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Chang'an (; ) is the traditional name of
Xi'an Xi'an ( , ; ; Chinese: ), sometimes romanized as Sian, is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals ...
. The site had been settled since
Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is t ...
times, during which the
Yangshao culture The Yangshao culture was a Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age, with a wide-ranging set of developments that appear to have arisen independently in several parts of the world. It is first seen about 12,000 ye ...
was established in
Banpo Banpo is an archaeological site discovered in 1953 and located in the Yellow River Valley just east of Xi'an Xi'an ( , ; ; Chinese: ), sometimes romanized as Sian, is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital lette ...

Banpo
, in the city's suburbs. Furthermore, in the northern vicinity of modern Xi'an,
Qin Shi Huang Qin Shi Huang (, ; 259–210 BCE), or Shihuangdi, was the founder of the Qin dynasty, and first Emperor of China, emperor of a unified China. Rather than maintain the title of "Chinese king, king" ( ''wáng'') borne by the previous Shang dyna ...
of the
Qin dynasty The Qin dynasty, or Ch'in dynasty in Wade–Giles Wade–Giles () is a romanization Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of ever ...

Qin dynasty
, China's first emperor, held his imperial court, and constructed his massive mausoleum guarded by the
Terracotta Army The Terracotta Army is a collection of sculptures depicting the armies of , the first . It is a form of buried with the emperor in 210–209 BCE with the purpose of protecting the emperor in his afterlife. The figures, dating from approximat ...

Terracotta Army
. From its capital at
Xianyang Xianyang () is a prefecture-level city A road sign shows distance to the "Huangshi urban area" () rather than simply " Yangxin County from the neighboring Xianning), but still from the Huangshi main urban area. A prefectural-level muni ...

Xianyang
, the Qin dynasty ruled a larger area than either of the preceding dynasties. The imperial city of Chang'an during the
Han dynasty#REDIRECT Han dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by the rebel leader Liu Bang and ruled by the House of Liu. Preceded by the short-lived Qin dynas ...

Han dynasty
was located northwest of today's Xi'an. During the
Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an interregnum An interregnum (plural interregna or interregnums) is a period of discontinuity or "gap" in a government, organiza ...
, the area that came to be known as Chang'an included the area inside the Ming Xi'an fortification, plus some small areas to its east and west, and a substantial part of its southern suburbs. Thus, Tang Chang'an was 8 times the size of the Ming Xi'an, which was reconstructed upon the site of the former imperial quarters of the
Sui
Sui
and Tang city. During its heyday, Chang'an was one of the largest and most populous
cities A city is a large human settlement In geography, statistics and archaeology, a settlement, locality or populated place is a community in which people live. The complexity of a settlement can range from a small number of dwellings grouped to ...

cities
in the world. Around AD 750, Chang'an was called a "million man city" in Chinese records, with modern estimates putting it at around 800,000–1,000,000 within city walls.(a) Tertius Chandler, ''Four Thousand Years of Urban Growth: An Historical Census'', Lewiston, New York: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1987. . (b)
George ModelskiGeorge Modelski (born January 9, 1926 Poznań Poznań ( , , or ; la, Posnania; german: Posen; yi, פאָזנא; known also by #Names, other historical names) is a city on the Warta River in west-central Poland, in the Greater Poland region. ...
, ''World Cities: –3000 to 2000'', Washington, D.C.: FAROS 2000, 2003. .
According to the census in 742 recorded in the ''
New Book of Tang The ''New Book of Tang'' (''Xīn Tángshū''), generally translated as "New History of the Tang", or "New Tang History", is a work of official history covering the Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dyna ...
'', 362,921 families with 1,960,188 persons were counted in
JingzhaoJingzhao ( zh, 京兆) was a historical region centered on the ancient Chinese capital of Chang'an Chang'an (; ) is the traditional name of Xi'an Xi'an ( , ; ; Chinese: ), sometimes romanized as Sian, is the capital Capital most co ...
Fu (), the
metropolitan area A metropolitan area or metro is a region consisting of a densely populated urban core Urban means "related to a city". In that sense, the term may refer to: * Urban area, geographical area distinct from rural areas * Urban culture, the cul ...

metropolitan area
including small cities in the vicinity.


Strategic and economic importance of ancient Chang'an

The strategic and economic importance of ancient Chang'an was mainly due to its central position. The roads leading to
Gansu Gansu (, ; alternately romanized as Kansu) is a landlocked province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnatio ...

Gansu
,
Sichuan Sichuan (; , ; alternatively romanized as Szechuan or Szechwan) is a landlocked province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, admini ...

Sichuan
,
Henan Henan (; ; alternatively Honan) is a landlocked province of China The provincial level administrative divisions () are the highest-level administrative divisions of China. There are 34 such divisions claimed by the People's Republic of ...

Henan
,
Hubei Hubei (; ; alternately Hupeh) is a landlocked province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity ...

Hubei
and
Shanxi Shanxi (; ; Chinese postal romanization, formerly romanised as Shansi) is a landlocked Provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China and is part of the North China region. The capital and largest city of the province is ...

Shanxi
all converged there. The mountainous country surrounding the
Wei River The Wei River () is a major river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its course w ...
basin led to the existence of only two practicable roads through to the south, and two through mountainous Gansu to the west, forming the beginning of the ancient
Silk Routes The Silk Road was and is a network of trade routes connecting the Eastern world, East and Western culture, West, and was central to the economic, cultural, political, and religious interactions between these regions from the 2nd century BCE to t ...
. Chinese itineraries gave the following distances: * Chang'an to
Chengdu Chengdu (, ; simplified Chinese Simplified Chinese characters are standardized Chinese characters Chinese characters, also called ''hanzi'' (), are logogram In a written language A written language is the representa ...

Chengdu
(Sichuan), 2318 Tang era ''li'' (766 miles or 1233 km) * Chang'an to
Lanzhou Lanzhou (, ; ; Chinese postal romanization, Postal romanisation: Lan-chou/Lan Chow) is the capital and largest city of Gansu Province (China), Province in Northwest China. Located on the banks of the Yellow River, it is a key regional transport ...

Lanzhou
(Gansu), 1180 Tang era ''li'' (390 miles or 628 km) * Chang'an to
Hami Hami (Kumul) is a prefecture-level city in Eastern Xinjiang, China. It is well known as the home of sweet Hami melons. In early 2016, the former Hami county-level city was merged with Hami Prefecture to form the Hami prefecture-level city with th ...
(Xinjiang), 4518 Tang era ''li'' (1493 miles or 2403 km) * Chang'an to
Yining YiningThe official spelling according to (), also known as Ghulja ( ug, غۇلجا) or Qulja ( kk, قۇلجا, ) and formerly Ningyuan (), is a county-level city A county-level municipality (), county-level city or county city, formerly ...
(Xinjiang), 8087 Tang era ''li'' (2673 miles or 4302 km) * Chang'an to
Yarkand Yarkant County,, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, United States National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency also Shache County,, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, United States National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency also SASM/GNC rom ...
(Xinjiang), 9329 Tang era ''li'' (3083 miles or 4962 km) * Chang'an to
Beijing Beijing ( ), as Peking ( ), is the of the . It is the world's , with over 21 million residents within an of 16,410.5 km2 (6336 sq. mi.). It is located in , and is governed as a under the direct administration of the with .Figures ...

Beijing
, 1645 Tang era ''li'' (544 miles or 875 km).


Han period

The Han capital was located 3 km northwest of modern
Xi'an Xi'an ( , ; ; Chinese: ), sometimes romanized as Sian, is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals ...
. As the capital of the Western Han, it was the political, economic and cultural center of China. It was also the eastern terminus of the
Silk Road The Silk Road () was and is a network of trade routes connecting the Eastern world, East and Western culture, West, from the 2nd century BCE to the 18th century CE. It was central to the economic, cultural, political, and religious interactions ...

Silk Road
, and a cosmopolitan metropolis. It was a consumer city, a city whose existence was not primarily predicated upon
manufacturing Manufacturing is the creation or Production (economics), production of goods with the help of equipment, Work (human activity), labor, machines, tools, and chemical or biological processing or formulation. It is the essence of secondary sector ...
and
trade Trade involves the transfer of goods from one person or entity to another, often in exchange for money. Economists refer to a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of r ...

trade
, but rather boasted such a large population because of its role as the political and military center of China. By 2 AD, the population was 246,200 in 80,000 households.Schinz, 1996 This population consisted mostly of the scholar gentry class whose education was being sponsored by their wealthy aristocratic families. In addition to these civil servants there was a larger underclass to serve them. Initially, Emperor
Liu Bang Emperor Gaozu of Han (256 – 1 June 195 BC), born Liu Bang () with courtesy name Ji (季), was the founder and first emperor of the Han dynasty, reigning in 202–195 BC. His temple name was "Taizu" while his posthumous name was Emper ...

Liu Bang
decided to build his capital at the center of the sun, which according to Chinese geography was in modern
Luoyang Luoyang is a city located in the confluence area of Luo River and Yellow River The Yellow River (Chinese: , Jin Chinese, Jin: uə xɔ Standard Beijing Mandarin, Mandarin: ''Huáng hé'' ) is the second-longest river in China, afte ...

