Monday, January 5, 2009

xi'an city: overview

Want to broaden the knowledge of Chinese civilization? There is a perfect place to for you, Xi’an(also Called Chang'an in ancient times). Enjoying equal fame with Athens, Cairo and Rome, Xi’an is one of the four ancient civilization capitals in the world. Also, it stands first on the six largest ancient capitals in China. Today we are going to explore this glamour place.

Having more than 3,100 years of history, Xi’an has been the capital of 13 dynasties in Chinese history, such as the Zhou, Qin, Han, the Sui, and Tang dynasties. It’s said that Xi’an is a living history book recording the great changes of the Chinese nation. It was not until the prosperous Tang Dynasty (618-907) that Xi'an became famous both at home and abroad as the largest and busiest international metropolis of that age in the world, being linked to many central Asian regions and Europe via the Silk Road, with thousands of foreign traders living the city.

The cultural and historical significance of Xi’an, as well as the abundant relics and sites, help Shaanxi enjoy the laudatory title of 'Natural History Museum'. Moving around this old city is like going through thousands of years back in time. There are so many must sees!! Here one can visit the sites once inhabited by its primitive people; admire the bronze wares manufactured in the Bronze Age; wander through the city ruins of the Qin, Han, Sui and Tang Dynasties; imagine for oneself the clamour of the old Oriental metropolis; explore the imperial tombs of the Qin, Han and Tang Dynasties, testimony to the pervasive power of the feudal ruling class; ramble in temples and pagoda courtyards, tracing vestiges of the Silk Road; and study stone inscriptions to appreciate Chinese calligraphy.

For example, the Museum of Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses is praised as 'the eighth major miracle of the world', Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang is listed on the World Heritage List, and the City Wall of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644) is the largest and most intact Ming Dynasty castle in the world. In the city, there is the 3,000 years old Banpo Village Remains from the Neolithic Age (approximately from 8000 BC to 5000 BC), and the Forest of Stone Steles that holds 3,000 stone steles of different periods from the Han Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty. Around Xi’an, the Famen Temple enjoys the reputation of being the 'forefather of pagodas and temples in Central Shaanxi,' because it holds the finger bones of Sakyamuni -- the founder of Buddhism.

But it’s not complete to consider Xi’an just as an ancient city. Being the capital of Shaanxi province, Xi’an is the most important city in northwest China. Since the 1990s, as part of the economic revival of interior China especially for the central and northwest regions, Xi'an has re-emerged as an important cultural, industrial and educational center of the central-northwest region, with facilities for research and development, national security and China's space exploration program. Want to go shopping? Go to Kai Yuan Shopping Mall and Century Ginwa Shopping Mall, they are the biggest and most comprehensive shopping centers. Moreover, the four main streets are respectively Dong Dajie, Xi Dajie, Nan Dajie and Bei Dajie which are also the main commercial streets. Xiao Zhai, the busiest commercial area is in the southern part of the city. Shuyuan Men and the still under construction Luoma Shi are must-visit pedestrian streets in the city.

Another thing you could not miss is the food in Xi’an. Praised as 'the capital of table delicacies', Xi’an has been rich in the delicious Shaanxi snack, delicate Guangdong Cuisine, various kinds of fashionable foreign delicacies, and popular Sichuan Cuisine such as the hot pot. Among all the delicacies, the most famous and popular one is the Muslim Snack Street.

All in all, have fun in Xi’an, it will certainly surprise you in many aspects!

2 评论:

iWalk said...

Xi'an is one of my mother's favorite cities. She spent her university period there. :)

sherry said...

Thanks for your comment. I guess that your mother has a memorable experience in the university.