St Augustin

The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.
Who lives sees much, who travels sees more.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A - Z Challenge - X is for Xi'an China - a beautiful city in a secret land.

Well I guess you thought I might be stumped for a place beginning with X, but straightaway Xi'an China came to mind. I've read about it's history during the terrible Japan/China wars and is a place in China that has fascinated me.

Map of Chinese cities. Xi'an practically in the centre of China.

Most of us are fairly ignorant about China, and that is partly due to its being such a closed country. It wasn't until American Presiden Nixon visited that China began to open up a little to western eyes.

Li River China
Here are the basic facts:

The People's Republic ofChina is the largest country in East Asia and the most populous in the world with over 1.3 billion people, approximately one-fifth of the world's population. It is a socialist republic (specifically a people's democratic dictatorship according to its constitution) ruled by the Communist Party of China under a single-party system, and has jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions:Xinjiang,Inner Mongolia,Tibet,Ningxia, and Guangxi, four municipalities:Beijing,Tianjin,Shanghai,andChongqing,and two highly autonomous Special Administrative Regions:Hong Kong and Macau. The PRC's capital isBeijing.

Tourism Xi'an

The Terracotta Army is the Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses of Qin Shi Huang the First Emperor of China. The terracotta figures, dating from 210 BC, were discovered in 1974 by some local farmers near Xi'an,Shaanxi province, China near theMausouleum of the First Qin Emperor. The figures vary in height (183 to 195 cm 6 ft to 6 ft 5in), according to their role, the tallest being the generals. The figures include warriors, chariots, horses, officials, acrobats, strongmen, and musicians.

Current estimates are that in the three pits containing the Terracotta Army there were over 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses, the majority of which are still buried in the pits. Many archeologists believe that there are many pits still waiting to be discovered.

Bronze Horses and Cart in Shaanxi History Museum

Shaanxi History Museum, which located to the northwest of the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda in the ancient city Xi'an, in the Shaanxi province of China, is one of the first huge state museums with modern facilities in China. The museum houses over 300,000 items including murals, paintings, pottery, coins, as well as bronze, gold, and silver objects. The modern museum was built between 1983 and 2001 and its appearance recalls the architectural style of the Tang Dynasty.

Xi'an Ancient City Wall

The fortifications of Xi'an, an ancient capital of China, represent one of the oldest and best preserved Chinese city walls. Construction of the first city wall of Chang'an began in 194 BCE and lasted for four years. That wall measured 25.7 km in length, 12 to 16 m in thickness at the base. The area within the wall was ca. 36 km2. The existing wall was started by the Ming Dynasty in 1370. It encircles a much smaller city of 14 km2. The wall measures 13.7 km in circumference, 12 m in height, and 15 to 18 m in thickness at the base.

Xi'an Drum Tower

The Drum Tower of Xi'an, located in the heart of Xi'an in Shaanxi province of China, along with the Bell Tower it is a symbol of the city. Erected in 1380 during the early Ming Dynasty, it stand towering above the city center and offers incredible view of Xi'an.

Xi'an Bell Tower

The Bell Tower of Xi'an, built in 1384 during the early Ming Dynasty, is a symbol of the city of Xi'an and one of the grandest of its kind in China. The Bell Tower also contains several large bronze-cast bells from the Tang Dynasty. The tower base is square and it covers an area of 1,377 square meters. The tower is a brick and timber structure and close to 40 meters high.

I hope you enjoyed your little tour on Xi'an, China.

Have you ever been to China? Do you want to visit one day?

Images found at


Duncan D. Horne said...

I knew of an airport in Xi'an but not much about the place. Thanks!

Duncan In Kuantan

Clarissa Draper said...

Breathtaking! My husband wants to go to China but I'm always afraid to venture that way.

Angela Felsted said...

Interesting post, and it looks like a beautiful place.

Laura Eno said...

I desperately want to see the Terracotta Warriors and the Great Wall! Someday...
Excellent choice!

notesfromnadir said...

What an awesome place. I love that picture of those bronze horses w/ the chariot.

Sharon Hamilton said...

My daughter just accepted a teaching job in China for ext year. Of course I'm going to visit. I'm going to send her a link to this post. Great job! Glad to be a new follower.

Dawn Embers said...

China is on the top of my list of places I'd like to visit. I've wanted to go ever since I saw pictures of the terra cotta army during art history class. Really wish I could go.

I do know some about the PRC actually, more than I planned to know at least. During college I competed in policy debate and one year China was the topic. Did tons of research over Xianjian, religion, one child policy, prostitution, organized crime, trade related intellectual property rights, Tibet, and other topics. It was a very interesting year of the ones I debated and the only one I stayed on topic with plan texts and everything. hehehe

L'Aussie said...

Certainly a land of shadows and light. A visit would be memorable.

Anonymous said...

Such an incredibly exotic place! I would love to go there one day. Don't think it will happen. Will have to be satisfied seeing such gorgeous photographs and/or reading about it.

I read your comment on my crossroad post. Wild goose chases are thrilling, don't you think so! I'm now going to your V post and follow the link.

BTW, you WILL get my memoir, the publisher has assured me. So will the other two of my followers who pre-ordered through Amazon. There's something about transferring distribution from Amazon to the publisher that has put the Amazon site for my memoir in limbo right now. My question is: why does a publisher set a date when they know this happens? Or maybe WiDo didn't know this. I've been confused with them throughout the past year; but they are a startup press and are learning like everyone else. And I know my memoir is going to be worth the wait! I really do know this about this book (I'm never sure about anything else LOL). And WiDo's website is now accurate, and pre-orders can be taken there. I'm definitely learning that you can't trust deadlines one hundred percent in the publishing industry. And I think I'm learning patience. maybe

Meanwhile, I'll just keep having fun with my blog and seeing all my friends' faces pop up on my posts. You're one of the best! And so are your blogs!!


Tiger85 said...

Beautiful pictures. I have always wanted to go to China but it was to see the Panda's. LOL. I have an award for you. It will be on my blog tomorrow. =)

Poetry, Quotes and Book Reviews.

baygirl32 said...

such intresting architecture

kmckendry said...

The Terracotta soldiers are amazing! My in-laws went to see them and they brought us back a miniature.

Damyanti said...

I've been forever thinking of visiting this place. maybe this year...cos its not very far from where I live!


Joe Richardson said...

I've several friends who've toured China, and their photos make me sooo want to hop a jet.

I'd love to photograph some of their karst topography. Amazing.


Thanks for dropping by my blog today. It's wired a bit different from most. All those little photos are links to the posts. Each post has a photo (or more) that runs with it.

It's wordpress, so the geography isn't quite as intuitive as blogger.

Anyway, thanks again. Your blog is lovely. I've got to run through your backlist!

x: crossroads

Michael Di Gesu said...

IT looks beautiful.

I have had a fascination about China since I studied ancient Chinese porcelain. The most gorgeous porcelain ever created. Also the carved Jade art is magnificent.

Yes, someday I would like to go to China. It's on my list.