Xi'an

Xi'an

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Encyclopedia
Xi'an is the capital of the Shaanxi
Shaanxi
' is a province in the central part of Mainland China, and it includes portions of the Loess Plateau on the middle reaches of the Yellow River in addition to the Qinling Mountains across the southern part of this province...

 province, and a sub-provincial city in the People's Republic of China. One of the oldest cities in China, with more than 3,100 years of history, the city was known as Chang'an
Chang'an
Chang'an is an ancient capital of more than ten dynasties in Chinese history, today known as Xi'an. Chang'an literally means "Perpetual Peace" in Classical Chinese. During the short-lived Xin Dynasty, the city was renamed "Constant Peace" ; yet after its fall in AD 23, the old name was restored...

before the Ming Dynasty
Ming Dynasty
The Ming Dynasty, also Empire of the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644, following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty. The Ming, "one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history", was the last dynasty in China ruled by ethnic...

. Xi'an is one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China
Historical capitals of China
The Chinese phrase Four Great Ancient Capitals of China traditionally refers to Beijing , Nanjing, Luoyang, and Chang'an ....

, having held the position under several of the most important dynasties in Chinese history
Dynasties in Chinese history
The following is a chronology of the dynasties in Chinese history.Chinese history is not as neat as is often described and it was rare for one dynasty to change peacefully into the next. Dynasties were often established before the overthrow of an existing regime, or continued for a time after they...

, including Zhou
Zhou Dynasty
The Zhou Dynasty was a Chinese dynasty that followed the Shang Dynasty and preceded the Qin Dynasty. Although the Zhou Dynasty lasted longer than any other dynasty in Chinese history, the actual political and military control of China by the Ji family lasted only until 771 BC, a period known as...

, Qin
Qin Dynasty
The Qin Dynasty was the first imperial dynasty of China, lasting from 221 to 207 BC. The Qin state derived its name from its heartland of Qin, in modern-day Shaanxi. The strength of the Qin state was greatly increased by the legalist reforms of Shang Yang in the 4th century BC, during the Warring...

, Han
Han Dynasty
The Han Dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Qin Dynasty and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms . It was founded by the rebel leader Liu Bang, known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu of Han. It was briefly interrupted by the Xin Dynasty of the former regent Wang Mang...

, Sui
Sui Dynasty
The Sui Dynasty was a powerful, but short-lived Imperial Chinese dynasty. Preceded by the Southern and Northern Dynasties, it ended nearly four centuries of division between rival regimes. It was followed by the Tang Dynasty....

, and Tang
Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire...

. Xi'an is the eastern terminus of the Silk Road
Silk Road
The Silk Road or Silk Route refers to a historical network of interlinking trade routes across the Afro-Eurasian landmass that connected East, South, and Western Asia with the Mediterranean and European world, as well as parts of North and East Africa...

 and home to the Terracotta Army
Terracotta Army
The Terracotta Army or the "Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses", is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China...

.

Since the 1990s, as part of the economic revival of interior China
China Western Development
China Western Development , also China's Western Development, Western China Development, Great Western Development Strategy, or the Open Up the West Program is a policy adopted by the People's Republic of China to boost its less developed western regions.The policy covers 6 provinces , 5 autonomous...

 especially for the central and northwest regions, the city of Xi'an has re-emerged as an important cultural, industrial and educational centre of the central-northwest region, with facilities for research and development
Research and development
The phrase research and development , according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, refers to "creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of man, culture and society, and the use of this stock of...

, national security
National security
National security is the requirement to maintain the survival of the state through the use of economic, diplomacy, power projection and political power. The concept developed mostly in the United States of America after World War II...

 and China's space exploration program
Chinese space program
The space program of the People's Republic of China is directed by the China National Space Administration . Its technological roots can be traced back to the late 1950s, when the People's Republic began a rudimentary ballistic missile program in response to perceived American threats...

. It's now one the most populous metropolitan area in inland China with more than 8 million inhabitants, including urban parts of Xianyang
Xianyang
Xianyang is a former capital of China in Shaanxi province, on the Wei River, a few kilometers upstream from Xi'an. It has an area of...

 (Weicheng
Weicheng
Weicheng may refer to:*Weicheng District, Xianyang , district in Xianyang, Shaanxi, China*Weicheng District, Weifang , district in Weifang, Shandong, China*Weicheng, Wei County, Handan , town in Wei County, Handan, Hebei, China...

 and Qindu districts
).

Name


The two Chinese characters "西安" in the name Xi'an literally mean "Western Peace". During the Zhou Dynasty
Zhou Dynasty
The Zhou Dynasty was a Chinese dynasty that followed the Shang Dynasty and preceded the Qin Dynasty. Although the Zhou Dynasty lasted longer than any other dynasty in Chinese history, the actual political and military control of China by the Ji family lasted only until 771 BC, a period known as...

, the area was called Fenghao
Fenghao
Fenghao , is the name given to the twin Chinese Zhou Dynasty settlements of Hàojīng and Fēngjīng which together formed the capital of the Western Zhou. They were located in Xi'an in Shaanxi Province. When King Wen of Zhou Fenghao , is the name given to the twin Chinese Zhou Dynasty (1066-256 BCE)...

, with the portion of the city on the west bank of the Feng River called Feng and the portion on the east called Hao. It was renamed Chang'an
Chang'an
Chang'an is an ancient capital of more than ten dynasties in Chinese history, today known as Xi'an. Chang'an literally means "Perpetual Peace" in Classical Chinese. During the short-lived Xin Dynasty, the city was renamed "Constant Peace" ; yet after its fall in AD 23, the old name was restored...

, meaning "Perpetual Peace", during the Han Dynasty
Han Dynasty
The Han Dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Qin Dynasty and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms . It was founded by the rebel leader Liu Bang, known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu of Han. It was briefly interrupted by the Xin Dynasty of the former regent Wang Mang...

 (206 BCE - 220 CE). It changed in 581 CE to Daxing (大興) during the Sui Dynasty
Sui Dynasty
The Sui Dynasty was a powerful, but short-lived Imperial Chinese dynasty. Preceded by the Southern and Northern Dynasties, it ended nearly four centuries of division between rival regimes. It was followed by the Tang Dynasty....

 then again became Chang'an from 618 CE during the Tang Dynasty
Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire...

. During the Yuan Dynasty
Yuan Dynasty
The Yuan Dynasty , or Great Yuan Empire was a ruling dynasty founded by the Mongol leader Kublai Khan, who ruled most of present-day China, all of modern Mongolia and its surrounding areas, lasting officially from 1271 to 1368. It is considered both as a division of the Mongol Empire and as an...

 (1270-1368 CE), the city was first given the name Fengyuan (奉元), followed by Anxi (安西) then Jingzhao (京兆). It finally became Xi'an in the year 1369 CE at the time of the Ming Dynasty. This name remained until 1928, then in 1930 it was renamed Xijing (西京), or "Western Capital". The city's name once again reverted to its Ming-era designation of Xi'an in the year 1943.

Xi'an is abbreviated in Chinese to either Hao or Tang
Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire...

 (唐). The former abbreviation is derived from the Zhou Dynasty name Haojing
Haojing
This article is about the ancient Zhou Dynasty capital, for Haojing'ao see MacauHaojing was one of the two settlements comprising the capital of the Western Zhou Dynasty , the other of which was Fēngjīng . Together they were known as Fēnghào and stood on opposite banks of the Feng River with...

, whilst the latter comes from the name of the Tang Dynasty.

History





Xi'an has a rich and culturally significant history. The Lantian Man
Lantian Man
Lantian Man , formerly Sinanthropus lantianensis is a subspecies of Homo erectus. Its discovery in 1963 was first described by J. K...

 was discovered in 1963 in Lantian County
Lantian County
Lantian County is a county of Xi'an, Shaanxi, China.-Transport:*China National Highway 312...

, 50 km southeast of Xi'an, and dates back at least 500,000 years before present. A 6,500 year old Banpo
Banpo
Banpo is an archaeological remain discovered in 1953 and located in the Yellow River Valley just east of Xi'an, China. It contains the remains of several well organized Neolithic settlements dating from 5600 - 6700 BP according to radiocarbon dating. It is a large area of 5-6 hectares and...

 Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 village in was discovered in 1954 on the outskirts of the city proper.

Xi'an became a cultural and political centre of China in the 11th century BCE with the founding of the Zhou Dynasty
Zhou Dynasty
The Zhou Dynasty was a Chinese dynasty that followed the Shang Dynasty and preceded the Qin Dynasty. Although the Zhou Dynasty lasted longer than any other dynasty in Chinese history, the actual political and military control of China by the Ji family lasted only until 771 BC, a period known as...

