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Updated by Caleb Falcon on Jul 28, 2014
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Caleb Falcon Caleb Falcon
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Top Historical Sites to Visit in Xian

The city of Xian prides itself as one of the four ancient capitals of the world. With a remarkable history and civilization that goes back 3100 years, the city has given rise to some of the world's greatest and oldest cultural relics. Today tourists travel Xian to get a glimpse of the rich yesteryears that has perfectly sculpted this city. Hundreds of well preserved historic sites are found scattered throughout the city, but the attractions listed below are few of the top extraordinary locations.

1

Terracotta Army

Terracotta Army

This unique collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huan -the first emperor of China, is one attraction that stands out in Xian. Recognized as a UNESCO world cultural heritage site and the eighth wonder of the world this is by far the greatest archeological excavation of the 20th century. It was found buried along with the emperor as one of the treasures believed to accompany him in his journey after life.

2

Xian City Wall

Xian City Wall

Built by the Tang Dynasty somewhere between 610 and 907 AD, this enormous ancient military defense system has weathered all the storms of time standing tall as the pride of Xian. The wall encircles 14 square kilometers of the city and has a total of 18 gates. The south gate boasts an enormous suspension bridge which is quite the attraction in itself.

3

Xian Muslim Quarters and the Great Mosque

Xian Muslim Quarters and the Great Mosque

The Muslims of Xian are one of the city's oldest settlers. In Xian's Muslim quarters the ancient great mosque of Xian can be found. Unlike typical mosques around the world, the architecture of the Great mosque is a hundred percent Chinese with the occasional Arabic lettering decorating the inner walls.

4

Bell & Drum Towers

Bell & Drum Towers

The Bell and Drum Towers are one of the many attractions from the Ming Dynasty. Since it was an ancient means to indicate time, every day the bell would sound at dawn and the drum would sound 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 choose a hotel like the Citadines Central Xi'an, this as well as the other surrounding attractions, will all be rather easy to access.

5

Shaanxi Provincial History Musuem

Shaanxi Provincial History Musuem

If you have fallen in love with Chinese history, the Shaanxi Museum is a must visit. This 70,000 square meter structure makes it one of the largest Museums is all of China. The Museum houses artifacts from the Shaanxi culture and perfectly exhibits the development of the Chinese civilization.

6

Forest of Stone Steles

Forest of Stone Steles

Originally built in the year 1087, this Forest of Stone Steles houses a massive collection of steles in China. It has an impressive courtyard styled structure and it is located in close proximity to the south gate of the City Wall of Xian.

7

Hanyang Tombs (Mausoleum of Western Han Emperor Liu Qi)

Hanyang Tombs (Mausoleum of Western Han Emperor Liu Qi)

As the tomb of the forth emperor of the Han Dynasty (206 BC–AD 220,) this location has a rich collection of terracotta sculptures. Located around 30km from the city center, the Hanyang Tomb is still like Xian's best kept secret waiting to be explored.