↑ Return to About IONS Xi’an

About Xi’an

Xi’an Bell Tower

Xi’an is the capital city of Shaanxi province. It is famous for its centuries-old history of over 3,000 years. It had been the capital city of 13 dynasties in the history of China. There are many attractive sites around Xi’an such as the famous “Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses”, which has been called “the eighth wonder of the world”. Today, the old city is becoming a modern metropolis and opening its arms to welcome all friends from all over the world. During the conference, the organizers will arrange some sightseeing tour for the attendees. We hope and believe that you will have an enjoyable and memorable time in Xi’an.

Big Wild Goose Pogoda

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The pagoda was originally situated within the premises of the Temple of Motherly Kindness in the Jinchang Block in the Chang’an city of the Tang Dynasty. The Temple was built in 648 A.D. (twenty-second year of Zhenguan of the Tang) by the then Prince Li Zhi, who later became Emperor Gaozong, to honor his mother, Empress Wende. The Pagoda itself was built in 652 (third year of Yonghui of the Tang Emperor Gaozong). A square pyramid of blue brick, it is 64 meters high, with seven stories. It is simple in shape, and of good and lofty proportion. Preserved on the four stone doors in the base of the pagoda are exquisite engravings of the Tang. Two steles with “the preface to the Sacred Religion” written by the famous Tang calligrapher Chu Suiliang are set into the walls on the either side of the south door of the pagoda. Because of their distinctive and elegant inscriptions, the steles are valuable data for the art of calligraphy.

Terra-Cotta Warriors

In 221 B.C., Emperor Qin Shi Huang of the Qin dynasty established the first centralized feudal dynasty in China. After his death, he was buried at the north foot of Lishan Hill in the east of Lintong county. The tomb is a rammed-soil mound, 47m. high and its base is 485m.× 515m. In 1974, three large pits of terra-cotta figures were found 1.5 km. east of the mausoleum. Among the three, the largest one is pit No.1, covering 14,260 sq.m.. The pit is divided into eleven corridors in which arrayed 38 columns of life-sized clay warriors, horses and chariots.

Over 6,000 clay warriors could be assumedly unearthed from the pit if it would be completely excavated. This would be really an artistic reappearance of hundreds of Qin Shi Huang’s warriors. With its artistic momentum, it could be acclaimed a piece of great masterwork. The figures, life-likely shaped and colorfully painted, are of high artistic value. Now, a big arch-roofed exhibition hall is set up over Pit No.1 where the restored terra-cotta warriors and horses are on display.

Xi’an Ancient City Wall

The Xi’an City Wall is the best preserved, oldest and largest ancient city defense system in China. It is also one of the most important landmarks of the Xi’an city. The original foundation of the Xi’an City Wall was based on the ruins of the Imperial City Wall of  Chang’an City–the capital of the Tang Dynasty. In 904 A.D. when the capital of the Tang Dynasty was moved eastward, the Governor-general Han Jian had the city renovated and turned it into an army garrison and named it “New City”.

Since then the city was used continuously by Song and Yuan Dynasties, and its features kept unchanged. The Ming Dynasty was set up in 1368 and the Ming army entered the city in 1369. Afterward the city was renamed as “the Prefecture of Xi’an”.

In 1370 the First Ming Emperor Zhu Yuan Zhang conferred the title of “King of Qin” on his second son Zhu Shuang and sent him to rule in Shaanxi. The King’s official residence was chosen and built in Xi’an City. According to the Ming Dynasty’s stipulation, when the title of King was conferred upon the Emperor’s son, his costume, Carriage, flag and residence had to be one grade lower than the emperors’. The old city was dilapidated and its size was small, so it was not up to the standard.

In 1370, the government began to extend the size of the Xi’an City, and build the huge project of the residence for the Ding of Qin. It was completed within eight years. When the city began to take shape, it was divided into inner city and outer city. The outer city is 13.7 km. in circumference and it occupies an area of 11.5 square km. The structure of the City Wall was earth-rammed.

Around the City Wall there are jutting ramparts, sentry towers, corner towers, gate towers, battlements and a series of city defensive fortifications which were scientifically and compactly laid out with very strong defense capability. The inner city was the residence for the King of Qin. It was built at the high terrain in the north-eastern part of the city, from where the whole city could be well under control by its advantage of geographical position. The residence was enclosed by two successive walls and a protective moat. The principal part of the architectural complex was built according the traditional pattern of “Palace in the front and bedchamber at the back”. The important palaces and temples were longitudinally arranged in a round pivot order. They looked magnificent and splendid.

During the 200 years reign of the Ming Dynasty, the inner city continuously served as the military and political center of Shaanxi, where the successive 14 Kings of Qing acted on the order of the Emperor to rule Shaanxi. The Xi’an City Wall has a history of over 600 years since it was built in the early Ming Dynasty. Nowadays, this old historical relic is not only an important material object for the study of ancient military science but also a sightseeing and entertainment resort for the visitors.