. The capital of Zhou was established in the twin settlements of Fengjing (灃京) and Haojing
Haojing
This article is about the ancient Zhou Dynasty capital, for Haojing'ao see MacauHaojing was one of the two settlements comprising the capital of the Western Zhou Dynasty , the other of which was Fēngjīng . Together they were known as Fēnghào and stood on opposite banks of the Feng River with...

, together known as Fenghao
Fenghao
Fenghao , is the name given to the twin Chinese Zhou Dynasty settlements of Hàojīng and Fēngjīng which together formed the capital of the Western Zhou. They were located in Xi'an in Shaanxi Province. When King Wen of Zhou Fenghao , is the name given to the twin Chinese Zhou Dynasty (1066-256 BCE)...

, located south west of contemporary Xi'an. Following the Warring States Period
Warring States Period
The Warring States Period , also known as the Era of Warring States, or the Warring Kingdoms period, covers the Iron Age period from about 475 BC to the reunification of China under the Qin Dynasty in 221 BC...

, China was unified under the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BCE) for the first time, with the capital located at Xianyang
Xianyang
Xianyang is a former capital of China in Shaanxi province, on the Wei River, a few kilometers upstream from Xi'an. It has an area of...

, just northwest of modern Xi'an. The first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang
Qin Shi Huang
Qin Shi Huang , personal name Ying Zheng , was king of the Chinese State of Qin from 246 BC to 221 BC during the Warring States Period. He became the first emperor of a unified China in 221 BC...

 ordered the construction of the Terracotta Army
Terracotta Army
The Terracotta Army or the "Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses", is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China...

 and his mausoleum just to the east of Xi'an almost immediately after his ascension to the throne.

In 202 BCE, the founding emperor Liu Bang of the Han Dynasty
Han Dynasty
The Han Dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Qin Dynasty and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms . It was founded by the rebel leader Liu Bang, known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu of Han. It was briefly interrupted by the Xin Dynasty of the former regent Wang Mang...

 established his capital in Chang'an County; his first palace Changle Palace (長樂宮, perpetual happiness) was built across the river from the ruin of the Qin capital. This is traditionally regarded as the founding date of Chang'an, or Xi'an. Two years later, Liu Bang built Weiyang Palace
Weiyang Palace
Weiyang Palace was a palace complex, located near the city of Chang'an . Built in 200 BC at the request of Han Gaozu, under the supervision of his prime minister Xiao He, it served as the administrative centre and imperial residence of the Western Han Dynasty, as well as the Western Jin dynasty...

 north of modern Xi'an. The original Xi'an city wall was started in 194 BCE and took 4 years to finish. Upon completion, the wall measured 25.7 km (15.97 mi) in length and 12 to 16 m (39.4 to 52.5 ) in thickness at the base, enclosing an area of 36 km² (13.9 sq mi). In the year 190, amidst uprisings and rebellions just prior to the Three Kingdoms
Three Kingdoms
The Three Kingdoms period was a period in Chinese history, part of an era of disunity called the "Six Dynasties" following immediately the loss of de facto power of the Han Dynasty rulers. In a strict academic sense it refers to the period between the foundation of the state of Wei in 220 and the...

 Period, a powerful warlord named Dong Zhuo
Dong Zhuo
Dong Zhuo was a politician and warlord during the late Han Dynasty period of Chinese history. He seized control of the capital city Luoyang in 189 when it was in a state of turmoil following the death of Emperor Ling and a clash between the eunuch faction and some court officials led by...

 moved the court from Luoyang
Luoyang
Luoyang is a prefecture-level city in western Henan province of Central China. It borders the provincial capital of Zhengzhou to the east, Pingdingshan to the southeast, Nanyang to the south, Sanmenxia to the west, Jiyuan to the north, and Jiaozuo to the northeast.Situated on the central plain of...

 to Chang'an in a bid to avoid a coalition of other powerful warlords against him.

Following several hundred years of unrest, Sui Dynasty
Sui Dynasty
The Sui Dynasty was a powerful, but short-lived Imperial Chinese dynasty. Preceded by the Southern and Northern Dynasties, it ended nearly four centuries of division between rival regimes. It was followed by the Tang Dynasty....

 united China again in 582. The emperor of Sui ordered a new capital to be built southeast of the Han capital, called Daxing (大興, great prosperity). It consisted of three sections: the Xi'an Palace
Xi'an Palace
Xi'an Palace was the palace of the Sui Dynasty and built under the order of the Emperor in 582. The palace was contained in the Imperial City of Daxing....

, the Imperial City, and the civilian section, with a total area of 84 km² within the city walls. At the time, it was the largest city in the world. The city was renamed Chang'an in the Tang Dynasty
Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire...

. In the mid-7th century, after returning from his pilgrimage to India, Buddhist
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 monk Xuan Zang (popularly known as Tang Sanzang) established a translation centre for Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 scriptures.

Construction of the Great Wild Goose Pagoda began in 652. This pagoda
Pagoda
A pagoda is the general term in the English language for a tiered tower with multiple eaves common in Nepal, India, China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam and other parts of Asia. Some pagodas are used as Taoist houses of worship. Most pagodas were built to have a religious function, most commonly Buddhist,...

 was 64 m (209.97 ft) in height, and was built to store the translations of Buddhist sutras obtained from India by the Xuan Zang. In 707, construction of the Small Wild Goose Pagoda
Small Wild Goose Pagoda
The Small Wild Goose Pagoda, sometimes Little Wild Goose Pagoda , is one of two significant pagodas in the city of Xi'an, China, the site of the old Han and Tang capital Chang'an. The other notable pagoda is the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, originally built in 652 and restored in 704...

 began, and measured 45 m (147.64 ft) tall at the time of completion. The massive 1556 Shaanxi earthquake eventually damaged the tower and reduced its height to 43.4 m (142.39 ft).

Chang'an was devastated at the end of the Tang Dynasty in 904. Residents were forced to move to the new capital city in Luoyang
Luoyang
Luoyang is a prefecture-level city in western Henan province of Central China. It borders the provincial capital of Zhengzhou to the east, Pingdingshan to the southeast, Nanyang to the south, Sanmenxia to the west, Jiyuan to the north, and Jiaozuo to the northeast.Situated on the central plain of...

. Only a small area in the city continued to be occupied thereafter. During the Ming Dynasty
Ming Dynasty
The Ming Dynasty, also Empire of the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644, following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty. The Ming, "one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history", was the last dynasty in China ruled by ethnic...

, a new wall was constructed in 1370 and remains intact to this day. The wall measures 11.9 km in circumference
Circumference
The circumference is the distance around a closed curve. Circumference is a special perimeter.-Circumference of a circle:The circumference of a circle is the length around it....

, 12 m (39.37 ft) in height, and 15 to 18 m (49.2 to 59.1 ) in thickness at the base; a moat was also built outside the walls. The new wall and moat would protect a much smaller city of 12 km².

In October 1911, during the revolution in which the Qing Dynasty was overthrown, the Manchus living in the north-eastern zone within the city walls were massacred. In 1936, the Xi'an Incident
Xi'an Incident
The Xi'an Incident of December 1936 is an important episode of Chinese modern history, taking place in the city of Xi'an during the Chinese Civil War between the ruling Kuomintang and the rebel Chinese Communist Party and just before the Second Sino-Japanese War...

 took place inside the city during the Chinese Civil War
Chinese Civil War
The Chinese Civil War was a civil war fought between the Kuomintang , the governing party of the Republic of China, and the Communist Party of China , for the control of China which eventually led to China's division into two Chinas, Republic of China and People's Republic of...

. The incident brought the Kuomintang
Kuomintang
The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...

 (KMT) and Communist Party of China
Communist Party of China
The Communist Party of China , also known as the Chinese Communist Party , is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China...

 to a truce to in order to concentrate on fighting against the Japanese Invasion.

On May 4, 2010, a new metro tunnel started in Xi’an, which will ease the move for commuter travel from surface streets to below ground.

Geography and climate



Geography


Xi'an lies on the Guanzhong Plain
Guanzhong
Guanzhong , or Guanzhong Plain, is a historical region of China corresponding to the lower valley of the Wei River. It is called Guanzhong or 'within the passes' to distinguish it from 'Guandong' or 'east of the pass', that is, the North China Plain. The North China Plain is bordered on the west by...

 in central China, on a flood plain created by the eight surrounding rivers and streams. The city has an average elevation of 400 metres (1,312 ft) above sea level
Above mean sea level
The term above mean sea level refers to the elevation or altitude of any object, relative to the average sea level datum. AMSL is used extensively in radio by engineers to determine the coverage area a station will be able to reach...

 and an annual precipitation of 550 millimetres (22 in). The urban area of Xi'an is located at 34°16′N 108°56′E . The Wei River
Wei River
The Wei River is a major river in west-central China's Gansu and Shaanxi provinces. It is the largest tributary of the Yellow River and very important in the early development of Chinese civilization....

 provides potable water to the city.

