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Home : China Guide : Shaanxi : Xian

City Wall of Xian
Ancient City wall in XianThe City Wall of Xian was established in the 3rd year of Hongwu Period of the Ming Dynasty(1370 A.D.) in a rectangular form with a perimeter of 13.79 km and an area of 11.47 square km. It’s 12 meters tall, 14 meters wide at the top and 18 meters thick at the base with 18 gates and a surrounding moat, being the only best preserved large ancient fortress in China.       City Wall Map

Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang began to enlarge the wall built initially during the Tang dynasty (618 -907), creating the modern Xian City Wall. It is China's best preserved ancient city wall and one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world.

The wall was originally built with layers of dirt, with the base layer consisting of lime and glutinous rice extract. The wall was restored three times, starting from the 16th century until the 20th century. The wall has four gates and 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. It has a rampart at every 120 metre, a total of 98 ramparts. Each rampart is equipped with a sentry building.

North Gate
Welcome ceremony at Ancient City Gate in XianAnyuan Gate, at the end of Welcome Avenue, is the must entry gate to the City from the airport and the central station. According to the historic records, when the honoured guests arrived at the gate, several armored guards would stand on the both sides, chanting "Open the Gate" at the same time and pulling the 2 scarlet doors out, meanwhile, guided by the ladies with lanterns in their hands, the officers would present the "welcoming wines" and issue the "visa" to every guest, then the guests would be allowed to walk on the red carpet, guarded by the officers and ladies to enter the city, then another officer would chop his "visa" with a scarlet seal.  This is truly the special welcome ceremony of the Tang Dynasty.

South Gate
Ancient City Gate in XianThe south gate, named Yongning, is the most beautifully decorated one. It is located next to the Bell Tower, center of the city. Important ceremonies organized by the Provincial Government are usually held in the south gate square.

At night, on the Suspension - bridge Square outside the south gate of the City Wall, a mysterious scene is revealed before your eyes: banners and flags are fluttering, red lanterns are hung. Trumpets are blown; drums are beaten, accompanied by elegant and majestic music. The mighty guards of honor march out to host the guests, followed by civil and military officials, foreign envoys and beauties holding lanterns. Women in the style of Tang Dynasty beauties dance gracefully as they present their honored guests with flowers and fruits.

The classical marching-in ceremony begins. The war drums and the military marches are resumed. The guards of honor start to perform. The envoys shout unanimously, "Our honored guests are kindly invited to enter the gate''. Led by the beauties, the guests walk through the imperial passage, across the suspension bridge and enter the gate. They are expected to participate in the signing ceremony for entering the city within the City Wall. After that, they ascend the City Wall to appreciate the night view of Xi'an.

The classical marching-in ceremony imitating the ancient times introduced by Xi'an City Wall Renovation and Protection Committee is a kind of tourist program devised on the basis of Chinese traditional reception rites and the rites practiced in the Tang Dynasty, it fully demonstrates the hospitality of Xi'an people towards distinguished guests. Joining the ceremony. One can experience personally the elements of the Chinese history and culture. The marching- in ceremony is really a grand ceremony held in the city of rites.

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The City Wall of Xian was established in the 3rd year of Hongwu Period of the Ming Dynasty(1370 A.D.) in a rectangular form with a perimeter of 13.79 km and an area of 11.47 square km...blog

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