Luoyang
. This location was the site of the holy city
Chengzhou Luoyang is a city located in the confluence area of Luo River and Yellow River The Yellow River (Chinese: , Jin Chinese, Jin: uə xɔ Standard Beijing Mandarin, Mandarin: ''Huáng hé'' ) is the second-longest river in China, afte ...
, home of the last Zhou emperors. The magical significance of this location was believed to ensure a long-lasting dynasty like the Zhou, whom the Han sought to emulate. However, the strategic military value of a capital located in the Wei Valley became the deciding factor for locating the new capital. To this end, it is recorded c 200 BC he forcibly relocated thousands of clans in the military aristocracy to this region. The purpose was twofold. First, it kept all potential rivals close to the new Emperor, and second, it allowed him to redirect their energy toward defending the capital from invasion by the nearby
Xiongnu The Xiongnu (, ) were a tribal confederation A confederation (also known as a confederacy or league) is a union of sovereign groups or states united for purposes of common action. Usually created by a treaty A treaty is a formal ...

Xiongnu
. His adviser Liu Jing described this plan as weakening the root while strengthening the branch. After the necessary political structure was set up, the area of the capital was divided into three prefectures and construction began. At its founding in 195 BC, the population of Changan was 146,000. During the reign of
Emperor Wu of Han Emperor Wu of Han (30 June 156 – 29 March 87BC), formally enshrined as Emperor Wu the Filial Filial may refer to: * Filial church, a Roman Catholic church to which is annexed the cure of souls, but which remains dependent on another church ...

Emperor Wu of Han
, the diplomat
Zhang Qian Zhang Qian (; died c. 114) was a Chinese official and diplomat who served as an imperial envoy to the world outside of China in the late 2nd century BC during the Han dynasty. He was one of the first official diplomats to bring back valuable inf ...

Zhang Qian
was dispatched westward into
Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia Asia () is 's largest and most populous , located primarily in the and . It shares the continental of with the continent of and the continental landmass of with both Europe and . Asia covers an area ...

Central Asia
. Subsequently, Chang'an city became the Asian gateway to Europe as the point of departure of the
Silk Road The Silk Road () was and is a network of trade routes connecting the Eastern world, East and Western culture, West, from the 2nd century BCE to the 18th century CE. It was central to the economic, cultural, political, and religious interactions ...

Silk Road
. On 4 October 23 AD, Chang'an was captured and sacked during a
peasant rebellion This is a chronological list of conflicts in which peasants played a significant role. Background History of peasant wars spans over a period of over two thousand years. A variety of reasons fueled the emergence of the peasant revolt phenomenon, ...
. The emperor,
Wang Mang Wang Mang () (c. 45 – 6 October 23 AD), courtesy name A courtesy name (), also known as a style name, is a name bestowed upon one at adulthood in addition to one's given name. This practice is a tradition in the East Asian cultura ...

Wang Mang
was killed and decapitated by the rebels two days later. After the Western Han period, the Eastern Han government settled on
Luoyang Luoyang is a city located in the confluence area of Luo River and Yellow River The Yellow River (Chinese: , Jin Chinese, Jin: uə xɔ Standard Beijing Mandarin, Mandarin: ''Huáng hé'' ) is the second-longest river in China, afte ...

Luoyang
as the new capital. Chang'an was therefore also sometimes referred to as the Western Capital or Xijing () in some Han dynasty texts. In 190 AD during late Eastern Han, the court was seized and relocated back to Chang'an by the notorious Prime Minister
Dong Zhuo Dong Zhuo () (died 22 May 192), courtesy name A courtesy name (), also known as a style name, is a name bestowed upon one at adulthood in addition to one's given name. This practice is a tradition in the East Asian cultural sphere ...
, as it was a strategically superior site against the mounting insurgency formed against him. After Dong's death (192) the capital was moved back to Luoyang in August 196, and to
Xuchang Xuchang (; Postal romanization, postal: Hsuchang) is a prefecture-level city in central Henan province of China, province in Central China. It borders the provincial capital of Zhengzhou to the northwest, Kaifeng to the northeast, Zhoukou to the ...

Xuchang
in autumn 196. By this time, Chang'an was already regarded as the symbolic site of supreme power and governance.


City walls

The 25.7 km long city wall was initially 3.5 m wide at the base tapering upward 8 m for a top width of 2 m.Ministry of Culture, P.R.Chin (2003) Beyond this wall, a 6.13 m wide moat with a depth of 4.62 m was spanned by 13.86 m long stone bridges. The wall was later expanded to 12–16 m at base and 12 m high. The moat was expanded to 8 m wide and 3 m deep. The expansion of the wall was likely a solution to flooding from the
Wei River The Wei River () is a major river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its course w ...
. The entire city was sited below the 400 m
contour line A contour line (also isoline, isopleth, or isarithm) of a function of two variables is a curve In mathematics, a curve (also called a curved line in older texts) is an object similar to a line (geometry), line, but that does not have to b ...
which the Tang Dynasty used to mark the edge of the floodplain. Twelve gates with three gateways each, according with the ritual formulas of Zhou dynasty urban planning, pierced the wall. These gates were distributed three a side and from them eight 45 m wide main avenues extended into the city. These avenues were also divided into three lanes aligned with the three gateways of each gate. The lanes were separated by median strips planted with pine, elm, and scholar trees. Bachengmen Avenue was an exception with a width of 82 m and no medians. Four of the gates opened directly into the palaces.


City structure

The overall form of the city was an irregular rectangle. The ideal square of the city had been twisted into the form of the
Big Dipper The Big Dipper (American English, US, Canadian English, Canada) or the Plough (British English, UK, Hiberno-English, Ireland) is a large asterism (astronomy), asterism consisting of seven bright stars of the constellation Ursa Major; six of them ...
for astrological reasons, and also to follow the bank of the Wei River. The eight avenues divided the city into nine districts. These nine main districts were subdivided into 160 walled 1×1 ''li'' wards. About 50-100 families lived in each ward. Historically, Chang'an grew in four phases: the first from 200 to 195 BC when the palaces were built; the second 195-180 BC when the outer city walls were built; the third between 141 and 87 BC with a peak at 100 BC; and the fourth from 1 BC-24 AD when it was destroyed. The Xuanpingmen gate was the main gate between the city and suburbs. The district north of the
Weiyang Palace The Weiyang Palace () was the main imperial palace complex of the Han dynasty#REDIRECT Han dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by the rebel leader ...
was the most exclusive. The main market, called the Nine Markets, was the eastern economic terminus of the Silk Road. Access to the market was from the Northeast and Northwest gates, which were the most heavily used by the common people. The former connect with a bridge over the Wei River to the northern suburbs and the latter connected with the rest of China to the east. An intricate network of underground passages connected the imperial harem with other palaces and the city. These passages were controlled by underground gatehouses and their existence was unknown.


First Phase

In 200 BC after marking the boundaries of the three prefectures, which comprised the metropolitan region of
Xianyang Xianyang () is a prefecture-level city A road sign shows distance to the "Huangshi urban area" () rather than simply " Yangxin County from the neighboring Xianning), but still from the Huangshi main urban area. A prefectural-level muni ...

Xianyang
,
Liu Bang Emperor Gaozu of Han (256 – 1 June 195 BC), born Liu Bang () with courtesy name Ji (季), was the founder and first emperor of the Han dynasty, reigning in 202–195 BC. His temple name was "Taizu" while his posthumous name was Emper ...

Liu Bang
appointed Xiao He to design and build the new capital. He chose to site the city on ruins of the
Qin Dynasty The Qin dynasty, or Ch'in dynasty in Wade–Giles Wade–Giles () is a romanization Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of ever ...

Qin Dynasty
Apex Temple (formerly, Xin Palace). This old Qin palace was meant to be the earthly mirror of Polaris, the apex star, where the heavenly emperor resided. This site thus represented the center of the earth lying under the center of heaven with an
axis mundi In astronomy, axis mundi is the Latin term for the Axial tilt, axis of Earth between the celestial poles. In a geocentric coordinate system, this is the axis of rotation of the celestial sphere. Consequently, in ancient Greco-Roman astronomy ...
running upward from the imperial throne to its heavenly counterpart. The ruins were greatly expanded to 7×7 ''li'' in size and renamed Changle Palace (长乐宫; 長樂宮; Chánglè Gōng). Two years later, a new palace called
Weiyang Palace The Weiyang Palace () was the main imperial palace complex of the Han dynasty#REDIRECT Han dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by the rebel leader ...
(未央宮; Wèiyāng Gōng) was constructed 5×7 ''li''. Prime minister
Xiao He Xiao He (257 BC–193 BC) was a Chinese politician of the early Western Han dynasty#REDIRECT Han dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by the rebe ...
convinced Liu Bang that both the excessive size and multiplicity of palaces was necessary to secure his rule by creating a spectacle of power.


Second Phase

In 195 BC, his son,
Emperor Hui of Han Emperor Hui of Han (Liu Ying 劉盈; 210 BC – 26 September 188 BC) was the second emperor An emperor (from la, imperator The Latin word "imperator" derives from the stem of the verb la, imperare, label=none, meaning 'to order, to com ...
began the construction of the walls of Chang'an and finished them in September 191 BC. The grid north of the palaces was built at this time with a 2° difference in alignment to the grid of the palaces. The city remained quite static after this expansion.


Third Phase

began a third phase of construction which peaked on 100 BC with the construction of many new palaces. He also added the nine temples complex south of the city, and built the park. In 120 BC, Shanglin Park, which had been used for agriculture by the common people since Liu Bang was sealed off, was turned into an imperial park again. In the center of the park was a recreation of the three fairy islands in
Kunming Lake Kunming Lake (Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous ...