The city borders the northern foot of the Qinling Mountains
Qinling Mountains
The Qin Mountains are a major east-west mountain range in southern Shaanxi province, China. The mountains provide a natural boundary between the North and South of the country, and support a huge variety of plant and wildlife, some of which is found nowhere else on Earth.To the north is the...

 to the south, and the banks of the Wei River
Wei River
The Wei River is a major river in west-central China's Gansu and Shaanxi provinces. It is the largest tributary of the Yellow River and very important in the early development of Chinese civilization....

 to the north. Hua Shan
Mount Hua
Mount Hua or Hua Shan in Chinese is located in Shaanxi Province, about 120 kilometres east of the city of Xi'an, near the city Huayin in China. Also known as Xiyuè, Western Great Mountain, it is one of China's Five Sacred Taoist Mountains, and has a long history of religious significance...

, one of the five sacred Taoist mountains, is located 100 km away to the east of the city. Not far to the north is the Loess Plateau
Loess Plateau
The Loess Plateau , also known as the Huangtu Plateau, is a plateau that covers an area of some 640,000 km² in the upper and middle reaches of China's Yellow River. Loess is the name for the silty sediment that has been deposited by wind storms on the plateau over the ages...

.

At the beginning of Han Dynasty, Prime Minister Zhang Liang advised the emperor Liu Bang to choose Guanzhong as the capital of the Han Dynasty: 'Guanzhong Plain, which is located behind Xiao Pass and Hangu Pass, connects Long Plain and Shu Plain. Land of thousands miles and rich in harvest can be found here, as if this place is belongs to the nation of the heaven.' ("关中左崤函, 右陇蜀, 沃野千里, 此所谓金城千里, 天府之国也" 《史记·留侯世家》) Since then, Guanzhong is also known as 'Nation of the Heaven'.

National Time Service Centre


The Shaanxi Astronomical Observatory was established in 1966. In 1975, according to the Geodetic Origin Report of the People's Republic of China, 'in order to avoid bias in the mensuration as much as possible, the Geodetic Origin would be in central mainland China.' Jingyang (泾阳), a town near Xi'an was chosen. Since 1986, Chinese Standard Time (CST) was set from NTSC. The NTSC at Jingyang is 36 km away from Xi'an. Distances to the national borders are 880 km to the North, 2500 km to the Northeast, 1000 km to the East, 1750 km to the South, 2250 km to the Southwest, 2930 km to the West, and 2500 km to the Northwest.


National Time Service Centre (NTSC), the Chinese Academy of Sciences is an institute which is mainly engaged in the service and research on time and frequency. NTSC takes charge of generating and maintaining the national standard time scale, disseminating the time and frequency signals. The autonomous standard time scales of universal time and atomic time and the dissemination techniques with LF radio and HF radio were established successively during the 1970s and 1980s, which meet all the requirements for different applications on the whole, such as the scientific researches, national economy, etc.

Climate


Xi'an has a temperate, semi-arid climate (Köppen
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

 BSk) influenced by the East Asian monsoon
East Asian monsoon
The East Asian monsoon is a monsoonal flow that carries moist air from the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean to East Asia. It affects approximately one-third of the global population, influencing the climate of Japan , the Koreas, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and much of mainland China...

. The Wei River valley is characterised by hot, humid
Humidity
Humidity is a term for the amount of water vapor in the air, and can refer to any one of several measurements of humidity. Formally, humid air is not "moist air" but a mixture of water vapor and other constituents of air, and humidity is defined in terms of the water content of this mixture,...

 summers and cold, dry winters. Spring and autumn are somewhat brief and dry. Xi'an receives most of its annual precipitation
Precipitation (meteorology)
In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation (also known as one of the classes of hydrometeors, which are atmospheric water phenomena is any product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapor that falls under gravity. The main forms of precipitation...

 from August to late October in the form of rain. Snow occasionally falls in winter but rarely settles for long. Dust storm
Dust storm
A dust / sand storm is a meteorological phenomenon common in arid and semi-arid regions. Dust storms arise when a gust front or other strong wind blows loose sand and dirt from a dry surface. Particles are transported by saltation and suspension, causing soil to move from one place and deposition...

s often occur during March and April as the city rapidly warms up. Summer months also experience frequent but short thunderstorm
Thunderstorm
A thunderstorm, also known as an electrical storm, a lightning storm, thundershower or simply a storm is a form of weather characterized by the presence of lightning and its acoustic effect on the Earth's atmosphere known as thunder. The meteorologically assigned cloud type associated with the...

s. Monthly mean temperatures range from around the freezing mark in January to 26.6 °C (79.9 °F) in July, with an annual average of 13.7 °C (56.7 °F). Extreme temperatures have ranged from −20.6 °C to 42.9 °C (109 °F).




Demographics



By the end of 2005, Xi'an had a population of 8.07 million. Compared to the census data from 2000, the population has increased by 656,700 persons from 7.41 million. The population is 51.66% male and 48.34% female. The district with the most population is YanTa Qu, with 1.08 million inhabitants.

The majority of Xi'an residents are Han Chinese
Han Chinese
Han Chinese are an ethnic group native to China and are the largest single ethnic group in the world.Han Chinese constitute about 92% of the population of the People's Republic of China , 98% of the population of the Republic of China , 78% of the population of Singapore, and about 20% of the...

, who make up 99.1% of the city's total population. There are around 81,500 people belonging to ethnic minorities living in Xi'an, including 50,000 Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 Hui people
Hui people
The Hui people are an ethnic group in China, defined as Chinese speaking people descended from foreign Muslims. They are typically distinguished by their practice of Islam, however some also practice other religions, and many are direct descendants of Silk Road travelers.In modern People's...

 concentrated in the Muslim quarter, which is also home to the 1,360 year old Great Mosque of Xi'an.

During World War II, Xi'an became a destination for many refugees from other provinces of China, especially neighboring Henan
Henan
Henan , is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the central part of the country. Its one-character abbreviation is "豫" , named after Yuzhou , a Han Dynasty state that included parts of Henan...

 Province. Because Xi'an was far inland, the invading Japanese army only managed a few aerial assaults on the city. As a result, Xi'an suffered minimal destruction. After 1949, the national government tried to balance the development in different regions of China, and relocated a number of factories and universities from other cities to Xi'an. Modern Xi'an Jiaotong University
Xi'an Jiaotong University
Xi'an Jiaotong University , also known as Xi'an Chiao Tung University, is a top Chinese university located in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, People's Republic of China. Xi'an Jiaotong University is located in Xi'an, the ancient capital of China...

 was relocated from its original campus in Shanghai.

Subdivision


The sub-provincial city of Xi'an has direct jurisdiction over 9 districts (区 qu) and 4 counties (县 xian):
Subdivision Population Land area   Subdivision Population Land area
as of 2006 km² as of 2006 km²
Xi'an City Proper   Xi'an Suburban and Rural
Beilin-qu
Beilin District, Xi'an
Beilin District is a district of Xi'an, Shaanxi, China. It is named so after the famous Stele Forest museum located there. The well-known Small Wild Goose Pagoda is also located in the district....

碑林区 700,000 22.0   Chang'an-qu
Chang'an District, Xi'an
Chang'an District is a district of Xi'an, Shaanxi, China....

长安区 930,000 1583
Yanta-qu
Yanta District
Yanta District is a district of Xi'an, Shaanxi, China....

雁塔区 690,000 152.0   Yanliang-qu
Yanliang District
Yanliang District is a district of Xi'an, Shaanxi, China....

阎良区 240,000 240.0
Weiyang-qu
Weiyang District, Xi'an
Weiyang District is a district of Xi'an, Shaanxi, China....

未央区 410,000 261   Lintong-qu 临潼区 670,000 898.0
Baqiao-qu
Baqiao District
Baqiao District is a district of Xi'an, Shaanxi, China....

灞桥区 450,000 322  
Xincheng-qu
Xincheng District, Xi'an
Xincheng District is a district of Xi'an, Shaanxi, China....

新城区 490,000 31.0   Lantian-xian
Lantian County
Lantian County is a county of Xi'an, Shaanxi, China.-Transport:*China National Highway 312...

蓝田县 640,000 1,977.0
Lianhu-qu
Lianhu District
Lianhu District is a district of Xi'an, Shaanxi, China....

莲湖区 600,000 38.00   Zhouzhi-xian
Zhouzhi County
Zhouzhi County is a county of Xi'an, Shaanxi, China. Its population is 630,000. It is famous for kiwifruit, one type of produce in which Shaanxi province excels....

