Covering 9,983 square kilometers, Xian locates at Guanzhong Basin, on the middle reaches of Yellow River of northwest China with Loess Plateau to the north, Qinling Mountain Ranges to the south, Taibai Mountain to the west and Ling River to the east, and Qinling Mountain Ranges (with an altitude of 2,000-2,800 m above the sea level) serve as a geographical dividing line of North China and South China.
Wanna know China in recent 20 years? Please visit Shenzhen; in recent 100 years? Shanghai; in recent 1,000 years? Beijing; in recent 5,000 years? Xian.
Xian is among the four ancient capitals in the world along with Athens, Rome and Cairo, and it’s served as capital intermittently for 13 dynasties from the 11th Century B.C. to 10th Century A.D., namely, Western Zhou dynasty, Qin dynasty, Western Han dynasty, Xin dynasty, Eastern Han dynasty, Western Jin dynasty, Former Zhao dynasty, Former Qin dynasty, Later Qin dynasty, Western Wei dynasty, Northern Zhou dynasty, Sui Dynasty and Tang dynasty. Xian was listed as a historic city in the world by the UNESCO in 1981.
The imperial court of the Han Dynasty sent Zhang Qian to the Western Regions as an envoy during the 2nd century B.C. to forge alliances with western-region states, which would stop raids by the Huns on the dynasty’s borders, and Zhang Qian opened up the world-famous Silk-Road. The 7,000-km long Silk-Road starts with Chang’an (Xian), which runs across Xinjiang via Hexi Corridor and leads to Europe, greatly promoting the economic and cultural exchange between the Han Empire and the world.
As a tourist hub of China, Xian is rich in cultural heritages of various kinds, where over 16 key cultural relics units under China’s state protection, 68 ones under provincial-level government’s protection, 203 ones under county-level government’s protection are available, highlighted Terracotta warriors, Mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang and Xian Ancient City Wall.
The archaeological excavation shows that Xian is one of the most important cradles of the Chinese civilization, where the Lantian tribes lived and the Banpo culture was created, and it’s one of the prehistoric-culture centers in China.