Kunming Lake
.


Palaces

*Changle Palace (长乐宫; 長樂宮; Chánglè Gōng) Also called the East Palace. It was built atop the ruins of Qin Dynasty Apex Temple (Xin Gōng). After Liu Bang it was used as the residence of the Empress Regent. The 10,000 m wall surrounded a square 6 km2 complex. Important halls of the palace included: Linhua Hall, Changxin Hall, Changqiu Hall, Yongshou Hall, Shenxian Hall, Yongchang Hall, and the Bell Room. *Weiyang Palace (未央宮; Wèiyāng Gōng) Also known as the West Palace. The official center of government from Emperor Huidi onwards. The palace was a walled rectangle 2250×2150 m enclosing a 5 km2 building complex of 40 halls. There were four gates in the wall facing a cardinal direction. The east gate was used only by nobility and the north one only by commoners. The palace was sited along the highest portion of the
ridgeline A ridge or a mountain ridge is a geographical feature consisting of a chain of mountains or hills that form a continuous elevated crest for some distance. The sides of the ridge slope away from narrow top on either side. The lines along the ...
on which Chang'an was built. In, fact the Front Hall at the center of the palace was built atop the exact highest point of the ridge. The foundation terrace of this massive building is 350×200×15 m. Other important halls are: Xuanshi Hall, Wenshi Hall, Qingliang Hall, Qilin Hall, Jinhua Hall, and Chengming Hall. Used by seven dynasties this palace has become the most famous in
Chinese history The earliest known written records of the history of China date from as early as 1250 BC, from the Shang dynasty The Shang dynasty (), also historically known as the Yin dynasty (), was a Chinese dynasty Dynasties in Chinese h ...
. *Gui Palace () Built as an extension of the harem built in 100 BC *North Palace () A ceremonial center built in 100 BC *Mingguang Palace () Built as a guesthouse in 100 BC *Epang Palace (阿房宮; ē-páng gōng) *Jianzhang Palace () Built in 104 BC in Shanglin Park. It was a rectangle 20×30 ''li'' with a tower 46 m high. The name means palace of establishing eternal rules. *Boliang Terrace


Jin, Sixteen Kingdoms and Northern Dynasties period

Chang'an was briefly the capital of the
Western Jin dynasty Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska Western is a village in Saline County, Nebraska, Saline County, Nebraska, United States. The population was 235 at the 2010 United States Census, 2010 census. History Western was laid out in 1 ...
from 312 to 316. It was also the capital of
Former Zhao The Han Zhao (; 304–329 AD), or Former Zhao (), was a dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) is ...
(318–329),
Former Qin The Former Qin, also called Fu Qin (苻秦) (351–394) was a dynastic state of the Sixteen Kingdoms The Sixteen Kingdoms (), less commonly the Sixteen States, was a chaotic period in Chinese history The earliest known written r ...
(351–385) and
Later Qin The Later Qin (; 384–417), also known as Yao Qin (), was a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The St ...
(384–417). In 417, a century after the Western Jin lost Chang'an, the city reconquered by Liu Yu of
Eastern Jin Eastern may refer to: Transportation *China Eastern Airlines China Eastern Airlines Corporation Limited (), also known as China Eastern, is an airline An airline is a company that provides air transport services for traveling passenge ...
, who founded the
Liu Song dynasty The Liu Song dynasty (420–479 CE; ), also known as Former Song (前宋) or Southern Song (南朝宋), was the first of the four Southern Dynasties The Northern and Southern dynasties () was a period in the history of China that last ...
in 420. The city was lost to
Northern Wei The Northern Wei (), also known as the Tuoba Wei (拓跋魏), Later Wei (後魏), was a dynasty A dynasty (, ) is a sequence of rulers from the same family,''Oxford English Dictionary'', "dynasty, ''n''." Oxford University Pres ...
by 439. When Northern Wei split in two, Chang'an became the capital of
Western Wei The Western Wei (;"Wei"
''Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary''. ) was a Dynasties in Chinese history, dynasty of China ...
(535–557), and also of its successor state
Northern Zhou The Northern Zhou (; ) followed the Western Wei, and ruled northern China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populou ...
(557–581).


Sui and Tang periods

Both Sui and Tang empires occupied the same location. In 582, Emperor Wen of the
Sui dynasty The Sui dynasty (, ) was a short-lived Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China of pivotal significance. The Sui unified the Northern and Southern dynasties and reinstalled the rule of ethnic Han Chinese, Han in the entirety of ...

Sui dynasty
sited a new region southeast of the much ruined Han Dynasty Chang'an to build his new capital, which he called Daxing (大興, “Great Prosperity”). Daxing was renamed Chang'an in the year 618 when the Duke of Tang, Li Yuan, proclaimed himself the
Emperor Gaozu of Tang Emperor Gaozu of Tang (7 April 566 – 25 June 635, born Li Yuan, courtesy name A courtesy name (), also known as a style name, is a name bestowed upon one at adulthood in addition to one's given name. This practice is a tradition in the ...
. Chang'an during the
Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an interregnum An interregnum (plural interregna or interregnums) is a period of discontinuity or "gap" in a government, organiza ...
(618–907) was, along with
Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germa ...

Constantinople
(
Istanbul ) , postal_code_type = Postal code A postal code (also known locally in various English-speaking countries throughout the world as a postcode, post code, PIN or ZIP Code) is a series of letters or digits or both, sometimes ...

Istanbul
) and
Baghdad Baghdad (; ar, بَغْدَاد ) is the capital of Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, ...

Baghdad
, one of the largest cities in the world. It was a cosmopolitan urban center with considerable foreign populations from other parts of Asia and beyond. This new Chang'an was laid out on a north–south axis in a grid pattern, dividing the enclosure into 108
ward Ward may refer to: Division or unit * Hospital#Departments or wards, Hospital ward, a hospital division, floor, or room set aside for a particular class or group of patients, for example the psychiatric ward * Prison ward, a division of a pen ...
s and featuring two large
marketplace fa:بازار A market, or marketplace, is a location where people regularly gather for the purchase and sale of provisions, livestock, and other goods. In different parts of the world, a market place may be described as a ''souk'' (from the ...

marketplace
s, in the east and west respectively. Every day, administrators of the two marketplaces would beat gongs three hundred times in the morning and evening to signify the start and stop of business. People who lived in the wards were not allowed to go outside after curfew. Officials with higher ranking had the privilege to live closer to the central avenue. Chang'an's layout influenced the city planning of several other Asian capitals for many years to come. Chang'an's walled and gated wards were much larger than conventional city blocks seen in modern cities, as the smallest ward had a surface area of 68 acres, and the largest ward had a surface area of .Benn, 50. The height of the walls enclosing each ward were on average 9 to in height. The Japanese built their ancient capitals,
Heijō-kyō , was the Capital of JapanThe current de facto capital of Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat = Imperi ...
(today's
Nara The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is an independent agency A regulatory agency or regulatory authority, is a Public benefit corporation Public-benefit corporation is a term that has different meanings in different jur ...
) and later
Heian-kyō Heian-kyō was one of several former names for the city now known as Kyoto Kyoto (; Japanese language, Japanese: , ''Kyōto'' ), officially , is the capital city of Kyoto Prefecture in Japan. Located in the Kansai region on the island of Honsh ...
or
Kyoto Kyoto (; Japanese language, Japanese: , ''Kyōto'' ), officially , is the capital city of Kyoto Prefecture in Japan. Located in the Kansai region on the island of Honshu, Kyoto forms a part of the Keihanshin, Keihanshin metropolitan area along w ...

Kyoto
, modeled after Chang'an in a more modest scale, yet was never fortified.Ebrey, 92. The modern Kyoto still retains some characteristics of Sui-Tang Chang'an. Similarly, the Korean
Silla Silla or Shilla (57 BCE57 BCE according to the '' Samguk Sagi''; however Seth 2010 notes that "these dates are dutifully given in many textbooks and published materials in Korea today, but their basis is in myth; only Goguryeo may be traced ...

Silla
dynasty modeled their capital of
Gyeongju Gyeongju ( ko, 경주, ), historically known as ''Seorabeol'' ( ko, 서라벌, ), is a coastal city in the far southeastern corner of North Gyeongsang Province North Gyeongsang Province ( ko, 경상북도, translit=Gyeongsangbuk-do, ) is a pr ...

Gyeongju
after the Chinese capital. Sanggyeong, one of the five capitals of the state of
Balhae Balhae ( ko, 발해) or Bohai ( zh, c=渤海, p=Bóhǎi, russian: Бохай, ) (698–926) was a multi-ethnic kingdom in Manchuria, the Korean Peninsula and the Russian Far East. The history of the founding of the state, its ethnic compositi ...

Balhae
, was also laid out like Chang'an. Much of Chang'an was destroyed during its repeated sacking during the
An Lushan Rebellion The An Lushan Rebellion was an uprising against the Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an interregnum An interregnum (plural interregna or interregn ...