周至县 630,000 2,956.0
  Hu-xian
Hu County
Hu County is a county in Xi'an, Shaanxi, China, which has a population of about 578 thousand. It has an area of 1255 square kilometers, containing 11 towns and 5 townships.To the south of the county is Mount Qinling and north is Weihe River.There are all together 36 rivers running through the area...

户县 590,000 1,213.0
  Gaoling-xian
Gaoling County
Gaoling County is a county of Xi'an, Shaanxi, China....

高陵县 230,000 290

Transportation




Xi'an has many areas that are easily accessible on foot. In many commercial, residential, educations zones in the city, especially in the shopping and entertainment districts around the Bell Tower, underpasses and overpasses have been built for the safety and convenience of pedestrians. However many intersections still lack sufficiently visible traffic lights and the right-of-way is virtually non-existent except at large intersections with traffic police and signals.

There has been a significant increase in the number of privately-owned vehicles among middle and upper class households in Xi'an. Electric bikes are very popular among students and offer easy transportation in and around the city for many residents. Taxi services are numerous but many citizens of Xi'an still commute to work on one of more than 200 bus routes.

Metro


Currently there are major construction works along Chang An street for the first metro system in Xi'an, designed with 6 lines, to be completed by 2016.

Work started on the 2nd route in 2007,and has opened in September 16 2011. The 1st route has started in early 2009, while the rest is planned to start in 2013 and to be finished around 2016.

Taxi


Taxis in Xi'an are predominantly VW Santana made in Shanghai, BYD Auto
BYD Auto
BYD Automobile Co Ltd is a Chinese automobile manufacturer based in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province...

 made in Xi'an, and Citroen
Citroën
Citroën is a major French automobile manufacturer, part of the PSA Peugeot Citroën group.Founded in 1919 by French industrialist André-Gustave Citroën , Citroën was the first mass-production car company outside the USA and pioneered the modern concept of creating a sales and services network that...

 made in Wuhan
Wuhan
Wuhan is the capital of Hubei province, People's Republic of China, and is the most populous city in Central China. It lies at the east of the Jianghan Plain, and the intersection of the middle reaches of the Yangtze and Han rivers...

. Taxis work 24 hours a day, managed by the Taxi Management Bureau of Xi'an City which records complaints. Customers are charged by meter.

Most, if not all, taxis in Xi'an run on compressed natural gas
Compressed natural gas
Compressed natural gas is a fossil fuel substitute for gasoline , diesel, or propane/LPG. Although its combustion does produce greenhouse gases, it is a more environmentally clean alternative to those fuels, and it is much safer than other fuels in the event of a spill...

.

Train


There are 6 passenger transport railway stations in Xi'an. Xi'an Railway Station is one of the eight major national railway stations. Other stations include Xi'an West, Xi'an East, Xi'an South, Xi'an North
Xi'an North Railway Station
The Xi'an North Railway Station is a railway station of Zhengxi Passenger Railway and Xibao Passenger Railway. The station located in Xi'an, Shaanxi, China. The station has 34 platforms. It is the largest train station in Northwest China.-History:...

, Sanmincun, and Fangzhicheng railway stations.

Xi'an Railway Station covers 597 thousand square meters, has 5 passenger platforms, and 24 tracks. It provides 112 services to 80 000 people daily. There are services from Xi'an to Zhengzhou
Zhengzhou
Zhengzhou , is the capital and largest city of Henan province in north-central China. A prefecture-level city, it also serves as the political, economic, technological, and educational centre of the province, as well as a major transportation hub for Central China...

, from Xi'an to Lanzhou
Lanzhou
Lanzhou is the capital and largest city of Gansu Province in Northwest China. A prefecture-level city, it is a key regional transportation hub, allowing areas further west to maintain railroad connections to the eastern half of the country....

, from Xi'an to Baoji
Baoji
Baoji is a prefecture-level city in Shaanxi province, China.-Geography:The prefecture-level city of Baoji has a population of 3,716,731 according to the 2010 Chinese census, inhabiting an area of . The city itself has a population of approximately 800,000. Surrounded on three sides by hills,...

, and from Xi'an to Mount Hua
Mount Hua
Mount Hua or Hua Shan in Chinese is located in Shaanxi Province, about 120 kilometres east of the city of Xi'an, near the city Huayin in China. Also known as Xiyuè, Western Great Mountain, it is one of China's Five Sacred Taoist Mountains, and has a long history of religious significance...

. China Railway High-speed 2
China Railways CRH2
The CRH2 is one of the high-speed train models in China. Originally, the CRH2 was a modified E2-1000 Series Shinkansen design from Japan with the license purchased from a consortium formed of Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, and Hitachi, and represents the second...

 now run an express services from Xi'an to Baoji and Xi'an to Zhengzhou; with a total running time to Baoji of under 90 minutes, and 2 hours to Zhengzhou. The Zhengzhou–Xi'an High-Speed Railway opened on February 6, 2010.

Expressways


Xi'an currently has two ring road systems, the Second Ring road and the Third Ring road which encircle the city. These ring roads are similar to freeways, except that there are traffic signals on the Second Ring road.

As a tourist city, Xi'an has built expressways to Lintong, Tongchuan and Baoji, with well-maintained roads to famous scenic spots in suburban counties and to the north slope of the Qin Mountains. Since its construction in September 2007, the Xi-Han Expressway connects Han Zhong
Han Zhong
Han Zhong was a Yellow Turban rebel general during the late Han Dynasty period of Chinese history.Han once occupied Wancheng along with Sun Zhong and Zhao Hong, two other rebel generals ranked lower than he did. Han was killed by an arrow during a battle against government forces led by Zhu Jun...

 and Xi'an through the Qinling Mountains. At 15 kilometers long the Zhongnan Shan Tunnel is the longest tunnel in Asia.

Airport


Xi'an Xianyang International Airport
Xi'an Xianyang International Airport
-Transportation:The airport is northwest of Xi'an city centre, and north of the city of Xianyang. Buses and taxis are available between the airport and Xi'an city centre.-Accidents and Incidents:...

 (airport code: XIY) is the major airport serving the city and is the largest airport in the northwestern part of China. The airport is located to the northwest of the city, between Xi'an and Xianyang
Xianyang
Xianyang is a former capital of China in Shaanxi province, on the Wei River, a few kilometers upstream from Xi'an. It has an area of...

. Chang'an Airlines
Chang'an Airlines
Chang’an Airlines Co., Ltd. was an airline based in Xi'an, Shaanxi, the People's Republic of China. It operated scheduled, passenger and cargo services within Shaanxi province and to neighbouring provinces. Its main base was Xi'an Xianyang International Airport, with a hub at Yinchuan Hedong Airport...

 and China Eastern Airlines
China Eastern Airlines
China Eastern Airlines Corporation Limited is an airline headquartered on the grounds of Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport in Changning District, Shanghai, China. It is a major Chinese airline operating international, domestic and regional routes. Its main hubs are at Shanghai Pudong...

 are the main airlines using the airport.

International Routes:
There are direct flights from Xi'an to many major cities in Asia, including Bangkok, Fukuoka, Hong Kong, Osaka, Pusan, Sapporo, Singapore and Seoul and Taipei.

Germany's Fraport
Fraport
Fraport AG Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide is a German transport company which operates the Frankfurt International Airport serving Frankfurt am Main and holds interests in the operation of several other airports around the world. In the past the firm also managed the smaller Frankfurt-Hahn...

, the operator of Frankfurt Airport
Frankfurt Airport
Frankfurt Airport may refer to:Airports of Frankfurt, Germany:*Frankfurt Airport , the largest airport in Germany*Frankfurt Egelsbach Airport, a general aviation airport*Frankfurt-Hahn Airport , a converted U.S...

, has paid 490 million yuan to obtain a 24.5-percent stake in the Xianyang International Airport, offering opportunities to upgrade and expand the facility.

Highways

  • China National Highway 210
    China National Highway 210
    China National Highway 210 runs from Baotou, Inner Mongolia to Nanning, Guangxi Province. It is 3,097 kilometres in length and runs south from Baotou towards Shaanxi Province, Sichuan Province, Chongqing, Guizhou Province, and ends in Guangxi Province.- Route and distance:-References:*...

  • China National Highway 211
    China National Highway 211
    China National Highway 211 runs from Yinchuan in Ningxia to Xi'an in Shaanxi. It is 645 kilometres in length and runs southwest from Wuning in Ningxia and then turns southeast on a virtual straight line to Xi'an via primarily rural areas....

  • China National Highway 312
    China National Highway 312
    China National Highway 312 , also referred to as Route 312 or The Mother Road, is an important highway that runs east-west across the breadth of People's Republic of China. It begins at the port city Shanghai and ends at Khorgas in the Ili River valley, on the border with Kazakhstan. In total it...


