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Xianyang City is 28 kilometers away from Xi'an. It was the capital of the famous Qin Dynasty in Chinese history. Qin Shihuang, the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty, gained power in Xianyang and finally established the first centralized feudal unitary multinational state. After the unification of the six kingdoms, the new country was ordered by Qin Shihuang to build "racing roads", these wide roads used for the galloping of horses and carts. There were three major roads which radiated from Xianyang. One goes eastward to Hebei, Liaoning and Shandong. Another goes south to Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Hunan, Hubei, Jiangxi and Anhui, and the third to Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region. The roads played an important role in the flow of products, army movements and the consolidation of the country's unification. In order to strengthen the power of the central government, Qin Shihuang gave orders to set up palaces with distinctive features on the northern slope of Xianyang. Here all members of the imperial families from the former six kingdoms were put under house arrest. At the same time, Qin Shihuang had the noble and rich men of almost 20,000 families move to Xianyang. Xianyang was already a prosperous metropolis with about one million people at that time.
Xianyang was a vital communication line to the northwest part of China during the Han Dynasty. It was also the imperial resort area during the Western Han period. Of the emperors of this period nine were buried here. Near the imperial mausoleums, there are also tombs of many imperial kinsmen and civil and military officials. Therefore, Xianyang is known for its wealth of cultural and historical relics from both the Qin and the Han dynasties, from above and below the ground. Xianyang Museum focuses its exhibition on the historical relics of the Qin and the Han dynasties.
It was originally a Confucian temple, was altered, reconstructed and opened to the public in 1962. The construction area is 3,855 square meters and the exhibition area is 1,216 square meters. It houses 15,000 or more cultural relics, out of which 4,000 are on display. The museum consists of seven exhibition areas.
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