Xian Travel Guide

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Terracotta Warriors

Terracotta Warriors

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Overview

Xi'an, a major historical city, was called Chang'an in ancient times, and is now the capital of Shaanxi province. Today, Xian is the political, economic and cultural center of Northwest China. Following the development of the travel industry and the implementation of the opennig up policy, it has become one of the nation's most important tourist cities with tourism becoming the mainstay of Shaanxi's economy.

Geographical Features

Xi'an is located in the middle reaches of the Yellow River with the eight small rivers as the tributaries. It holds a key position in the fertile plain between the high loess plateau to the north and the Qinling Mountains to the south. The Qinling Mountain Range is an important geographical divide between northern and southern China is a major watershed for the Yellow and Yangtze Rivers. Xi'an covers an area of 16,808 sq km with a temperate continental climate -- cold and dry in winter and hot in the summer with a rainy season in July, August and September. It lies at 107oeast longitude and 33onorth latitude at an altitude of 412 meters. The annual mean temperature is 13Co with an annual precipitation of 604 mm.

People

Xi'an has a population of six million with 3.5 million in the urban center. The ethnicities who inhabit the city are mainly Han, Hun, Manchu and Mongols. There are more than 70,000 Hun inhabitants in Xi'an. Most of the natives speak lCoal dialect which sounds similar to mandarin. The official government language in Xi'an is mandarin and the main religion is Buddhism.

History

This city is the primer in Chinese history, as between 1,000 BC and 1,000AD it served as the imperial capital for eleven dynasties. This area has been the site of some of the oldest cities in the world's oldest civilization. Its history begins in the Bronze Age, three thousand years ago, when the Western Zhou dynasty, known for their skilled bronze work, built their capital at Fenghao, a few miles southwest. When the Fenghao was sacked by northwestern tribes, the Zhou dynasty moved to Luoyang. In 221 BC the Emperor Qin Shi Huang united Chinese in a single empire, the Qin, with its capital at Xianyang, just northwest of Xi'an. The successor, the Han dynasty, also based here, ruled from 206BC to 220AD.Near contemporaries of Imperial Rome, they ruled an empire of comparable size and power .Here Xi'an was the starting point of the Silk Road which was one of the most important arteries of trade and culture in world history. It was not until 589AD that the Sui dynasty took to build a new capital near Xi'an called Da Xingcheng-Great Prosperity City. The Tang dynasty, who replaced them in 618AD, took over the capital, overplaying it with their own buildings. The city was in its day the capital of a great empire and one of the biggest metropolitans in the world. There were more than 1 million people who living in the magnificent city whose layout was so symmetrical that it was taken as a model for the building of many other Chinese cities and for the Japanese capital Nara, In 710.The Tang Dynasty period was a golden age for the arts, and ceramics, calligraphy, painting and poetry. After the fall of the Tang dynasty, Xi'an went into a long decline. Although it was never again to play the role of imperial capital, it continued to play an important military role in the Ming and Qing Dynasties.

Part or or all of this text stems from the original article at: guide of xian

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September 09, 2007 change by china0km.com

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