Culture



The culture of Xi'an descends from one of the world's earliest civilizations. The Guanzhong Ren
Guanzhong
Guanzhong , or Guanzhong Plain, is a historical region of China corresponding to the lower valley of the Wei River. It is called Guanzhong or 'within the passes' to distinguish it from 'Guandong' or 'east of the pass', that is, the North China Plain. The North China Plain is bordered on the west by...

 (关中人/關中人) culture is considered the cultural antecedent of Xi'anese; their features are satirized as the "Ten Strangenesses of Guanzhong Ren" (关中十大怪/關中十大怪). Xi'an is also known for the "Eight Great Sights of Chang'an" (长安八景/長安八景), a collection of scenic areas in the region.

Arts, drama, music, and film



Qinqiang
Qinqiang
Qinqiang or Luantan is the representative folk Chinese opera of the northwest Province of Shaanxi, China, where it was called Qin thousands of years ago. Its melodies were originated from the rural areas of ancient Shaanxi and Gansu...

 (Voice of Qin) is the oldest and most extensive of the four major types of Chinese opera. Also called "random pluck" (乱弹), Qinqiang is the main type of drama in Shaanxi province. As the earliest ancestor of Beijing Opera
Beijing opera
Peking opera or Beijing opera is a form of traditional Chinese theatre which combines music, vocal performance, mime, dance and acrobatics. It arose in the late 18th century and became fully developed and recognized by the mid-19th century. The form was extremely popular in the Qing Dynasty court...

, Yu Opera, Chuan Opera and Hebei Opera, Qinqiang has developed its own system of unique vocal music, spoken parts, facial makeup, posture, role, category and acting. It can be traced to Xi Qinqiang (西秦腔, Voice of West Qin) in Qin Dynasty, and blossomed until Qing Dynasty, with direct influences on many branches of Chinese Opera
Chinese opera
Chinese opera is a popular form of drama and musical theatre in China with roots going back as far as the third century CE...

.

The Tang Dynasty Music and Dance show presents ancient music and dance.

Chang'an School (长安画派) is a very important modern Chinese school of traditional arts. The main artists are Chen Zhongzhi (陈忠志), Zhao Wangyun (赵望云), Shilu (石鲁), He Haixia (何海霞).
Much like Beijing 798 and Shanghai 1933, Xi'an has an art district called Textile town (纺织城). The district is not an actual town but derives its name from the many textile factories built there since the 1950s. Today it is no longer a centre for the textile industry but a new art factory with 4 workshops in total. Since March 2007, more than 40 artists have taken a part in these workshops.

Xi'an is known for its rock music, and is one of the vigorous underground musical centres in China - the other three being Beijing, Kunming and Chengdu. It is home to contemporary Chinese Stars such as Xu Wei
Xu Wei (musician)
Xǔ Wēi is one of the best known rock musicians in China. He was born and raised in Pangliu village, near Xi'an.In 1984, Xǔ Wēi began learning to play the guitar at the age of sixteen, when he started high school. In April 1986, he attended the first guitar-singing competition in Xi'an, and won...

, Zhang Chu
Zhang Chu
Zhang Chu is a Chinese musician who was born in Xi'an, Shaanxi.Lauded by many as "the most lonesome singer-poet", Zhang Chu has remained a prominent figure on Chinese rock scene despite not releasing a new album since 1997...

, Zheng Jun
Zheng Jun
Zheng Jun is Chinese rock music singer. Originally from Xi'an, he attended university in Hangzhou. His first album, entitled Naked , was released by Red Star Productions in 1993, achieving immediate success...

.

Zhang Yimou
Zhang Yimou
Zhang Yimou is a Chinese film director, producer, writer and actor, and former cinematographer. He is counted amongst the Fifth Generation of Chinese filmmakers, having made his directorial debut in 1987 with Red Sorghum....

 and Gu Changwei
Gu Changwei
Gu Changwei is a Chinese cinematographer and film director. Gu was born in Xi'an, Shaanxi in the People's Republic of China. Gu is considered one of the major Chinese cinematographers working today.-Career:...

 are directors from Xi'an. Xi'an is also the only city in China to win the Golden Bear
Golden Bear
According to legend, the Golden Bear was a large golden Ursus arctos. Members of the Ursus arctos species can reach masses of . The Grizzly Bear and the Kodiak Bear are North American subspecies of the Brown Bear....

 (Berlin Film Festival) twice. The first film is Red Sorghum
Red Sorghum
Red Sorghum is a 1987 Chinese film about a young woman's life working on a distillery for sorghum liquor. It is based on a novel by Mo Yan....

and the second one is Tuya's Marriage
Tuya's Marriage
Tuya's Marriage is a 2006 Chinese film directed by Wang Quan'an.-Storyline:The film depicts life in Inner Mongolia, in a region where desertification is making life hard for nomadic herders...

. They are produced by Xi'an Filmmaking Factory (now called Xi'an Qujiang Filmmaking Group) and Xi'an Filmmaking company respectively.

Industrial zones


Major industrial zones in Xi'an include:
  • Xi'an Economic and Technological Development Zone
    Xi'an Economic and Technological Development Zone
    Xi'an Economic and Technological Development Zone is a state-level economic development zone in Xi'an, Shaanxi, China. The zone was established in 2000...

  • Xi'an Hi-Tech Industries Development Zone

Telecommunications industry


China's 3G standard (Datang Telecom) and Wireless standard (Xidian university) were developed in Xian. Many other domestic and multinational telecommunications vendors have set up their R&D centres and/or factories in Xi'an, including Huawei, ZTE, CATT, NEC, Fujitsu and Siemens. Xi'an is China's leading training centre for engineers. The universities and local companies have provided hundreds of thousands of engineers for the Chinese telecommunications industry.

Software, outsourcing industry and BPO



The growing economy of Xi'an supports the development of a software industry, and the city is a pioneer in software industry in China.

In 2005, the production value of software industry reached RMB 8.2 billion Yuan, with export revenue up to $US 42 million.

In recent years, service outsourcing industry in Xi'an has maintained robust growth. The outstanding contractor enterprises, rich human resources and preferential policies have paved a solid foundation for Xi'an to becoming a capital for service outsourcing.

Xi'an, as a second-tier city in China after the likes of Beijing and Shanghai, has a track record in the Business Process Outsourcing field. The local government is using tax and other incentives to encourage companies and professionals to relocate there.

A Silicon.com article describes Xi'an: "But Xi'an is selling on its own merits - with a large pool of cheap human resources from the 100 universities in the area, it hoovers up around 3,000 computer graduates every year, each earning approximately $120 a month - half the wages for the equivalent job in Beijing."

Game Industry


The largest internet bar in the world with more than 3000 computers is located in Xi'an. As one of the largest educational centres in China, with a huge number of undergraduate students, online games are very popular in the area. Xi'an has already hosted worldwide game competitions such as ACON5, CEG2006, and WCG2006.

Aerospace industry


In 2008, after the launch of the initial aerospace centre in Shanghai, China is constructing another civil aerospace centre in the Shaanxi province. The State Development and Reform Commission approved the planning of Xi'an National Civil Aerospace Industrial Base on December 26, 2007. The National Civil Aerospace Industrial Base of Xi'an, set to cover 23 square km, will focus on developing satellites, new materials, energies, IT and other technologies for civil applications.

In November 2006, Xi'an and the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation jointly set up Xi'an Aerospace Science and Technology Industrial Base. From its establishment, the base has focused on the development of the civil space industry, including equipment manufacturing, software and service outsourcing
Outsourcing
Outsourcing is the process of contracting a business function to someone else.-Overview:The term outsourcing is used inconsistently but usually involves the contracting out of a business function - commonly one previously performed in-house - to an external provider...

, new materials and solar photovoltaics
Photovoltaics
Photovoltaics is a method of generating electrical power by converting solar radiation into direct current electricity using semiconductors that exhibit the photovoltaic effect. Photovoltaic power generation employs solar panels composed of a number of solar cells containing a photovoltaic material...

.

Apart from the core area, the base will cover Xi'an and the Guanzhong
Guanzhong
Guanzhong , or Guanzhong Plain, is a historical region of China corresponding to the lower valley of the Wei River. It is called Guanzhong or 'within the passes' to distinguish it from 'Guandong' or 'east of the pass', that is, the North China Plain. The North China Plain is bordered on the west by...

 area (the central China) and the expansion zone will reach Northwest China and Southwest China
Southwest China
Southwest China is a region of the People's Republic of China defined by governmental bureaus that includes the municipality of Chongqing, the provinces of Sichuan, Yunnan and Guizhou, and the Tibet Autonomous Region.-Provinces:-Municipalities:...

