City Guide Hotels Tours

Currencies:

travelchinanow.com travelchinanow.com

Share Font Print Send to Friend

HomeChina attraction guideXian attraction

Xian Ancient City Wall

An Introduction to Xian Ancient City Wall

Xian Ancient City Wall is not only a well preserved ancient Chinese monument but was once also a complex and well-organized system of defense for the city. The magnificent and grandiose Xian Ancient City Wall was constructed in the early Ming Dynasty on the basis of the Imperial City of Chang An (Everlasting Peace) of the Tang Dynasty. It is also a symbol of great significance of the famous historic cultural city of Xian.

The first city wall of Xian was built of earth, rammed layer upon layer. The base layer was made of earth, quick lime, and glutinous rice extract, tamped together. It made the wall extremely strong and firm. Later, the wall was totally enclosed with bricks. A moat, wide and deep, ran around the city. Over the moat, there used to be a huge drawbridge, which would cut off the way in and out of the city, once lifted.

Xian's Ancient City Wall, after its enlargement in the Ming Dynasty, stands 12 meters high. It is 12-14 meters across the top, 15-18 meters thick at bottom, and 13.7 kilometers in length. There is a rampart every 120 meters. The ramparts are towers that extend out from the main wall. The ramparts were built to allow soldiers to see enemies trying to climb the wall. The distance between the ramparts is within the range of arrows fired from either side. This allowed soldiers to protect the entire wall without exposing themselves to the enemy. There are altogether 98 ramparts; each has a sentry building on top of it.

Throughout the time Xian Ancient 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.

There is a rampart which extends out from the main wall, every 120 meters. 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 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.

Ancient City Wall includes four gates and they are respectively named as Changle (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 outward 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.

A circular 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.

The Ancient City Wall is a timeless display of the ability and wisdom of the people of ancient China. It provides visitors with an invaluable insight into Chinese history, military developments and architecture.

Recommended Tours Covering this Attraction

Google Map

Tailor Made Your Tour in China

Tailor Made Your Tour in China , TravelChinaNow.com
When you want the best tailor made travel in China, please choose travelchinanow.com to do it for you. Your specific requirements for your trip are unique to you, and therefore your trip is an unusual one and we want to make it special.CHECK NOW
Winter Vacation
Xian Ancient City Wall
  • Xian Ancient City Wall
  • Xian Ancient City Wall
  • Xian Ancient City Wall
  • Xian Ancient City Wall

View Top 10 Xian Attractions

Got a Question?

Tell us what you think and get replies from our travel advisor in 1 day.

  • Your Question

  • Name

  • Email

  •  Send me an email if anyone replies
  •  Receive our special offers newletter

Top Five Tours

4 Days Xian Exploration Tour
4 Days Xian Exploration Tour
Terra Cotta Warriors, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, ...  >>More
4 Days Beijing Private Tour
4 Days Beijing Private Tour
It is the typical tour of Beijing, which will...  >>More
9 Days Amazing Southwest Chi
9 Days Amazing Southwest China Natural Scenery Tour
If you are a nrture worshiper, then you ought...  >>More
Hangzhou 3 Day City Tour
Hangzhou 3 Day City Tour
Lingyin Temple, West Lake, Viewing Fish at Fl...  >>More
Jiuzhai, Panda, Dujiangyan a
Jiuzhai, Panda, Dujiangyan and Qingcheng Mountain Tour
Beautiful Jiuzhaigou, Dujiang Yan, a 2500 wat...  >>More
Copyright © Reserved by China travel guide 2010-2012
China Travel Service, Beijing Direction Ltd., China Company License Number: 110101010428551