Xi’an

 
The city of terra cotta warriors
 
Were China a tree, Beijing would be the crown while Xian would be its deep roots. As a saying goes: "Go to Shanghai and you will find a 100-year-old China; go to Beijing and you will find a 1000-year-old China; go to Xian and then you will find a 3000-year-old China." Xian, the cradle of China, is, by any means, must be on your China travel list. Xian, located in central-northwest China, records the great changes of the country just like a living history book. Called Chang'an (meaning the eternal city) in ancient times, it is one of the birthplaces of the ancient Chinese civilization in the Yellow River Basin area. As the eastern terminal of the Silk Road and the site of the famous Terracotta Warriors of the Qin Dynasty, the city has won a reputation all over the world. More than 3,000 years of history including over 1,100 years as the capital city of ancient dynasties, have endowed Xian with an amazing historical heritage.

Surviving monuments open a window to this ancient city. The short-lived totalitarian state of Qin Shihuang is mirrored in the awe-inspiring massed terra-cotta armies of theTerracotta Warriors. The influence of Buddhism is clear from the Wild Goose Pagoda, a chamber for the translation of the Buddhist scriptures by then widely renowned Master Xuan Zang, who returned to China in 645 after 15 years of travel across India and central Asia. Evidence of the flourishing trade along the Silk Routes may be found in the Shaanxi History Museum and Famen Temple. Another reminder of the enduring legacy of the Silk Road is the Great Mosque of Xi'an, presenting a strong Muslim minority, whose faith remains unchanged although their architecture is a mixture of Chinese design and western Islamic tradition.
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