. It is expected that by 2012 the total industry output can reach 2.8 billion us dollars with about 10 to 20 brand products with intellectual property rights and 5-8 products with global competitiveness.

Famous economists


Chinese economists from Northwest University in Xi'an include Zhang Weiying (张维迎), Zhang Shuguang (张曙光), Weijie (魏杰), Liu Shijin (刘世锦), Song Ze (宋则), Fenglun (冯仑), Feng Zongsu (冯宗苏), Zou Dongtao (邹东涛), Li Yiping (李义平), Zuo Zhonghai (左中海). Zhang Chaoyang (张朝阳), the CEO of SOHU (Nasdaq) company, born and grew up in Xi'an, is the leader in the field of Chinese Internet. Liu Chuanzhi
Liu Chuanzhi
Liu Chuanzhi is a Chinese businessman. Liu is the founder of Lenovo, the second largest computer maker in the world, and remains the paramount leader of the firm.-Lenovo:...

, the founder and president of Lenovo Group Limited, completed his higher education in Xidian University
Xidian University
Xidian University is a university located in Xi'an, Shaanxi, People's Republic of China. The university is regarded by having strong science and engineering programs....

 of Xi'an in 1960s.

World Horticultural Expo 2011


Xi’an was chosen to host the 2011 World Horticultural Exposition by the Association of International Producers of Horticulture
AIPH
The International Association of Horticultural Producers is an international organisation dedicated to promoting horticultural producers and held the international garden / flora festivals or expositions worldwide.-History:...

 (AIPH) at its 59th congress, held at Brighton
Brighton
Brighton is the major part of the city of Brighton and Hove in East Sussex, England on the south coast of Great Britain...

, United Kingdom on September 4, 2007. The 2011 World Horti-Expo will be held from April 28 to October 28, 2011. The exhibition will be located in a new district of the city, Chanba district, and is expected to bring some 10 million visitors to Xi’an.

High season


Long holidays are usual during Spring Festival, Labor Holiday (May 1–3), and National Holiday
National Day of the People's Republic of China
The National Day of the People's Republic of China is celebrated every year on October 1. It is a public holiday in the People's Republic of China to celebrate their national day.The PRC was founded on October 1, 1949 with a ceremony at Tiananmen Square...

 (October 1–7). The number of travellers is often greater during Summer (May–August), although the most pleasant season for visiting Xi'an is Autumn.

Sites






Because of the city's many historical monuments and a plethora of ancient ruins and tombs in the vicinity, tourism has been an important component of the local economy, and the Xi'an region is one of the most popular tourist destinations in China.

The city has many important historical sites, and some are ongoing archaeological projects, such as the Mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang
Terracotta Army
The Terracotta Army or the "Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses", is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China...

 and his Terracotta Army
Terracotta Army
The Terracotta Army or the "Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses", is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China...

. There are several burial mounds, tombs of the Zhou Dynasty
Zhou Dynasty
The Zhou Dynasty was a Chinese dynasty that followed the Shang Dynasty and preceded the Qin Dynasty. Although the Zhou Dynasty lasted longer than any other dynasty in Chinese history, the actual political and military control of China by the Ji family lasted only until 771 BC, a period known as...

 kings located in the city. Xi'an also contains some 800 royal mausoleum
Mausoleum
A mausoleum is an external free-standing building constructed as a monument enclosing the interment space or burial chamber of a deceased person or persons. A monument without the interment is a cenotaph. A mausoleum may be considered a type of tomb or the tomb may be considered to be within the...

s and tombs from the Han Dynasty
Han Dynasty
The Han Dynasty was the second imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Qin Dynasty and succeeded by the Three Kingdoms . It was founded by the rebel leader Liu Bang, known posthumously as Emperor Gaozu of Han. It was briefly interrupted by the Xin Dynasty of the former regent Wang Mang...

, with some of them yielding hundreds of sculpted clay soldiers, and remains of sacrificial temples from the Han era. The city has numerous Tang Dynasty
Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire...

 pagodas and is noted for its history museum and its stele forest, which is housed in an 11th-century Confucian temple containing large stone tablets from various dynasties.

Some of the most well-known sites in Xi'an are:
  • The city is surrounded by a well-preserved city wall
    City wall of Xi'an
    The fortifications of Xi'an, which is an ancient capital of China, represent one of the oldest and best preserved Chinese city walls. Construction of the first city wall of Chang'an began in 194 BCE and lasted for four years. That wall measured 25.7 km in length, 12–16 m in thickness at the...

     which was re-constructed in the 14th century during the early Ming Dynasty
    Ming Dynasty
    The Ming Dynasty, also Empire of the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644, following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty. The Ming, "one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history", was the last dynasty in China ruled by ethnic...

     and was based on the inner imperial palace of Tang Dynasty
    Tang Dynasty
    The Tang Dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire...

    .
  • The Mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang
    Qin Shi Huang
    Qin Shi Huang , personal name Ying Zheng , was king of the Chinese State of Qin from 246 BC to 221 BC during the Warring States Period. He became the first emperor of a unified China in 221 BC...

     and his Terracotta Army
    Terracotta Army
    The Terracotta Army or the "Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses", is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China...

     are located 40 km to the east of the city centre, in the city's suburbs.
  • The Bell Tower
    Bell Tower of Xi'an
    The Bell Tower of Xi'an , built in 1384 during the early Ming Dynasty, is a symbol of the city of Xi'an and one of the grandest of its kind in China. The Bell Tower also contains several large bronze-cast bells from the Tang Dynasty. The tower base is square and it covers an area of 1,377 square...

     and Drum Tower
    Drum Tower of Xi'an
    The Drum Tower of Xi'an , located in the heart of Xi'an in Shaanxi province of China, along with the Bell Tower it is a symbol of the city. Erected in 1380 during the early Ming Dynasty, it stands towering above the city center and offers incredible view of Xi'an.The Drum Tower got its name from...

    , both are located at the city's central axis.
  • The city's Muslim quarter, which is home to the Great Mosque of Xi'an.
  • The Giant Wild Goose Pagoda
    Giant Wild Goose Pagoda
    Giant Wild Goose Pagoda or Big Wild Goose Pagoda , is a Buddhist pagoda located in southern Xi'an, Shaanxi province, China. It was built in 652 during the Tang Dynasty and originally had five stories, although the structure was rebuilt in 704 during the reign of Empress Wu Zetian and its exterior...

     and Small Wild Goose Pagoda
    Small Wild Goose Pagoda
    The Small Wild Goose Pagoda, sometimes Little Wild Goose Pagoda , is one of two significant pagodas in the city of Xi'an, China, the site of the old Han and Tang capital Chang'an. The other notable pagoda is the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, originally built in 652 and restored in 704...

     are both spectacular towers and both are well over 1,000 years old and have survived great earthquakes. The former is next to a large square with the largest fountain in Asia which projects water high into the air, rising and falling in time to music during one of the daily performances (usually at noon and soon after sunset). They protected Buddhist writings in the past.
  • The Stele Forest
    Stele Forest
    The Stele Forest, or Xi'an Beilin Museum , is a museum for steles and stone sculptures which is located in Xi'an, China. Founded in 1944, it was the principal museum for Shaanxi province on the site of what was formerly an 11th century Confucius Temple...

     is famous for its numerous historic inscriptions and stoneworks
  • The Famen Temple
    Famen Temple
    Famen Temple is located in Famen town, Fufeng County, 120 kilometers west of Xi'an City, Shaanxi province. It was widely regarded as the "ancestor of pagoda temples in Guanzhong area".-History:...

     and its towering pagoda located on the city's outskirt
  • Xi Ming Temple
    Xi Ming Temple
    Xi Ming Monastery is a famous monastery located in Chang'an, the capital of Tang Dynasty in Chinese history. The Temple is located in Chang'an, current day Xi'an, which was located at the eastern terminus of the Silk Road, and placed within a cosmopolitan metropolis. Ximing was established by Tang...

  • Wolong Temple
    Wolong Temple
    Wolong Temple is located on Baishulin St., Beilin District, Xi'an, Shaanxi Province of China. According to the stele in the temple, it was first built during Lingdi years , Han Dynasty, more than 1,800 years ago. It was called "Fu Ying Chan Yuan" in Sui Dynasty...

     at Kaitong lane
  • Xingjiao Temple
    Xingjiao Temple
    Xingjiao Temple is located in Shaoling Yuan, Chang'an District of Xi'an City. The five-storied Buddhist Relic Pagoda, preserving the relics of Xuanzang , is inside the temple, along with the pagodas of his desciples, Kuiji and Yuance.Xingjiao Temple was built in AD 669 in order to re-inhume...

     at Shaolin Yuan (where Xuanzang
    Xuanzang
    Xuanzang was a famous Chinese Buddhist monk, scholar, traveler, and translator who described the interaction between China and India in the early Tang period...

