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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 5 Must See Sights in Xian – China's Ancient Capital of Historical Wealth
Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Must See Sights in Xian – China's Ancient Capital of Historical Wealth

Xian possesses a wealth of traditions and culture; a great ancient capital, the architectural findings of this district are invaluable. Do read on for a list of the area's best sights to explore.


The Terracotta Warriors

Guardians of mighty Emperor Qin Shi Huang, the terracotta warriors number over 8,000. Xian's most iconic attraction, these figures are believed to date back to the third century. Archaeologists believe the staggering army was built as a means of the ruler continuing his reign even in the afterlife, although some believe the soldiers were placed to dispel fears he had of encountering spirits of vanquished enemies. The finding was quite accidental and phenomenal for the site offers an in-depth insight into the world of ancient China. Learn more by paying this monumental archaeological site a visit, less than an hour from Grand Park Xian.


Xi'an City Wall

Built in the 2nd century, this is one of China's best preserved walls. Its total circumference is 13.7kms and it falls under national protection. Despite this tourists and locals are allowed to walk along the top of the wall from where panoramic views of the surroundings can be enjoyed. Opt to hire a bicycle and cycle your way around the wall, for the best experience. Made up of battlements and towers, the wall lit up with a hundred twinkling lights is especially enchanting by night. Easy to reach from well-placed hotels in Xi An, this is an iconic attraction well worth exploring.


Forest of Stone Steles Museum

A 'Stele' is a stone slab, these are set up to create monumental effects; at this museum, you will encounter a vast number of these steles, which have been collected since 1087. A total of 3,000 steles are located at the museum, which comprises of 7 exhibition halls. Within these halls are displays of calligraphy, historical records and paintings. One of the most popular and outstanding set of steles are the Kaicheng Stone Classics, these are a collection of Confucian works engraved into the stone as a reference for academics.


The Big Wild Goose Pagoda

Constructed in 652 AD, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda or Dayan Ta, was at that time five stories high. It was built to hold figurines of the Buddha and ancient sutras, which were brought from India to China. The structure over time has fallen victim to many ravages and reconstructions. In 704 AD, Emperor Wu Zetian added an additional five stories to the pagoda, unfortunately, a huge earthquake in 1556 damaged and reduced the structure by three floors. The final renovation took place in 1964 and the pagoda is now 64 metres high; one of the best places to enjoy stunning vistas of the surrounding region.


The Bell Tower

This is an iconic symbol of Xian, steeped in myth and legend the Bell Tower is believed to have served many purposes. The name is attributed to the huge large bronze bells housed within the structure, dating back to the Tang Dynasty, the most prominent of this collection is the Jingyun Bell, which was made in 711 AD, measuring a total of 247 centimetres in height.

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