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Xi’an is the capital city of Shaanxi province in central China. In 1981, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization defined Xi’an as a ‘World Historical City.’ As one of the critical cradlelands of the Chinese civilization and nation, there were 13 dynasties founding capitals here. The urban layout of Kyoto, Japan, was designed to imitate the city of Chang’an, the ancient name of Xi’an. In addition, Xi’an was the eastern end of the old silk road. To understand the Chinese historical development, Xi’an is the most worthwhile China travel destination besides Beijing. In addition to the Terracotta Warriors and Horses, the following destinations are worth visiting in Xi’an tourist attractions.

Must-see Xi’an tourist attractions

#1 Terracotta Warriors

Terracotta warriors are a category of ancient tomb sculptures. The figurines appear as funerary objects in ancient tombs. The terracotta warriors are made into burial objects in the shape of warriors (chariots, horses, and soldiers). On March 4, 1961, the Mausoleum of Qin Shihuang was announced as the first batch of national critical cultural relics protection units by the State Council. In March 1974, the Terracotta Warriors were discovered. In 1987, the Mausoleum of Qin Shihuang and the Terracotta Warriors were approved by UNESCO to be included in the “World Heritage List” and hailed as the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” Also, it is known as one of the world’s eight rare treasures of ancient tombs.

#2 Xi’an City Wall

The Xi’an City Wall is the most giant and best-preserved ancient city wall in China and is a critical cultural relic protection unit in China. The city wall is 12 meters high, the top width is 12-14 meters, and the bottom width is 15-18 meters. The outline is a closed rectangle with a circumference of 13.74 kilometers. It is customary to call the inside of the city wall an ancient city with 11.32 square kilometers. There are four main gates of Xi’an City Wall: Changle Gate (East Gate), Yongning Gate (South Gate), Anding Gate (West Gate), and Anyuan Gate (North Gate). These four gates are also the original gates of the ancient city wall. Since the Republic of China, many new gates have been opened to facilitate access to the old city. So far, there are 18 gates on the city wall.

#3 Shaanxi History Museum

The Shaanxi History Museum has 7.75 million cultural relics, including 762 national first-class cultural relics. These exhibits span over one million years, and they allow visitors to appreciate the ancient civilization of the East fully.

#4 Big Wild Goose Pagoda

In 652 AD, the monk Xuanzang presided over the construction of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda to preserve the Buddhist scriptures brought back to Chang’an (Xi’an) from the Tianzhujing Silk Road. The Big Wild Goose Pagoda is the earliest and largest existing brick pagoda of the Tang Dynasty square pavilion. It is typical material evidence that the pagoda, the architectural form of ancient Indian Buddhist temples, was introduced into the Central Plains of China with Buddhism and integrated into Chinese culture.

#5 Great Mosque of Xi’an

The Great Mosque of Xi’an was built in 742 AD. It is a large-scale Chinese temple-style ancient building complex with a long history. It is the crystallization of the fusion of Islamic culture and Chinese culture. The architectural form and tone of the Grand Mosque are based on the Chinese national style. However, all the layouts in the temple are strictly by the Islamic system. The temple’s carved algae decorations and arabesque decorations are composed of Arabic carvings, traditional Chinese architecture, and Islamic architectural art. The combination of style and craftsmanship is so impressive that it is listed as one of the world’s Islamic cultural relics by UNESCO.

#6 Bell and Drum Tower

The most magnificent ancient building in the inner area of Xi’an City Wall would be the Bell and Drum Tower, which have become the city landmark of Xi’an. Both buildings were built more than 600 years ago during the Ming Hongwu period, and both are heavy eaves with three drops of water architectural structures, the most complete and largest preserved bell and drum towers in China. Many people say that it is only necessary to look outside and not climb the building, but it is only when you get close to it that you can feel its heavy historical atmosphere.

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