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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Top Cultural Sites to Visit in Xian – Exploring the Roots of Xian
Joanna James Joanna James
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Top Cultural Sites to Visit in Xian – Exploring the Roots of Xian

Xian is one destination that emanates the best of cultural vibes. A town boasting rich history there is plenty to see and much to learn from here. Below are some sites that must not be missed.


The Daming Palace

This is one of the oldest and grandest palace complexes in all of Xian which also happens to be the place which the Trang emperors once called their home. Renovated about a decade back, the park is a cultural marvel that is a treat to explore. Almost two third of the park is free to enter and is rather sufficient to enjoy historic architecture and beautiful landscaping. If you, however, want a slightly more immersive experience, you could always pay and visit the cultural heritage and exhibition which requires admission.


Terracotta Army

If Xian is famous for one thing, it is probably its Terracotta army. This historic marvel is a treat to lay eyes on. The terracotta sculptures found here depicts the armies of Qin Shi Huan -the first emperor of China. Recognized as a UNESCO world cultural heritage site this is by far the greatest archaeological excavation of the 20th century. In fact, the entire army was actually found buried along with the emperor as it was believed to be of value to him on his journey afterlife.


Xian City Wall

Yet another historic marvel, the Xian City Wall has stood tall despite the many different kinds of weather of time. Constructed in between 610 and 907 AD, this enormous ancient military defence system is a major attraction among tourists visiting the city. The wall encircles 14 square kilometres of the city and has a total of 18 gates. The south gate boasts a massive suspension bridge which is an attraction by itself.


Xian Muslim Quarters and the Great Mosque

Xian has a significant Muslim population since they also happen to be one of the oldest settlers in the region. In fact, there are a separate Muslim quarter in Xian and this is where the beautiful Great Mosque of Xian can be found. Unlike a typical mosque found elsewhere in the world, the architecture of the Great Mosque is a hundred percent Chinese. The only thing that distinguishes it from other Chinese buildings is the occasional Arabic lettering decorating the inner walls.


Bell & Drum Towers

This is an attraction that dates back to the Ming Dynasty. It was actually created as a means to indicate the time and since the time it was created to date, the bells chime from this tower at dawn and the drum beats from this tower at dusk. Located in the heart of the city, the top of the bell tower affords some panoramic views of the Xian cityscape. If you are staying at a hotel apartment in Xian and have chosen the Somerset Xindicheng Xian you are likely to spot it from the top of this tower.