An Lushan Rebellion
and several subsequent events. Chang'an was occupied by the forces of
An Lushan An Lushan or An Lu-shan (20th day of the 1st month (February), 703 – 25/29 January 757) was a general in the Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an int ...
and
Shi Siming Shi Siming () (19th day of the 1st month, 703? – 18 April 761), or Shi Sugan (), was a general of the History of China, Chinese Tang Dynasty who followed his childhood friend An Lushan in rebelling against Tang, and who later succeeded An Lusha ...
, in 756; then taken back by the Tang government and allied troops in 757. In 763, Chang'an was briefly occupied by the
Tibetan Empire The Tibetan Empire (, ; ) was an empire centered on the Tibetan Plateau, formed as a result of imperial expansion under the Yarlung dynasty heralded by its 33rd king, Songsten Gampo in the 7th century. The empire further expanded under the 38th ...

Tibetan Empire
. In 765, Chang'an was besieged by an alliance of the Tibetan Empire and the
Uyghur Khaganate The Uyghur Khaganate (or Uyghur Empire or Uighur Khaganate, self defined as Toquz-Oghuz country; otk, 𐱃𐰆𐰴𐰕:𐰆𐰍𐰕:𐰉𐰆𐰑𐰣, Toquz Oγuz budun, Tang-era names, with modern Hanyu Pinyin ''Hanyu Pinyin'' (), often a ...

Uyghur Khaganate
. Several laws enforcing segregation of foreigners from Han Chinese were passed during the Tang dynasty. In 779, the Tang dynasty issued an edict which forced
Uighurs The Uyghurs ( or ; ug, ئۇيغۇرلار, , ; zh, s=, t=, p=Wéiwú'ěr, ), alternatively spelled Uighurs, Uygurs or Uigurs, are a Turkic peoples, Turkic ethnic group originating from and culturally affiliated with the general region of Central ...
in the capital, Chang'an, to wear their ethnic dress, stopped them from marrying Chinese females, and banned them from pretending to be Chinese. Between 783 and 784, Chang'an was again occupied by rebels during the Jingyuan Rebellion (). In 881, Chang'an was occupied by
Huang Chao Huang Chao (835 – July 13, 884) was a Chinese smuggler, soldier, and rebel, and is most well known for being the leader of a major rebellion that severely weakened the Tang dynasty. Huang was a Salt in Chinese history, salt smuggler before j ...

Huang Chao
. In 882, the Tang dynasty briefly regained control of Chang'an. However, the Tang forces, although welcomed by the inhabitants, looted Chang'an before being driven back by the forces of Huang Chao. In revenge, Huang Chao conducted a systematic slaughter of the inhabitants after retaking the city. Chang'an was finally retaken by the Tang government in 883. However, in 904,
Zhu Quanzhong Emperor Taizu of Later Liang (), personal name Zhu Quanzhong () (December 5, 852 – July 18, 912), né Zhu Wen (), name later changed to Zhu Huang (), nickname Zhu San (朱三, literally, "the third Zhu"), was a ''Jiedushi The ''jiedushi'' ( ...
ordered the city's buildings demolished and the construction materials moved to
Luoyang Luoyang is a city located in the confluence area of Luo River and Yellow River The Yellow River (Chinese: , Jin Chinese, Jin: uə xɔ Standard Beijing Mandarin, Mandarin: ''Huáng hé'' ) is the second-longest river in China, afte ...

Luoyang
, which became the new capital. The residents, together with the emperor Zhaozong, were also forced to move to Luoyang. Chang'an never recovered after the apex of the Tang dynasty, but there are some monuments from the Tang era still standing. After Zhu Quanzhong moved the capital to Luoyang, Youguojun () was established in Chang'an, with Han Jian being the Youguojun
Jiedushi The ''jiedushi'' (), or jiedu, was a title for regional military governors in China which was established in the Tang dynasty, Tang dynasty and abolished in the Yuan dynasty, Yuan dynasty. The post of ''jiedushi'' has been translated as "milit ...
(). Han Jian rebuilt Chang'an on the basis of the old Imperial City. Much of Chang'an was abandoned and the rebuilt Chang'an, called "Xincheng (lit. new city)" by the contemporary people, was less than 1/16 of the old Chang'an in area.薛平拴(Xue, Pingshuan), 五代宋元时期古都长安商业的兴衰演变


Layout of the city

During Tang, the main exterior walls of Chang'an rose high, were by six miles in length, and formed a city in a rectangular shape, with an inner surface area of .Benn, 47. The areas to the north that jutted out like appendages from the main wall were the West Park, the smaller East Park, and the
Daming Palace The Daming Palace was the imperial palace complex of the Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an interregnum between 690 and 705. It was preceded by the S ...
, while the southeasternmost extremity of the main wall was built around the Serpentine River Park that jutted out as well. The West Park walled off and connected to the West Palace (guarded behind the main exterior wall) by three gates in the north, the walled-off enclosure of the Daming Palace connected by three gates in the northeast, the walled-off East Park led in by one gate in the northeast, and the Serpentine River Park in the southeast was simply walled off by the main exterior wall, and open without gated enclosures facing the southeasternmost city blocks. There was a Forbidden Park to the northwest outside of the city, where there was a
cherry A cherry is the fruit In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. ...

cherry
orchard An orchard is an intentional plantation of tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, supporting branches and leaves in most species. In some usages, the definition of a tree ...

orchard
, a
Pear Garden The Liyuan or Pear Garden was the first known royal performing arts and musical academy in China. Founded during the Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an ...
, a
vineyard A vineyard ( , also ) is a plantation A plantation is a large-scale estate, generally centered on a plantation house, meant for farming that specializes in cash crops. The crops that are grown include cotton, coffee, tea, cocoa, sug ...

vineyard
, and fields for playing popular sports such as horse
polo Polo is a horseback ball game, a traditional field sports, field sport and one of the world's oldest known team sports. The game is played by two opposing teams with the objective of score (game), scoring using a long-handled wooden mallet to ...

polo
and ''
cuju ''Cuju'' or ''Ts'u-chü'' is an ancient Chinese ball game Ball games (or ballgames), also ball sports, are any form of game or sport which feature a ball as part of play. These include games such as association football, football, cricket, baseb ...
'' (ancient Chinese
football Football is a family of s that involve, to varying degrees, a to score a . Unqualified, normally means the form of football that is the most popular where the word is used. Sports commonly called ''football'' include (known as ''soccer'' ...

football
).Benn, xiv. On the northwest section of the main outer wall there were three gates leading out to the Forbidden Park, three gates along the western section of the main outer wall, three gates along the southern section of the main outer wall, and three gates along the eastern section of the main outer wall.Benn, xiii. Although the city had many different streets and roads passing between the wards, city blocks, and buildings, there were distinct major roads (lined up with the nine gates of the western, southern, and eastern walls of the city) that were much wider avenues than the others. There were six of these major roads that divided the city into nine distinct gridded sectors ( listed below by
cardinal direction The four cardinal directions, or cardinal points, are the directions , , , and , commonly denoted by their initials N, E, S, and W. East and west are (at s) to north and south, with east being in the direction of rotation from north and west ...
). The narrowest of these streets were wide, those terminating at the gates of the outer walls being wide, and the largest of all, the Imperial Way that stretched from the central southern gate all the way to the Administrative City and West Palace in the north, was wide.Benn, 48. Streets and roads of these widths allowed for efficient fire breaks in the city of Chang'an. For example, in 843, a large fire consumed 4,000 homes,
warehouse A warehouse is a building for storing goods In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, an ...

warehouse
s, and other buildings in the East Market, yet the rest of the city was at a safe distance from the blaze (which was largely
quarantine A quarantine is a restriction on the movement of people, animals and goods which is intended to prevent the spread of disease A disease is a particular abnormal condition that negatively affects the structure A structure is an arr ...

quarantine
d in East Central Chang'an). The citizens of Chang'an were also pleased with the government once the imperial court ordered the planting of
fruit tree 250px, An almond tree in bloom A fruit tree is a tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, supporting branches and leaves in most species. In some usages, the definition of ...

fruit tree
s along all of the avenues of the city in 740.Benn, 49.


Pools, streams, and canals

Within the West Park was a running stream and within the walled enclosure of the West Palace were two running streams, one connecting three ponds and another connecting two ponds. The small East Park had a pond the size of those in the West Palace. The
Daming Palace The Daming Palace was the imperial palace complex of the Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an interregnum between 690 and 705. It was preceded by the S ...
and the Xingqing Palace (along the eastern wall of the city) had small lakes to boast. The Serpentine River Park had a large lake within its bounds that was bigger than the latter two lakes combined, connected at the southern end by a river that ran under the main walls and out of the city. There were five transport and sanitation
canal Canals are waterways channels Channel, channels, channeling, etc., may refer to: Geography * Channel (geography), in physical geography, a landform consisting of the outline (banks) of the path of a narrow body of water. Australia * ...

canal
s running throughout the city, which had several water sources, and delivered water to city parks, gardens of the rich, and the grounds of the imperial palaces. The sources of water came from a stream running through the Forbidden Park and under the northern city wall, two running streams from outside the city in the south, a stream that fed into the pond of the walled East Park, which in turn fed into a canal that led to the inner city. These canal waterways in turn streamed water into the ponds of the West Palace; the lake in the Xingqing Palace connected two canals running through the city. The canals were also used to transport crucial goods throughout the city, such as
charcoal Charcoal is a lightweight black carbon Carbon (from la, carbo "coal") is a with the C and 6. It is lic and —making four s available to form s. It belongs to group 14 of the periodic table. Carbon makes up only about 0.025 perc ...

charcoal
and firewood in the winter.