    's Tomb lies)
  • Jianfu Temple
    Jianfu Temple
    Jianfu Temple is located on West Youyi Rd. outside south gate of Xi'an, Shaanxi Province. It hosts the famous Small Wild Goose Pagoda.-History:...

  • Blue Dragon Temple
  • Wangji Temple
  • The Banpo
    Banpo
    Banpo is an archaeological remain discovered in 1953 and located in the Yellow River Valley just east of Xi'an, China. It contains the remains of several well organized Neolithic settlements dating from 5600 - 6700 BP according to radiocarbon dating. It is a large area of 5-6 hectares and...

     Neolithic village is located on the outskirt of the city proper
  • The Qianling Mausoleum
    Qianling Mausoleum
    The Qianling Mausoleum is a Tang Dynasty tomb site located in Qian County, Shaanxi province, China, and is northwest from Xi'an, formerly the Tang capital. Built by 684 , the tombs of the mausoleum complex house the remains of various members of the royal Li family. This includes Emperor...

    , one of the many Tang Dynasty era tombs located in Xi'an
  • The Shaanxi History Museum
    Shaanxi History Museum
    Shaanxi History Museum, which located to the northwest of the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda in the ancient city Xi'an, in the Shaanxi province of China, is one of the first huge state museums with modern facilities in China. The museum houses over 300,000 items including murals, paintings, pottery,...

     has a large collection of artifacts both modern and ancient.
  • Mount Hua
    Mount Hua
    Mount Hua or Hua Shan in Chinese is located in Shaanxi Province, about 120 kilometres east of the city of Xi'an, near the city Huayin in China. Also known as Xiyuè, Western Great Mountain, it is one of China's Five Sacred Taoist Mountains, and has a long history of religious significance...

     is one of the most visited and steepest mountains in the country
  • Mount Zhongnan (终南山)
  • Mount Taibai
    Mount Taibai
    Mount Taibai is a mountain located on the border between Mei, Taibai and Zhouzhi counties in the south west of Shaanxi Province, China. The mount's highest point, Baxian Tower , rises to a height of 3767.2 meters and is the tallest in the Qinling Range, as well as the watershed between the Han...

  • Mount Li
    Mount Li
    Mount Li is a mountain located in the northwest of Xi'an in Shaanxi Province, China. The mountain is part of the Qinling mountain range and rises to a height of 1302 metres above sea level...

  • Huaqing Hot Springs (華清池)
    Huaqing Pool
    Huaqing Pool or the Huaqing Hot Springs are a complex of hot springs located in an area characterized by mild weather and scenic views at the northern foot of Mount Li, one of the three major peaks of the Qin Mountains...

    , at the foot of Mt. Li, have a history of 6,000 years, the adjacent Huaqing Palace has a history of 3,000 years. Ranked among the Hundred Famous Gardens in China, it also has the status as a National Cultural Relic Protection Unit and a National Key Scenic Area.

Major museums

  • Terracotta Army Museum
  • Shaanxi History Museum
    Shaanxi History Museum
    Shaanxi History Museum, which located to the northwest of the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda in the ancient city Xi'an, in the Shaanxi province of China, is one of the first huge state museums with modern facilities in China. The museum houses over 300,000 items including murals, paintings, pottery,...

  • Hanyang Tomb Museum, the 1st modern underground museum in China, opened in 2006
  • Stele Forest
    Stele Forest
    The Stele Forest, or Xi'an Beilin Museum , is a museum for steles and stone sculptures which is located in Xi'an, China. Founded in 1944, it was the principal museum for Shaanxi province on the site of what was formerly an 11th century Confucius Temple...

  • Xi'an Museum: October 20, 2006, international council of monuments sites (ICOMOS) international protection centre (IICC) was formally established here

National parks

  • Mount Cuihua, National Geological Park, Xi'an (西安翠华山国家地质公园)
  • Mount Li
    Mount Li
    Mount Li is a mountain located in the northwest of Xi'an in Shaanxi Province, China. The mountain is part of the Qinling mountain range and rises to a height of 1302 metres above sea level...

     National Forest Park, Xi'an (西安骊山国家森林公园)
  • Mount Zhuque National Forest Park, Xi'an (西安朱雀山国家森林公园)
  • Mount Zhongnan National Forest Park, Xi'an (西安终南山国家森林公园)
  • Mount Taibai
    Mount Taibai
    Mount Taibai is a mountain located on the border between Mei, Taibai and Zhouzhi counties in the south west of Shaanxi Province, China. The mount's highest point, Baxian Tower , rises to a height of 3767.2 meters and is the tallest in the Qinling Range, as well as the watershed between the Han...

     National Forest Park (太白山国家森林公园)
  • Mount Wangshun National Forest Park, Xi'an (西安王顺山国家森林公园)

Other parks


Sports


Cuju
Cuju
Cuju is an ancient code of football with similarities to association football. It is seen by some to be a forerunner of modern football and originated in China, and was also played in Korea, Japan and Vietnam.-History:...

 is a very old football game:

It was improved during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). First of all, the feather-stuffed ball was replaced by an air-filled ball with a two-layered hull. Also, two different types of goalposts emerged: One was made by setting up posts with a net between them and the other consisted of just one goal post in the middle of the field. Chang'an was filled with cuju football fields, in the backyards of large mansions, and some were even established in the grounds of the palace
Palace
A palace is a grand residence, especially a royal residence or the home of a head of state or some other high-ranking dignitary, such as a bishop or archbishop. The word itself is derived from the Latin name Palātium, for Palatine Hill, one of the seven hills in Rome. In many parts of Europe, the...

s. The level of female cuju teams also improved. Records indicate that once a 17-year-old girl beat a team of army soldiers. Cuju football became popular amongst the scholars and intellectuals, and if a courtier lacked skill in the game, he could pardon himself by acting as a scorekeeper.

Professional sports teams in Xi'an include:
  • Chinese Football Association Super League
    • Shaanxi Renhe Commercial Chanba F.C. (陕西人和商业浐灞)
  • Chinese Pingpong Association Super League
    • Galaxy (银河)
  • Chinese Basketball Association
    Chinese Basketball Association
    The Chinese Basketball Association , often abbreviated to the CBA, is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in China.The league is commonly known as the CBA, and this acronym is often used even in Chinese...

    • Shaanxi Dongsheng (东盛)

Xi'an is also the Chinese Boxing training base for the national team.

Television and radio

  • China Central Television
    China Central Television
    China Central Television or Chinese Central Television, commonly abbreviated as CCTV, is the major state television broadcaster in mainland China. CCTV has a network of 19 channels broadcasting different programmes and is accessible to more than one billion viewers...

    's channel 1 through 12 is broadcast nationwide.
  • Shaanxi Television
    Shaanxi Television
    Shaanxi Television, also known as SXTV, is a Chinese television network based in Xi'an, Sha'anxi Province, China.-History:SXTV was created in 1960. It went under a major merger with Sha'anxi cable television in 2001. The new SXTV went on air on 1 January 2002.-Channels:SXTV's flagship channel is...

     (SXTV) provincial station, broadcasts on eight channels as well as a satellite channel for other provinces.
  • Xi'an Television (XATV) municipal station, has six channels for specialized programming.
  • Shaanxi Radio broadcasts music, news.
  • Xi'an Music Radio: FM 93.1, broadcasts music, news and talkshows.
  • Shaanxi Music Radio: Fm 98.8, broadcasts music, news and talkshows.

Printed media

  • Chinese Business View (华商报) is a popular daily newspaper.
  • Xi'an Evening News (Xi'an Wanbao) (西安晚报), with a history of 50 years (1957–2007), is one of the oldest newspapers.
  • Sanqin Daily (三秦都市报) covers the news of Shaanxi Province.
  • Shaanxi Daily (陕西日报) covers the news of Shaanxi Province and Xi'an.
  • Xian Grooves is a popular magazine for the expat community of Xi'an.
  • Xianese a popular magazine aimed at the expat and Chinese community of Xi'an.

International relations


Xi'an's twin towns and sister cities are:
Nara
Nara, Nara
is the capital city of Nara Prefecture in the Kansai region of Japan. The city occupies the northern part of Nara Prefecture, directly bordering Kyoto Prefecture...

, Japan. (1974) Kyoto
Kyoto
is a city in the central part of the island of Honshū, Japan. It has a population close to 1.5 million. Formerly the imperial capital of Japan, it is now the capital of Kyoto Prefecture, as well as a major part of the Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto metropolitan area.-History:...

