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Home History and Culture Ancient Capitals of China (Xi'an)
Ancient Capitals of China (Xi'an)
Learn Chinese - History and Culture

Xi’an (xī ‘ān 西安) is located in the middle of the 800-li Qinchuan (bā bǎi lǐ qín chuān 八百里秦川). It is bordered on the south by the Qingling Mountain Range (qín lǐng 秦岭), and on the north by the Weihe River (wèi hé 渭河), with a terrain sloping from the southeast to the northwest. There are many rivers in the city. Since ancient times, it is celebrated for“eight rivers flowing around Chang’an (cháng ān 长安, the old name for Xi’an in ancient times)".

Xi’an is an important center for the origin of ancient civilization in the drainage of the Yellow River (huáng hé 黄河). Xi’an, together with Athens, Rome and Cairo, are called the world’s four great ancient capitals. It was called Chang’an in ancient times. It has 3000 years of recorded history. Form the Western Zhou Dynasty (xī zhōu 西周) to the Tang Dynasty (táng cháo 唐朝), Xi’an has been the capital of 12 dynasties for 2000 years. The Han and The Tang dynasties are considered the zenith of Xi’an.

Chang’an in the Han Dynasty (hàn cháo 汉朝) was 2 times larger than ancient Rome. It in the Tang Dynasty was the largest and most cosmopolitan city in the world, measuring 84.1km2, 2.4 times the size of the Han Chang’an, with over one million residents.

Xi’an has a relatively advanced industry. Its machinery, electronics, electrical appliances, textiles and national defense industries are celebrated throughout the country. As a famous city of history and culture, it is also one of the main tourist attractions.

The Big Wild Goose PagodaThe Big Wild Goose Pagoda

The Big Wild Goose Pagoda (dà yàn tǎ 大雁塔) is considered to be symbol of ancient Xi’an. The original one had five storeys. When Wu Zetian (wǔ zé tiān 武则天, the only empress in Chinese history) came to the throne, it was expanded to 10 storeys. Subsequently, it was devastated by wars and fires. Now it has only seven storeys, with a height of 64 m.

The Pool of Glorious PurityThe Pool of Glorious Purity
The Pool of Glorious Purity (huá qīng chí 华清池) is an old famous hot spring whose temperature is about 43. It is the place where the Emperor Xuanzong (xuán zōng huáng dì 玄宗皇帝) of the Tang Dynasty and Concubine Yang (yáng guì fēi 杨贵妃) often came here. The water here contains various chemical elements that are good for medical and health care.








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