Tour Guide Hiring & Car Rental Service in China
Location:Xi'an, Shannxi
Tags:

Xian City Wall

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,’ so that he could fortify the city and unify the other states. After the establishment of the Ming dynasty, Zhu Yuanzhang followed his advice and began to enlarge the wall built initially during the old Tang dynasty (618 -907), creating the modern Xian City Wall. It’s the most complete city wall that has survived in China, as well being one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world.

After the extension, the wall now stands 12 meters (40 feet) tall, 12-14 meters (40-46 feet) wide at the top and 15-18 meters (50-60 feet) thick at the bottom. It covers 13.7 kilometers (8.5 miles) in length with a deep moat surrounding it. Every 120 meters, there is a rampart which extends out from the main wall. All together, there are 98 ramparts on the wall, which were built to defend against the enemy climbing up the wall. Each rampart has a sentry building, in which the soldiers could protect the entire wall without exposing themselves to the enemy. Besides, the distance between every two ramparts is just within the range of an arrow shot from either side, so that they could shoot the enemy, who wanted to attack the city, from the side. On the outer side of the city wall, there are 5,948 crenellations, namely battlements. The soldiers can outlook and shoot at the enemy. On the inner side, parapets were built to protect the soldiers from falling off.

Since the ancient weapons did not have the power to break through a wall and the only way for an enemy to enter the city was by attacking the gate of the city wall. This is why complicated gate structures were built within the wall. In Xian, the city wall includes four gates and they are respectively named as Changle (meaning eternal joy) in the east, Anding (harmony peace) in the west, Yongning (eternal peace) in the south and Anyuan (forever harmony) in the north. The south gate, Yongning, is the most beautifully decorated one. It is very near to the Bell Tower, center of the city. Important greeting ceremonies organized by the Provincial Government are usually held in the south gate square.

Each city gate has three gate towers: Zhenglou, Jianlou and Zhalou. The most outside is Zhalou, which stands away from the City Wall and is opposite to Zhenglou. It was used to raise and lower the suspension bridge. Jianlou with small windows in the front and flanks was used as a defensive outpost. Zhenglou, in the inner, is the main entrance to the city. The wall connects Jianlou and Zhenglou Towers. The area between them within the wall was called ‘Wong Cheng’, in which the soldiers stationed. From Wong Cheng, there are sloped horse passages leading to the top of the city wall.

Initially, the wall was built with layers of dirt, with the base layer including also lime and glutinous rice extract. Throughout the time Xian City Wall has been restored three times. In 1568, Zhang Zhi (the government officer of that period) was in charge to rebuild the wall with bricks. In 1781, another officer, Bi Yuan, refitted the city wall and the gate towers. More recently (since 1983) the Shaanxi Provincial Government restored the city wall again. The circular City Wall Park has been built along the high wall and the deep moat. The thriving trees and flowers decorate the classical Chinese architecture of the wall, adding additional beauty to the city of Xian.

You may also like:

Mu’s Mansion Mu Prince's Mansion covers an area of 46 mu (about 8 acres) and spans a length of 369 meters (about 404 yards). It sits against the Shizi Hill (Lion Hill). Mu Prince's Mansion completely reflects the open spirit of Naxi people for adoption of multiple cultures. ...
White Cloud Mountain White Cloud Mountain, located about 17 kilometers north of Guangzhou, has been one of the most famous spots of natural beauty in Guangzhou. People always describe the natural beauty of Guangzhou as being composed of white cloud and pearl sea, the white cloud referring...
Erhai Lake Er Lake is an alpine fault lake in Yunnan province, China. Its name means "Ear-shaped Sea", due to its shape as seen by locals and travellers. Er Lake was also known as Yeyuze or Kunming Lake in ancient times. A commonly-seen mistranslation is Erhai Lake. Erhai is ...
Thousand Islets Lake (Qian Dao Lake) Did you ever want to escape from the bustling metropolis? Come to Thousand Islets Lake and experience something special. With 81% of the area covered in forests, Thousand Islets Lake (Qian Dao Lake) is a pure lake with clean, fresh air. It is a young lake formed in...
Guangxiao Temple Guangxiao Temple is located on the Guangxiao Road and is the biggest and oldest Buddhist temple in the city. It is also a National Cultural Relic Protected monument. Guangxiao Temple is considered to be very important in the history of Chinese Buddhism and several...
Jinuo Mountain Village Situated in Jinghong City popedom, Jinuo Mountain has a circumference of over 600 kilometers. With convenient traffic, it is 42 kilometers from Menglun Town in Mengla County to the east and 20 kilometers from Mengyang to the west. As one of six mountain hills of Pu’er...
Tongli Town Originally named Fushi, Tongli is an age-old but very well preserved water township with a history of more than 1,000 years. Located on the eastern shore of Taihu Lake, just 18 kilometers (11 miles) from Suzhou City, the town is 63 square kilometers (24 square miles) ...
Nanxun Ancient Town Located on the Hangjiahu (Hangzhou-Jiaxing-Huzhou) Plain of the Yangtze River Delta, to the east of Huzhou City in northern Zhejiang Province and adjacent to Suzhou City of Jiangsu Province, Nanxun Ancient Town once was the richest among the six ancient towns in the J...
Nanzhao Customs Island Nanzhao Customs Island is a tiny island in large Erhai Lake near the village Shuanglang. It is one of several islands and islets that dot the lake. It is also called Nanzhao Love Island. Its Chinese name is Nanzhao Fenqing Dao. It was turned into a Nanzhao theme park ...
Bamboo Temple An old legend tells that during immemorial times, the king of the Dali kingdom and his brother drove out and went hunting rhinoceros. However, when they drove along the way till the Jade Table Hill (Yu`anshan), all the animals disappeared. At its place, they saw a gro...