, Japan. (1974) Edinburgh
Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

, United Kingdom. (1985) Pau, France. (1986) Kansas City
Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri is the largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri and is the anchor city of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, the second largest metropolitan area in Missouri. It encompasses in parts of Jackson, Clay, Cass, and Platte counties...

, United States. (1989) Esfahan, Iran. (1989) Dortmund
Dortmund
Dortmund is a city in Germany. It is located in the Bundesland of North Rhine-Westphalia, in the Ruhr area. Its population of 585,045 makes it the 7th largest city in Germany and the 34th largest in the European Union....

, Germany. (1991) Lahore
Lahore
Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and the second largest city in the country. With a rich and fabulous history dating back to over a thousand years ago, Lahore is no doubt Pakistan's cultural capital. One of the most densely populated cities in the world, Lahore remains a...

, Pakistan. (1992)
Funabashi
Funabashi, Chiba
is a city located in northwestern Chiba Prefecture, Japan. As of February 2011, the city had an estimated population of 609,157 and a population density of 7110 persons per km². The total area was 85.64 km². It is the 7th most populous city in Greater Tokyo....

, Japan. (1994) Gyeongju
Gyeongju
Gyeongju is a coastal city in the far southeastern corner of North Gyeongsang province in South Korea. It is the second largest city by area in the province after Andong, covering with a population of 269,343 people according to the 2008 census. Gyeongju is southeast of Seoul, and east of the...

, South Korea. (1994) Iaşi
Iasi
Iași is the second most populous city and a municipality in Romania. Located in the historical Moldavia region, Iași has traditionally been one of the leading centres of Romanian social, cultural, academic and artistic life...

, Romania. (1994) Dnipropetrovsk
Dnipropetrovsk
Dnipropetrovsk or Dnepropetrovsk formerly Yekaterinoslav is Ukraine's third largest city with one million inhabitants. It is located southeast of Ukraine's capital Kiev on the Dnieper River, in the south-central region of the country...

, Ukraine. (1995) Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

, Turkey. (1996) Kathmandu, Nepal. (1996) Brasília
Brasília
Brasília is the capital city of Brazil. The name is commonly spelled Brasilia in English. The city and its District are located in the Central-West region of the country, along a plateau known as Planalto Central. It has a population of about 2,557,000 as of the 2008 IBGE estimate, making it the...

, Brazil. (1997)
Québec City
Quebec City
Quebec , also Québec, Quebec City or Québec City is the capital of the Canadian province of Quebec and is located within the Capitale-Nationale region. It is the second most populous city in Quebec after Montreal, which is about to the southwest...

, Canada. (2001) Córdoba
Córdoba, Argentina
Córdoba is a city located near the geographical center of Argentina, in the foothills of the Sierras Chicas on the Suquía River, about northwest of Buenos Aires. It is the capital of Córdoba Province. Córdoba is the second-largest city in Argentina after the federal capital Buenos Aires, with...

, Argentina. (2006) Pompei
Pompei
Pompei is a city and comune in the province of Naples in Campania, southern Italy, famous for its ancient Roman ruins. As of 2010 its population was of 25,671.-History:...

, Italy. (2007) Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

, Greece Kalamata
Kalamata
Kalamata is the second-largest city of the Peloponnese in southern Greece. The capital and chief port of the Messenia prefecture, it lies along the Nedon River at the head of the Messenian Gulf...

, Greece (2009) Birmingham
Birmingham
Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands of England. It is the most populous British city outside the capital London, with a population of 1,036,900 , and lies at the heart of the West Midlands conurbation, the second most populous urban area in the United Kingdom with a...

, United Kingdom. Cusco
Cusco
Cusco , often spelled Cuzco , is a city in southeastern Peru, near the Urubamba Valley of the Andes mountain range. It is the capital of the Cusco Region as well as the Cuzco Province. In 2007, the city had a population of 358,935 which was triple the figure of 20 years ago...

, Peru.

Public

  • Chang'an University
    Chang'an University
    Directly under the administration of Ministry of Education, Chang'an University , is one of the State "211 Project" key development universities. It was merged by the former Xi'an Highway University, Xi'an Engineering Institute and Northwest Institute of Construction Engineering on April 18, 2000...

     (长安大学)
  • Northwest A&F University
    Northwest A&F University
    Northwest A&F University , formerly known as Northwest Sci-Tech University of Agriculture and Forestry, located in Yangling District, Xianyang, Shaanxi, China, is a national university dominant in the fields of agriculture biology including wheat breeding, entomology, agriculture...

     (西北农林科技大学) (founded 1934) http://www.nwsuaf.edu.cn/
  • Northwestern Polytechnical University
    Northwestern Polytechnical University
    Northwestern Polytechnical University is a University located in 127#, Youyi West Road, Xi'an, Shaanxi, People's Republic of China.-History:...

     (西北工业大学)
  • Northwest University
    Northwest University, China
    Northwest University , located in the ancient Chinese capital city of Xi'an, is one of the nation's leading comprehensive universities. Founded in 1902, it is one of the oldest institutions of learning in Northwest China....

     (西北大学)
  • Northwest University of Political Science and Law (西北政法大学)
  • Shaanxi Institute of Education (陕西教育学院) http://www.snie.edu.cn/ischool/
  • Shaanxi Normal University
    Shaanxi Normal University
    The Shaanxi Normal University is one of the bottom educational universities in the People's Republic of China that are authorized to make the degrees available for the purchase in the educational of the training.- Overview :...

     (陕西师范大学)
  • Xi'an Academy of Fine Arts (西安美术学院) http://www.xafa.edu.cn/
  • Xi'an Conservatory of Music (西安音乐学院) http://www.xacom.edu.cn/structure/index
  • Xi'an University of Arts and Science (西安文理学院) http://www.xawl.org/
  • Xi'an Institute of Post & Telecommunications (西安邮电学院) http://www.xiyou.edu.cn/
  • Xi'an International Studies University
    Xi'an International Studies University
    Xi'an International Studies University is located in the city of Xi'an which is famous for the Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses, considered by many to be the "Eighth Wonder" of the world.- History :...

     (西安外国语大学)
  • Xi'an Jiaotong University
    Xi'an Jiaotong University
    Xi'an Jiaotong University , also known as Xi'an Chiao Tung University, is a top Chinese university located in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, People's Republic of China. Xi'an Jiaotong University is located in Xi'an, the ancient capital of China...

     (西安交通大学)
  • Xi'an Physical Education Institute (西安体育学院) http://www.xaipe.edu.cn/index.htm
  • Xi'an Polytechnic University
    Xi'an Polytechnic University
    Xi'an Polytechnic University is a college located in Xi'an, in the Shaanxi province, China.- History :Xi'an Polytechnic University was founded in 1912 as the machine-weaving facility of the Beijing High Industry School...

     (西安工程大学)
  • Xi'an Shiyou University
    Xi'an Shiyou University
    Xi'an Shiyou University is a university in Xi'an, China.- History :In May 2003, with permission of the Chinese National Education Ministry, Xi'an Petroleum Institution changed its name to Xi'an Shiyou University...

     (西安石油大学) http://www.xsyu.edu.cn/
  • Xi'an Technological University (西安工业大学) http://www.xatu.cn
  • Xi'an University of Architecture and Technology
    Xi'an University of Architecture and Technology
    Xi'an University of Architecture and Technology is a university in Xi'an, China.It has more than 2,100 teaching staff, 26,000 undergraduate students, and 3,600 graduate students.-External links:* Official site....

     (西安建筑科技大学)
  • Xi'an University of Finance and Economics (西安财经学院) http://www.xaufe.edu.cn/
  • Xi'an University of Science and Technology (西安科技大学)
  • Xi'an University of Technology (西安理工大学) http://www.xaut.edu.cn/
  • Xidian University
    Xidian University
    Xidian University is a university located in Xi'an, Shaanxi, People's Republic of China. The university is regarded by having strong science and engineering programs....

     (西安电子科技大学) (founded 1931)

Military

  • Air force Engineering University (空军工程大学, 1999年由空军电讯工程学院、空军工程学院、空军导弹学院合编组成)
  • The Fourth Military Medical University (第四军医大学) http://www.fmmu.edu.cn/
  • The Second Artillery Engineering University of People's Liberation Army (解放军第二炮兵工程学院)
  • (PLA) Xi’an Telecommunication College (解放军西安通信学院)

Private

  • Shaanxi Institute of International Commerce (陕西国际商贸学院)
  • Xi'an Eurasia University (西安欧亚学院; University website)
  • Xi'an Fanyi University (西安翻译学院)
  • Xi'an International University (西安外事学院,University website)
  • Xi'an Peihua University (西安培华学院)
  • Xi'an Siyuan University (西安思源学院)


Note: Institutions without full-time bachelor programs are not listed.

External links