Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Xi'an: home of the first Emperor as well as movie director Zhang Yimou

Xi'an by Shawn's Cool Photos
Xi'an, a photo by Shawn's Cool Photos on Flickr.

Xi'an is the capital of the Shaanxi province 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 before the Ming Dynasty.[1]

Xi'an is one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China, says Wikipedia, having held that position under several of the most important dynasties in Chinese history,[3] including Zhou, Qin, Han, Sui, and Tang.[3]

Xi'an is the eastern terminus of the Silk Road and home to the Terracotta Army.[1]

The first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang ordered the construction of the Terracotta Army and his mausoleum just to the east of Xi'an almost immediately after his ascension to the throne.

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.

Since the 1990s Xi'an has re-emerged as an important cultural, industrial and educational centre, with facilities for research and development, national security and China's space exploration program.