Locations and events during the Tang dynasty


Southwestern Chang'an

Locations and events in the southwest sector of the city included:Benn, xviiiBenn, xix *15 walled and gated wards *9
Buddhist Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, an ...

Buddhist
monasteries A monastery is a building or complex of buildings comprising the domestic quarters and workplaces of monastics, monk A monk (, from el, μοναχός, ''monachos'', "single, solitary" via Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical langua ...

monasteries
*2
Taoist Taoism (), or Daoism (), is a philosophical and spiritual tradition of Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of c ...
abbey An abbey is a type of monastery A monastery is a building or complex of buildings comprising the domestic quarters and workplaces of monastics, monks or nuns, whether living in Cenobitic monasticism, communities or alone (hermits). A mo ...

abbey
s *14 Family shrines *1
Inn Inns are generally establishments or buildings where travelers can seek lodging Lodging refers to the use of a short-term dwelling In law, a dwelling (also known as a residence or an abode) is a self-contained unit of accommodation ...
*1
Graveyard A cemetery, burial ground or graveyard is a place where the remains of dead people are buried or otherwise interred. The word ''cemetery'' (from Greek , "sleeping place") implies that the land is specifically designated as a burial ground an ...

Graveyard
*A
mansion A mansion is a large dwelling house. The word itself derives through Old French from the Latin word ''mansio'' "dwelling", an abstract noun derived from the verb ''manere'' "to dwell". The English word ''manse'' originally defined a property la ...

mansion
where the owner carefully
exhume Burial, also known as interment or inhumation, is a method of Disposal of human corpses, final disposition wherein a dead person or non-human animal is placed into the ground, sometimes with objects. This is usually accomplished by excavating a ...
d and reburied the remains of a long-dead military general because the
grave A grave is a location where a dead body A cadaver or corpse is a dead human body that is used by medical students A medical school is a tertiary educational institution, or part of such an institution, that teaches medicine, and award ...
was too close to the home's
outhouse An outhouse is a small structure, separate from a main building, which covers a toilet A toilet is a piece of hardware that collects human and , and sometimes , usually for disposal. use water, while do not. They can be designed f ...

outhouse
. *A large wooden
Chinese pagoda Chinese Pagoda, Birmingham The Chinese Pagoda is a landmark in Birmingham Birmingham ( ) is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands (county), West Midlands, England. It is the second-largest ...
tower that once stood at a monastery in this sector of the city, which held the supposed '
Buddha Gautama Buddha, popularly known as the Buddha (also known as Siddhattha Gotama or Siddhārtha Gautama or Buddha Shakyamuni), was an ascetic Asceticism (; from the el, ἄσκησις ''áskesis'', "exercise, training") is a lifestyle ...

Buddha
's teeth' brought by a
pilgrim A pilgrim (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Rep ...

pilgrim
monk A monk (, from el, μοναχός, ''monachos'', "single, solitary" via Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (f ...

monk
who traveled from India. After it was built in 611 by
Emperor Yang of Sui Emperor Yang of Sui (隋煬帝, 569 – 11 April 618), personal name Yang Guang (), alternative name Ying (), Xianbei name Amo (), also known as Emperor Ming of Sui () during the brief reign of his grandson Yang Tong) was the second son of Empe ...
, the tower stood at a height of tall (90 ft. taller than the brick-constructed Giant Wild Goose Pagoda) and 120 paces in circumference; unfortunately it no longer stands.Benn, 62.


South Central Chang'an

Locations and events in the south central sector of the city included: *20 walled and gated wards *3 Buddhist monasteries *7 Taoist abbeys *11 Family shrines *1 Inn *An event in 815 where
assassin Assassination is the act of murder, deliberately killing a prominent or important person, such as heads of state, head of government, heads of government, politicians, Monarchy, royalty, celebrity, celebrities, journalists, or CEOs. An assassina ...

assassin
s murdered
Chancellor Chancellor ( la, links=no, cancellarius) is a title of various official positions in the governments of many nations. The original chancellors were the ''cancellarii Cancelli are lattice-work, placed before a window, a door-way, the tribunal o ...
Wu as he was leaving the eastern gate of the northeasternmost ward in south central Chang'an; the event took place just before dawn. *An event in 849 where an imperial prince was impeached from his position by officials at court for erecting a building that obstructed a street in the northwesternmost ward in south central Chang'an. *The infamous rebel
An Lushan An Lushan or An Lu-shan (20th day of the 1st month (February), 703 – 25/29 January 757) was a general in the Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an int ...
's garden *A garden with a
pavilion In architecture upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted), Plan of the second floor (attic storey) of the Hôtel de Brionne in Paris – 1734. Architec ...

pavilion
where
graduate student Student receives degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, Mexico City, 2013 A graduate school (sometimes shortened to grad school) is a school that awards advanced academic degrees (e.g., master's degree, master's ...
s of the Advanced Scholar's Exam could hold ''. *A walled ward with an empty field; in the 7th century it was originally a place where
slave Slavery and enslavement are both the state and the condition of being a slave, who is someone forbidden to quit their service for an enslaver, and who is treated by the enslaver as their property Property is a system of rights that gives ...

slave
s,
horse The horse (''Equus ferus caballus'') is a domesticated Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a significant degree of influence over the reproduction and care of another group to ...

horse
s,
cattle Cattle, taurine cattle, Eurasian cattle, or European cattle (''Bos taurus'' or ''Bos primigenius taurus'') are large domestication, domesticated Cloven hoof, cloven-hooved herbivores. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae ...

cattle
, and
donkey The donkey or ass is a domestic animal This page gives a list of domestic animals, also including a list of domestication of animals, animals which are or may be currently undergoing the process of domestication and animals that have an exten ...
s could be sold, but the entire ward was eventually transformed into a
military training Image:Yudh Abhyas 2013, 2nd Batallion, 5th Gurkha Rifles.jpg, 5 Gorkha Rifles (Frontier Force) of Indian Army training with 82nd Airborne Division of United States Army Military education and training is a process which intends to establish and i ...
ground for
crossbow A crossbow is a ranged weapon using an Elasticity (physics), elastic launching device consisting of a bow (archery), bow-like assembly called a ''prod'', mounted horizontally on a main frame called a ''tiller'', which is hand-held in a similar ...

crossbow
men to practice. *A special garden that provided food for the imperial
crown prince A crown prince or hereditary prince is the heir apparent An heir apparent is a person who is first in an order of succession An order of succession or right of succession is the line of individuals entitled to hold a high office when i ...

crown prince
's household. *A government garden that supplied pear-blossom
honey Honey is a sweet, viscous food substance made by honey bees Honey is a sweet, viscous food substance made by honey bees and some other Bee, bees. Bees produce honey from the sugary secretions of plants (floral nectar) or from secretion ...

honey
, amongst other natural goods.


Southeastern Chang'an

Locations and events in the southeast sector of the city included: * 13 walled and gated wards * 9 Buddhist monasteries * 3 Taoist abbeys * 5 Family shrines * 2 Inns * 1 Graveyard *The Serpentine River Park, which had one of the Buddhist monasteries and one of the family shrines of the southeastern sector of the city within its grounds. *A
medicinal Medicine is the art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagination to express technical proficiency, beauty, emotional power, or conceptual ideas. There is no generally agreed definition of what ...
garden for the
heir apparent An heir apparent is a person who is first in an order of succession An order of succession or right of succession is the line of individuals entitled to hold a high office when it becomes vacated such as head of state A head of state ...
was located in a northern walled ward of this southeast sector of the city. A
pastry Pastry is a dough of flour Flour is a powder A powder is a dry, bulk solid Solid is one of the four fundamental states of matter (the others being liquid, gas and plasma). The molecules in a solid are closely packed togeth ...
shop stood by the north gate of the same ward, along with the site of an ancient shrine where citizens came every third day of the third moon and ninth day of the ninth month. *A ward to the north of this southeast city sector had half of its area designated as a graveyard. *A purportedly *A large monastery with ten
courtyard A courtyard or court is a circumscribed area, often surrounded by a building A building, or edifice, is a structure with a roof and walls standing more or less permanently in one place, such as a house or factory. Buildings come in a variet ...

courtyard
s and 1897
bays A bay is a recessed, coastal body of water that directly connects to a larger main body of water, such as an ocean, a lake, or another bay. A large bay is usually called a Gulf (geography), gulf, sea, sound (geography), sound, or bight (geogr ...
; this monastery was home to the
Giant Wild Goose Pagoda Giant Wild Goose Pagoda or Big Wild Goose Pagoda (, literally "big swan goose pagoda"), is a Chinese pagoda, Buddhist pagoda located in southern Xi'an, Shaanxi, China. It was built in 652 during the Tang dynasty and originally had five stories. Th ...

