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Exploring Ancient China in Xi’an

 2013-12-25    Ada    Tours    Xian    1790  

Xi'an is the capital of Shaanxi province, and a sub-provincial city in the People's Republic of China. One of the oldest cities in China, with more than 3,100 years of history, the city was known as Chang'an before the Ming Dynasty. Xi'an is one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China, having held the position under several of the most important dynasties in Chinese history, including Zhou, Qin, Han, Sui, and Tang. Xi'an is the starting point of the Silk Road and home to the Terracotta Army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang… Because of the city's many historical monuments and a plethora of ancient ruins and tombs in the vicinity, tourism has been an important component of the local economy, and the Xi'an region is one of the most popular tourist destinations in China.

Xi'an has a rich and culturally significant history. That directly results in abundant and important historical sites, and some of them are ongoing archaeological projects, such as the Mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang and his Terracotta Army.

There are several burial mounds, tombs of the Zhou Dynasty kings located in the city. Xi'an also contains some 800 royal mausoleums and tombs from the Han Dynasty, with some of them yielding hundreds of sculpted clay soldiers, and remains of sacrificial temples from the Han era. The city has numerous Tang Dynasty pagodas and is noted for its history museum and its stele forest, which is housed in an 11th-century Confucian temple containing large stone tablets from various dynasties. The Giant Wild Goose Pagoda and Small Wild Goose Pagoda are both spectacular towers and both are well over 1,000 years old and have survived great earthquakes.

The former is next to a large square with the largest fountain in Asia which projects water high into the air, rising and falling in time to music during one of the daily performances (usually at noon and soon after sunset). They protected Buddhist writings in the past. Huaqing Hot Springs at the foot of Mt. Li have a history of 6,000 years, the adjacent Huaqing Palace has a history of 3,000 years. It is ranked among the Hundred Famous Gardens in China, it also has the status as a National Cultural Relic Protection Unit and a National Key Scenic Area.

Featured Xi’an culture is also an important factor to attract so many visitors from home and abroad. Qinqiang, for example, is the oldest and most extensive of the four major types of Chinese opera. Also called "random pluck", Qinqiang is the main type of drama in Shaanxi province.
As the earliest ancestor of Beijing Opera, Yu Opera, Chuan Opera and Hebei Opera, Qinqiang has developed its own system of unique vocal music, spoken parts, facial makeup, posture, role, category and acting. It can be traced to Xi Qinqiang in Qin Dynasty, and blossomed until Qing Dynasty, with direct influences on many branches of Chinese Opera.

We lived in modern cities or countries. Though we are aware of how ancient our country is, many of us don’t know what that exactly means. Go to Xi’an, and you’ll at least realize how great our ancestors are.

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