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Xian City Wall

The Xian City Wall has a history of over 600 years since it was built in the early Ming Dynasty. photo of xian city wallIt is the best preserved, oldest and largest ancient city defence system in China. It is also one of the most important landmarks of the Xian city.

The original foundation of the Xian City Wall was based on the ruins of the Imperial City Wall of Chang'an City--the capital of the Tang Dynasty. When Zhu Yuanzhang, the first Emperor of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), captured Huizhou, a hermit named Zhu Sheng admonished him that he should "built high walls, store abundant food supplies and take time to be an Emperor" . Once the whole country was unified, he sent orders to the local governments to build city walls on a large scale.

After its completion, the circumference of the city wall was 13.75 kilometers long in an oblong shape. Its height is 12 meters, its top 12-14 meters wide and its base, 15-18 meters wide. Every 120 meters, there is a rampart which extends out from the main wall. The ramparts were built to allow soldiers to see those enemies who would try to climb the wall. There are altogether 98 of them on the wall. Each rampart has a sentry building, in which the soldiers could protect the entire wall without exposing themselves to the enemy. There are 5984 crenels served as lookout posts, firing at the enemy and shield of protection.

The weapons in ancient times were primitive and the only way for an enemy to enter the city was by attacking the gate of the city wall. Therefore, the feudal rulers try their best to built the wall complicated. In Xian, the city wall includes four gates to the four directions,each consists of three gate towers, namely, Zhenglou, Jianlou and Zhalou. The main gate tower is called Zhenglou. Zhalou is tile gate tower with the suspense bridge, and Jianlou is the arrow tower. The Zhalou, which stands away from the City Wall, is used to lift and lower the suspense bridge. The Jianlou tower is in the centre of the others and used as a defensive outpost. The Zhenglu tower is the main entrance to the city. Jianlu and Zhenglou are connected by tunnels, called Wongcheng in which soldiers could be stationed.

At the four corners are watchtowers at each. On the top of the watch towers there is a corner rampart, higher and larger than the ordinary ramparts. This shows the strategic importance of the corners of the city wall in war times.

The first city wall of Xl'an was built with layers of dirt, with the base layer including also lime and glutinous rice extract. Later, the wall was totally enclosed with bricks. In 1983, the Shaanxi Provincial Government restored the city wall again. A circular park has been built along the high wall and the deep moat. The city wall has taken on a new look.

Xian Tour Routes Covers Xian City Wall:
XD-1. Terracotta Army one day tour
XD-2. Xian City One Day Tour
XK-1. 2 Days Xian Tour
XK-2. 3 Days Xian Tour
XK-3. Xian 4 Days Tour of Terracotta Warrior
XK-4. Xian 4 days tour of Terracotta Army and Xianyang Terracotta Museum
XK-6. Xian 4 Days Tour of Terracotta Warrior and Mt. Hua
XK-7. Xian 6 Days Private Tour
XH-1. Xian 2 Days Private Tour of Terracotta Warriors
XH-2. Xian 3 Days Package Tour
XH-3. 4 Days Organized Xian Tour of Terracotta Warrior
XH-4. 4 Days Xian Tour of Terracotta Warrior and Qianling Mausoleum
XH-5. 4 Days Xian Private Tour of Terracotta Warrior and Famen Temple
XH-6. 4 Days Xian Tour of Terracotta Warrior and Mt. Huashan
XH-7. 6 Days Xian Complete Tour

Photo of Xian City Wall

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