Giant Wild Goose Pagoda
(built in 652), which still stands today at a height of 64 m tall. Graduate students of the Advanced Scholars Exam would come here to this monastery in order to inscribe their names. This same city ward also had a large
bathhouse Public baths originated at a time when most people in population centers did not have access to private bathing facilities. Though termed "public", they have often been restricted according to gender, religious affiliation, personal membership, an ...
, an entertainment
plaza A town square (or square, plaza, public square, city square, urban square, or piazza) is an open public space A public space is a place that is generally open and accessible to people. Roads (including the pavement), public square A ...

plaza
, an additional monastery which had its own pond, and a mansion that had its own bathhouse. *A ward with another garden pavilion for graduate students to hold their 'peony parties'. *An inn that was attached to the rapid relay
post office A post office is a public facility that provides mail The mail or post is a system for physically transporting postcard A postcard or post card is a piece of thick paper or thin Card stock, cardboard, typically rectangular, intended fo ...

post office
. *An
apricot An apricot (, ) is a fruit In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The ...

apricot
grove where graduate students could celebrate their success with
feast A banquet (; ) is a formal large meal or feast, where a number of people consume food together. Banquets are traditionally held to enhance the prestige of a host, or reinforce social bonds among joint contributors. Modern examples of these pur ...

feast
s.


West Central Chang'an

Locations and events in the west central sector of the city included:Benn, xvBenn, xvi.Benn, xvii. * 11 walled and gated wards (including the large marketplace ward) * 22 Buddhist monasteries * 2 Taoist abbeys * 2 Family shrines * 3 Large water ponds * The West Market (); its surface area covered the size of two regular city wards, and was divided into 9 different
city block A city block, residential block, urban block or simply block is a central element of urban planning Urban planning, also known as regional planning, town planning, city planning, or rural planning, is a technical and political process that ...
s. It sported a
Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran, historically called ''Persia'' in the English language ** Persians, Persian people, the majority ethnic group in Iran, not to be conflated with the Iranian peoples ** Persian language, an Iranian ...

Persian
bazaar A bazaar or souk, is a permanently enclosed marketplace or street where goods and services are exchanged or sold. The term bazaar originates from the Persian language, Persian word ''bāzār''. The term bazaar is sometimes also used to refer ...

bazaar
that catered to tastes and styles popular then in medieval
Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger regio ...

Iran
. It had numerous
wine Wine is an alcoholic drink An alcoholic drink is a drink A drink (or beverage) is a liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible fluid In physics, a fluid is a substance that continually Deformation (mechanics), deforms (flow ...

wine
shops,
tavern A tavern is a place of business where people gather to drink alcoholic beverage An alcoholic drink is a drink A drink (or beverage) is a liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible In fluid mechanics or more generally continuu ...

tavern
s, and
vendor In a supply chain In commerce Commerce is the exchange of goods and services, especially on a large scale. Etymology The English-language word ''commerce'' has been derived from the Latin word ''commercium'', from ''com'' ("together") and ''me ...

vendor
s of
beverage A drink (or beverage) is a liquid intended for human consumption. In addition to their basic function of satisfying thirst, drinks play important roles in human culture. Common types of drinks include plain drinking water, milk, juice and soft dr ...

beverage
s (
tea Tea is an aromatic beverage prepared by pouring hot or boiling water over cured A cure is a completely effective treatment for a disease. Cure, or similar, may also refer to: Places * Cure (river), a river in France * Cures, Sabinum, an ...

tea
being the most popular), gruel, pastries, and cooked
cereal A cereal is any Poaceae, grass cultivated (grown) for the edible components of its grain (botanically, a type of fruit called a caryopsis), composed of the endosperm, cereal germ, germ, and bran. The term may also refer to the resulting grain ...

cereal
s. There was a safety deposit firm located here as well, along with government offices in the central city block that monitored
commercial Commercial may refer to: * a dose of advertising conveyed through media (such as - for example - radio or television) ** Radio advertisement ** Television advertisement * (adjective for:) commerce, a system of voluntary exchange of products and se ...

commercial
actions. *The offices for Chang'an
County A county is a geographical region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impact characteristics (human geography), and the interaction of humanity and the environment ...
, the western half of the city. *The mansion of a
Turkic Turkic may refer to: * anything related to the country of Turkey * Turkic languages, a language family of at least thirty-five documented languages ** Turkic alphabets (disambiguation) ** Turkish language, the most widely spoken Turkic language * T ...
prince A prince is a Monarch, male ruler (ranked below a king, grand prince, and grand duke) or a male member of a monarch's or former monarch's family. ''Prince'' is also a title of nobility (often highest), often hereditary title, hereditary, in so ...

prince
. *The main office of Chang'an City's
mayor In many countries, a mayor is the highest-ranking official An official is someone who holds an office (function or , regardless whether it carries an actual with it) in an or government and participates in the exercise of , (either their ow ...

mayor
. *A bureau for managing the households of princes. *An event in 613 where a family threw their gold into the
well A well is an excavation or structure created in the ground by digging, driving, or drilling to access liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible fluid In physics, a fluid is a substance that continually Deformation (mechanics), defo ...

well
of their mansion because they feared the city government would confiscate it. *A firm that rented
hearse A hearse is a large vehicle, especially an , used to carry the body of a deceased person in a at a funeral, wake, or memorial service. They range from deliberately anonymous vehicles to very formal heavily decorated vehicles. In the funeral t ...

hearse
s and other equipment for
funeral A funeral is a ceremony A ceremony (, ) is a unified ritual A ritual is a sequence of activities involving gestures, words, actions, or objects, performed according to a set sequence. Rituals may be prescribed by the traditions of a commu ...

funeral
s, along with hiring
exorcist In some religions, an exorcist (from the Greek „ἐξορκιστής“) is a person who is believed to be able to cast out the devil File:Devils-from-Rila-monastery.jpg, upA fresco detail from the Rila Monastery, in which demons are dep ...
s. *An event in 813 where a sow in a pig sty gave birth to a deformed piglet that had one head, three ears, two connected bodies, and eight different legs.Benn, 54. *An event every day where the West Market (and East Market) would open at noon, announced by the 300 strikes on a loud drum, while the markets would close one hour and three quarters before dusk, the curfew signaled by the sound of 300 beats to a loud gong.Benn, 55. After the official markets were closed for the night, small night markets in residential areas would then thrive with plenty of customers, despite government efforts in the year 841 to shut them down.


Central Chang'an

Locations and events in the central sector of the city included: * 16 walled and gated wards * 17 Buddhist monasteries * 6 Taoist abbeys * 1 Official temple * 3 Family shrines * 3 Locations for Provincial Transmission Offices * 3 Inns * 2 Graveyards *A court for imperial musicians *A minister's mansion that had a 'pavilion of automatic rain', that is,
air conditioning Air conditioning (also A/C, air conditioner) is the process of removing heat and controlling the humidity Humidity is the concentration of water vapour (99.9839 °C) , - , Boiling point , , - , specific gas constant , 461.5 ...
by the old Han Dynasty invention of technician Ding Huan's (
fl. ''Floruit'' (), abbreviated fl. (or occasionally flor.), Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communic ...
180 AD) rotary fan.Needham, Volume 4, Part 2, 33, 233. *An event where a scholar was once injured on the head here by a cuju football, and out of pity for his plight, the emperor gave him a personal gift of twenty-five
pint The pint (, ; symbol pt, sometimes abbreviated as ''p'') is a unit of volume or capacity in both the imperial unit, imperial and United States customary units, United States customary measurement systems. In both of those systems it is tradition ...
s of drinking
ale Ale is a type Type may refer to: Science and technology Computing * Typing, producing text via a keyboard, typewriter, etc. * Data type, collection of values used for computations. * File type * TYPE (DOS command), a command to display contents ...

ale
. *An event in 720 where the walls of one ward partially collapsed during a heavy storm. *A mansion belonging to
Princess Taiping Princess Taiping (, lit. "Princess of Great Peace", personal name unknown, possibly Li Lingyue (李令月)) (after 662 – 2 August 713) was a royal princess during the Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial ...

Princess Taiping
(died 713). *An event where a
dwarf Dwarf or dwarves may refer to: Common uses *Dwarf (folklore) Two dwarfs as depicted in a 19th-century edition of the '' Poetic Edda'' poem ''Völuspá'' (1895) by Lorenz Frølich">Völuspá.html" ;"title="Poetic Edda'' poem ''Völuspá">Poetic ...
lady magician was said to provide the
illusion An illusion is a distortion of the sense A sense is a biological system used by an organism for sensation, the process of gathering information about the world and responding to Stimulus (physiology), stimuli. (For example, in the human body, t ...
of changing herself into a bamboo stalk and a skull. *The main Capital Schools, which were the Sons of State Academy, the Grand Learning Academy, and Four Gates Academy. *An assortment of other colleges for
law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by its bounda ...
,
mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and their changes (cal ...
, and
calligraphy Calligraphy (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...

calligraphy
. *A ward that had the largest number of entertainment plazas in the city. *A mansion home that was valued at 3 million Tang-era copper coins in the 9th century. *Another mansion that had a pavilion of plastered walls covered with an
aroma An odor (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, American English ...

aroma
tic
herb In general use, herbs are a widely distributed and widespread group of plants, excluding vegetables Vegetables are parts of plants that are consumed by humans or other animals as food. The original meaning is still commonly used and is app ...

herb
from
Central Asia Central Asia is a region in Asia Asia () is 's largest and most populous , located primarily in the and . It shares the continental of with the continent of and the continental landmass of with both Europe and . Asia covers an area ...

