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Updated by Joanna James on Aug 13, 2018
Headline for The Top Historical Attractions in Xian – Dive in to three millennia of history
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Joanna James Joanna James
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The Top Historical Attractions in Xian – Dive in to three millennia of history

With an affluence of historical artifacts and a culture that stretches back over three thousand years, Xian is the ideal location to grasp China's long and vibrant history.

1

The Terracotta Warriors and Horses

One of the greatest archeological findings of the twentieth century, the site contains a collection of over 8000 terra cotta warriors who were sculptured to guide the Qin Shi Huang Di, the 1st Emperor of Qin to the afterlife. A project that took an apparent 700000 workers to finish, the sculptures are thought to be over 2 millennia old. Not just filled with terracotta soldiers, the pits also consist of horse drawn chariots and a multitude of weapons that are in pristine condition.

2

The Ancient City Wall

The first sight that any visitor to the city sees, these walls are among the oldest and largest city walls in the entire country. Built in the fourteenth century, they are still well preserved and completely encase the old city. The old city contains a moat, drawbridges and more ancient fortifications. The Ancient City Wall runs for a length of fourteen kilometers and one can gain an impressive view of the city from the top.

3

Big Wild Goose Pagoda

Finished in 652 A.D, this magnificent pagoda is an excellent display of ancient Chinese architecture. Built with multiple layers of bricks, the pagoda does not make use of cement but instead implements the bracketing system for the construction of it. The pagoda which is roughly four kilometers from the city and apartments such as the Citadines Central Xian was primarily built to study Buddhists scriptures. It also hosts the largest music fountain in the continent which is a spectacle view by itself and thoroughly deserves a visit.

4

Yangling Han Dynasty Mausoleum

The burial site of Emperor Jing and Empress Wang, this is also an underground site filled with terracotta sculptures, albeit in a miniature form. It is situated about 20km away from the city and while the sculptures are not as spectacular as Qin Shi's, they are more vivid and diverse in terms of choice. You can expect to find miniature statues of a variety of animals, slaves as well as warriors set in different locations to give the image of a kingdom. Aside from the underground artifacts, the site also has a regular museum with different relics of the past.

5

The Bell Tower

Constructed in 1384, it is situated in the heart of Xian's old city. Standing at 36 meters, the Bell Tower is another fine example of China's ancient architecture. A grand wooden two-storey structure, it includes 3 layered eaves and has a gold-plated roof that is a sight to behold. A winding staircase takes a person right to the top while the dramatic colors and iconic architecture makes it a wonderful addition to the old city's skyline. The eaves have a more functional use as they decrease the impact of the rains crashing against the structure. It is easy to find a good serviced apartment in Xi An in close proximity to the Bell Tower.