peak, and at last 13.8 km long. The full circle of the walls, if you walk, it takes about 4 hours. The best way to visit the walls is to rent a bike, it is possible to rent many models, even for two or three people.
Bell and Drum Tower
This is one of the important landmarks of the city since ancient times when the walls were erected. Built in 1385, the Bell and Drum tower is considered the central point of the city and is the meeting point of the four roads on the four sides that reach up to the gates on those sides. Inside the Bell Tower, there are also several bronze bells dating from the Tang Dynasty. The base of the tower is square and occupies an area of ??1.380 sqm. The Bell Tower, built of brick and wood, is almost 40 meters high, is imposing in architecture and can be seen from far off. This had the effect of reverence as well as watch tower in the times of need in the ancient times. Once relocated due to the growing size of the city this tower still holds good and is a typical example of the Ming dynasty.
Big wild Goose Pagoda
Four kilometres away from the bustle of the city is this Buddhist monastery in Da Ci’en temple complex. Built by Emperor Gaozong Lizhi in 653 AD, Big Goose Pagoda is one of the symbols of the city of Xi'an. In the year 705 the Pagoda was ten storeys high. Unfortunately the building was badly damaged during the Second World War and today there are only seven storeys. In front of the pagoda there are beautiful fountains, with shows of music and water that attract many tourists. in the same area there are beautiful parks and western eateries. The entrance to the temple complex is ￥ 50, to enter the pagoda takes another ticket of ￥ 40.
Famen Temple: discovered about 2500 treasures
Though technically this site is outside the city limit of Xian, this is important for all Buddhists around the world. The temple preserves the finger bone of Lord Buddha and not only Buddhists but millions who have been inspired by the message of peace of him flock there to have a silent prayer for peace world over. Famen temple dates back to AD 70. Inside the monastery there was a 13-storey high brick pagoda, which collapsed in August 1981 because of the rain. This did discover an underground vault older than 1000 years. In the structure were found about 2500 treasures (dating from the Tang Dynasty and the earlier dynasties) which formerly had been given an offering to the monastery. Among the objects found there are also valuable tools in gold and silver, pearls, porcelain, precious stones. Among the objects found there were the famous Buddha's fingers that are costodite till today in the temple and are visited by millions of tourists.