Central Asia
*The
Small Wild Goose Pagoda The Small Wild Goose Pagoda, sometimes Little Wild Goose Pagoda (), is one of two significant pagodas in Xi'an Xi'an ( , ; Chinese: ), also known as Sian, is the list of capitals in China, capital of Shaanxi, Shaanxi Province. A Sub-pro ...
, which still stands today. *A shop that sold fancy pastries *The Pavilion of Buddha's Tooth, located in a monastery where graduate students of the Advanced Scholars Exam could enjoy their '' in honor of their academic success. *A government-run
mint MiNT is Now TOS (MiNT) is a free software Free software (or libre software) is computer software distributed under terms that allow users to run the software for any purpose as well as to study, change, and distribute it and any adapted ver ...
for casting
copper Copper is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical elem ...

copper
-coin
currency A currency, "in circulation", from la, currens, -entis, literally meaning "running" or "traversing" in the most specific sense is money Money is any item or verifiable record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services ...

currency
*A small field for playing horse polo


East Central Chang'an

Locations and events in the east central sector of the city included: * 11 walled and gated wards * 11 Buddhist monasteries * 7 Taoist abbeys * 1 Family shrine * 1 Foreign place of worship (ex: churches,
synagogues A synagogue, ', 'house of assembly', or ', "house of prayer"; Yiddish Yiddish (, or , ''yidish'' or ''idish'', , ; , ''Yidish-Taytsh'', ) is a West Germanic language historically spoken by Ashkenazi Jews Ashkenazi Jews ( are a ...
, etc.) * 4 Locations for Provincial Transmission Offices * 3 Inns * 1 Graveyard * 1 Large water pond *The East Market (); like the West Market, this walled and gated marketplace had nine city blocks and a central block reserved for government offices that regulated trade and monitored the transactions of goods and services. There was a street with the
name A name is a term used for identification by an external observer. They can identify a class or category of things, or a single thing, either uniquely, or within a given context. The entity identified by a name is called its referent A referent ...
"
Ironmonger Ironmongery originally referred, first, to the manufacture of iron goods and, second, to the place of sale of such items for domestic rather than industrial use. In both contexts, the term has expanded to include items made of steel, aluminium, ...
s' Lane", plenty of pastry shops, taverns, and a seller of foreign
musical instrument A musical instrument is a device created or adapted to make musical sounds. In principle, any object that produces sound can be considered a musical instrument—it is through purpose that the object becomes a musical instrument. A person who play ...
s. *The North Hamlet (Many of the city's entertainers, musicians, and
courtesan Courtesan, in modern usage, is a euphemism for a "kept" mistress (lover), mistress or prostitute, particularly one with wealthy, powerful, or influential clients. The term historically referred to a courtier, a person who attended the Royal cour ...

courtesan
s, densely populated this quarter.Benn, 67. Aside from the fact that they were not prostitutes, the Chinese courtesans were more or less similar to the Japanese
geisha {{Culture of Japan, Traditions, Geisha {{nihongo, Geisha, 芸者 ({{IPAc-en, ˈ, ɡ, eɪ, ʃ, ə; {{IPA-ja, ɡeːɕa, lang), also known as {{nihongo, , 芸子, geiko (in Kyoto and Kanazawa) or {{nihongo, , 芸妓, geigi are a class of female Ja ...

geisha
, and unlike the bar and tavern maids they had excellent table manners, polite mode of speech and behavior, and were reserved for entertaining the elite of society.Benn, 64. *The Offices of Wannian County, the eastern half of the city *The main office of the Municipal
Archive An archive is an accumulation of historical records – in any media – or the physical facility in which they are located. Archives contain primary source In the study of history History (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece An ...

Archive
s *The government bureau of the Directorate for
Astronomy Astronomy (from el, ἀστρονομία, literally meaning the science that studies the laws of the stars) is a natural science that studies astronomical object, celestial objects and celestial event, phenomena. It uses mathematics, phys ...
*An event in 775 where an
UyghurUyghur may refer to: * Uyghurs, a Turkic ethnic group living in Eastern and Central Asia * Uyghur language, a Turkic language spoken primarily by the Uyghurs ** Uyghur alphabets, any of four systems used to write the language * Uyghur Khaganate, a T ...
Turk stabbed a man to death in broad daylight in the East Market before being arrested in the marketplace shortly after. However, his Uyghur chieftain named Chixin () or Red Heart broke into the county
prison A prison, also known as a jail or gaol (dated, English language in England, standard English, Australian English, Australian, and Huron Historic Gaol, historically in Canada), penitentiary (American English and Canadian English), detention ...

prison
and freed the murderous culprit, wounding several wardens in the process. *A mansion of a
princess Princess is a regal rank and the feminine equivalent of prince A prince is a Monarch, male ruler (ranked below a king, grand prince, and grand duke) or a male member of a monarch's or former monarch's family. ''Prince'' is also a title o ...
with a large polo playing field in the backyard *An event where
Emperor Gaozong of Tang Emperor Gaozong of Tang (21 July 628 – 27 December 683), personal name Li Zhi, was the third emperor of the Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an i ...
(r. 649–683) once held the wedding feast here for the marriage ceremony of his daughter
Princess Taiping Princess Taiping (, lit. "Princess of Great Peace", personal name unknown, possibly Li Lingyue (李令月)) (after 662 – 2 August 713) was a royal princess during the Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial ...

Princess Taiping
. *The
beer Beer is one of the oldest and most widely consumed alcoholic drinks in the world, and the third most popular drink overall after water and tea. Beer is brewing, brewed from cereal, cereal grains—most commonly from malted barley, though wh ...

beer
brewery A brewery or brewing company is a business that makes and sells beer. The place at which beer is commercially made is either called a brewery or a beerhouse, where distinct sets of brewing equipment are called plant. The commercial brewing of beer ...
of Toad Tumulus Ale. *An event in 788 where a gang of four
thieves Theft is the taking of another person's property or Service (economics), services or scrap money without that person's permission or consent with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of it.''Criminal Law – Cases and Materials'', 7th ed. 2 ...

thieves
killed their arresting officer and fled the city. *An event where the assassins of Chancellor Wu hid in the bamboo groves of a mansion in this sector of the city after the murder. *A Buddhist monastery with an entertainment plaza *A home of a 'face reader' (
physiognomist Physiognomy (from the Greek Language, Greek φύσις ''wikt:φύσις, physis'' meaning "nature" and ''wikt:γνώμων, gnomon'' meaning "judge" or "interpreter") is the practice of assessing a person's character or personality from their ou ...
) where daily flocks of people came to have their fortunes told. *A mansion bestowed by the emperor to
An Lushan An Lushan or An Lu-shan (20th day of the 1st month (February), 703 – 25/29 January 757) was a general in the Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an int ...
(who became the most infamous rebel during the Tang era) in 750 that was converted into a Buddhist abbey after his demise. There was also a garden in a separate ward designated for An Lushan. *A mansion of a high-ranking general in the mid-8th century that was recorded to have 3,000 inhabitants of the extended family living on the premises. *A
Zoroastrian Zoroastrianism or Mazdayasna is an Iranian religion and one of the world's oldest continuously-practiced organized faiths, based on the teachings of the Iranian-speaking prophet Zoroaster Zoroaster (, ; el, Ζωροάστρης, ''Zōr ...
Fire-Temple *An event where the imperial court demoted an official because it was discovered that he had assembled a large number of female entertainers here in a dwelling that was not his home. *An event in the 9th century where three
maidservant A handmaiden, handmaid or maidservant is a personal maid A maid, or housemaid or maidservant, is a female domestic worker. In the Victorian era In the history of the United Kingdom, the Victorian era was the wikt:period, period of ...
s committed suicide by leaping into a well and drowning once they heard the rebel
Huang Chao Huang Chao (835 – July 13, 884) was a Chinese smuggler, soldier, and rebel, and is most well known for being the leader of a major rebellion that severely weakened the Tang dynasty. Huang was a Salt in Chinese history, salt smuggler before j ...

Huang Chao
was
ransack Looting is the act of stealing, or the taking of goods by force, in the midst of a military, political, or other social crisis, such as war, natural disasters (where law and civil enforcement are temporarily ineffective), or rioting. The proc ...
ing their mistress's mansion.


Northwestern Chang'an

Locations and events in the northwest sector of the city included: * 12 walled and gated city wards * 27 Buddhist monasteries * 10 Taoist abbeys * 1 Official Temple * 1 Family shrine * 6 Foreign places of worship (Ex: Church, synagogue, etc.) * 1 Inn * 1 Graveyard *The military
barracks Barracks are usually a group of long buildings built to house military personnel or laborers. The English word comes via French from an old Spanish word "barraca" (hut), originally referring to temporary shelters or huts for various people and ani ...

barracks
for the Divine Strategy Army. *A shrine for
Laozi Lao Tzu (),"Lao Zi"
''
's father *Three Zoroastrian Fire-Temples *Three Persian Nestorian-Christian churches of worship *The office of the Inexhaustible
Treasury A treasury is either *A government department related to finance and taxation, a Finance minister, finance ministry. *A place or location where treasure, such as currency or precious items are kept. These can be State ownership, state or roy ...

Treasury
*An event in 828 where a eunuch commanded fifty
wrestler Wrestling is a combat sport involving grappling-type techniques such as clinch fighting, throws and takedowns, joint locks, pins and other grappling holds. The sport can either be genuinely competitive or sportive entertainment (see pro ...
s to arrest 300 commoners over a land dispute, whereupon a
riot A riot () is a form of civil disorder Civil disorder, also known as civil disturbance, civil unrest, or social unrest is an activity arising from a mass act of civil disobedience (such as a demonstration, riot, strike, or ignoring laws) in wh ...
broke out in the streets. *The home of An Jinzang, who cut his belly open with a knife in order to defend
Emperor Ruizong of Tang Emperor Ruizong of Tang (22 June 662 – 13 July 716), personal name Li Dan, also known at times during his life as Li Xulun, Li Lun, Wu Lun, and Wu Dan, was the fifth and ninth emperor of Tang Dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Emp ...
against charges of
treason Treason is the crime In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority. The term ''crime'' does not, in modern criminal law, have any simple and universally accepted definition,Farmer, Lindsay: "Cr ...
. *A mansion of Princess Anle *The Inexhaustible Treasury; in 713,
Emperor XuanzongXuanzong (Hsuan-tsung in Wade–Giles) may refer to the following Chinese emperors: * Emperor Xuanzong of Tang (reigned 713-756) * Emperor Xuanzong of Tang (9th century) (reigned 846-859) * Emperor Xuanzong of Jin (reigned 1213-1224) * Emperor Xuanz ...
liquidated the highly lucrative Inexhaustible Treasury, which was run by a prominent Buddhist monastery in Chang'an. This monastery collected vast amounts of money, silk, and treasures through multitudes of anonymous rich people's repentances, leaving the donations on the premises without providing their name. Although the monastery was generous in donations, Emperor Xuanzong issued a decree abolishing their treasury on grounds that their banking practices were fraudulent, collected their riches, and distributed the wealth to various other Buddhist monasteries, Taoist abbeys, and to repair statues, halls, and bridges in the city.


North Central Chang'an

Locations and events in the north central sector of the city included: * Large gated walls connected to the West Palace and the main outer walls of the city * 24 walled and gated wards * 14 Different armed guard units in 6 different wards *The August Enceintes; this large walled compound of 24 wards was the Administrative City, where the various offices and main bureaus of the central government were located (in front of the southern walls of the lavish West Palace). *The headquarters for the Service for Supreme Justice (
Supreme court A supreme court is the highest court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to Adjudication, adjudicate legal disputes between Party (law), parties and carry out the administration of just ...

Supreme court
). *The Imperial
factories A factory, manufacturing plant or a production plant is an industrial Industrial may also refer to: Industry * Industrial archaeology, the study of the history of the industry * Industrial engineering, engineering dealing with the optimization ...
*An event in 713 where a large
carnival Carnival is a Western Christian 250px, St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, the largest church building in the world today. Western Christianity is one of two sub-divisions of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abra ...
was held along the main avenue lined against the southern wall of the West Palace *The Imperial
stable A stable is a building in which livestock Livestock are the domesticated Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a significant degree of influence over the reproduction and c ...
s and
hay Hay is grass Poaceae () or Gramineae () is a large and nearly ubiquitous family In human society, family (from la, familia) is a group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth) or affinity (by marriage or ...

hay
fields for horses *The government halls for civil and military examinations *The Imperial ancestral shrine


Northeastern Chang'an

Locations and events in the northeast sector of the city included: * 14 walled and gated wards * 13 Buddhist monasteries * 4 Taoist abbeys * 1 Family shrine * 3 Locations for Provincial Transmission Offices * 1 Inn * The Xingqing Palace; once a Buddhist monastery, it was converted to an Imperial palace in the early 8th century. Within the walled and gated grounds there was a large lake, two streams, an aloeswood pavilion, and an archery hall. * A large
carriage A carriage is a private four-wheeled vehicle for people and is most commonly horse-drawn A horse-drawn vehicle is a mechanized piece of equipment pulled by one horse or by a team of horses. These vehicles typically had two or four wheels an ...

carriage
park where officials visiting the Daming Palace could safely leave their
horse-drawn vehicle A horse-drawn vehicle is a mechanized piece of equipment pulled by one horse or by a team of horses. These vehicles typically had two or four wheels and were used to carry passengers and/or a load. They were once common worldwide, but they have mos ...
s for the day. * An entertainment ward in this sector that was considered to have the finest singers in the city, and another with the finest dancers. *An event where
Empress Wu#REDIRECT Asterisk The asterisk , from Late Latin , from Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often ...
once donated one of her
dressing room A changing room, locker room, dressing room (usually in a sports, theater or staff context) or changeroom (regional use) is a room or area designated for changing one's clothes. Changing rooms are provided in a semi-public situation to enable p ...
s to a monastery here *An event where a eunuch who converted his mansion into a monastery held a feast where he demanded each guest to celebrate by striking the
cloister A cloister (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the ...

cloister
's bell and donating 100,000 strings of cash. *An event in 730 where
Emperor Xuanzong of Tang Emperor Xuanzong of Tang (; 8 September 685 – 3 May 762), also commonly known as Emperor Ming of Tang or Illustrious August, personal name Li Longji, was the seventh emperor An emperor (from la, imperator The Latin word "imperator" ...
had four palace halls dismantled and reassembled as halls and gates for a Taoist abbey, the grounds of which was formally a large garden for the Bureau of Agriculture. *A residence for princes in the ward forming the northeast corner of the city *An event in 835 where palace troops captured rebel leaders in a tea shop that were planning a palace
coup d'état A coup d'état (; French for "blow of state"), often shortened to coup in English, (also known as an overthrow) is a seizure and removal of a government and its powers. Typically, it is an illegal, unconstitutional seizure of power by a politic ...
against the chief court eunuchs. *An event in the early 9th century where the emperor spent 2 million strings of cash to purchase the former mansion of a venerated minister so that the dwelling could be returned to the minister's pious grandson. *A mansion of Princess Tongchang that had a water well lined with a railing made of pure
gold Gold is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical elemen ...

gold
and
silver Silver is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical ele ...

silver
. *A court for imperial musicians *A large playing ground as a horse polo field *An event in 756 where the occupying rebel
An Lushan An Lushan or An Lu-shan (20th day of the 1st month (February), 703 – 25/29 January 757) was a general in the Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an int ...
ordered Sun Xiaozhe to have eighty three princesses, their husbands, and parties of
Yang Guozhong Yang Guozhong () (died July 15, 756Volume 218 of ''Zizhi Tongjian The ''Zizhi Tongjian'' () is a pioneering reference work in Chinese historiography, published in 1084 AD during the Song dynasty in the form of a chronicle. In 1065 AD, Emperor Y ...
and
Gao LishiGao Lishi () (684–762), formally the Duke of Qi (齊公), was a eunuch official of the History of China, Chinese dynasty Tang Dynasty and Wu Zetian's Zhou Dynasty, becoming particularly powerful during Emperor Xuanzong of Tang's reign. He is belie ...
murdered at Zongren Fang in reprisal for his already executed son An Qingzong. *A workshop for a maker of musical instruments *An event where a renowned but drunken artist painted an entire mural in one night at the north gate of a Buddhist monastery in the southwesternmost ward of this city sector. *A spot in the south central ward of this city sector where girls often played cuju football under a tree beside the road. *A street where the emperor would organize public entertainments to celebrate his birthday


West Palace

The West Palace to the north included: *An archery hall *Polo grounds *Elaborate Gardens *Five large water ponds and three different streams *A cuju football field *A *A
bell tower A bell tower is a tower that contains one or more bells, or that is designed to hold bells even if it has none. Such a tower commonly serves as part of a church (building), church, and will contain church bells, but there are also many secular b ...

bell tower
*The residence of the Crown Prince, dubbed the 'East Palace' *The Flank Court, where women were incarcerated for the crimes of their husbands and other menfolk of the family they remained loyal to. *The school for palace ladies *The Seat of the Eunuch Agency


West Park

The West Park grounds included: *A river stream *Three gates leading into the West Palace *
Ice Ice is water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an , transparent, tasteless, odorless, and , which is the main constituent of 's and the s of all known living organisms (in which it acts as a ). It is vital for all known forms of , eve ...

Ice
pits for
refrigerating The term refrigeration means cooling a space, substance or system to lower and/or maintain its temperature below the ambient one (while the removed heat is rejected at a higher temperature).International Dictionary of Refrigeration, http://diction ...
foods during the spring and summer


Daming Palace

The
Daming Palace The Daming Palace was the imperial palace complex of the Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an interregnum between 690 and 705. It was preceded by the S ...
grounds included: *Double walled gates at the north end leading out of the city, and one walled gate at the south end leading into the city *A large lake *An archery hall *A bathhouse *A storehouse for musical instruments *A drum tower *A bell tower *A
cuju ''Cuju'' or ''Ts'u-chü'' is an ancient Chinese ball game Ball games (or ballgames), also ball sports, are any form of game or sport which feature a ball as part of play. These include games such as association football, football, cricket, baseb ...
football field *A
cockfighting A cockfight is a blood sport A blood sport or bloodsport is a category of sport Sport pertains to any form of competitive Competition is a rivalry A rivalry is the state of two people or groups engaging in a lasting competiti ...

cockfighting
arena An arena is a large enclosed platform, often circular or oval-shaped, designed to showcase theatre Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of performing art that uses live performers, usually actor, actors or actresses, to prese ...

arena
*
Academy An academy (Attic Greek: Ἀκαδήμεια; Koine Greek Ἀκαδημία) is an institution of secondary education, secondary or tertiary education, tertiary higher education, higher learning, research, or honorary membership. Academia is the w ...

Academy
of
music Music is the of arranging s in time through the of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. It is one of the aspects of all human societies. General include common elements such as (which governs and ), (and its associated concepts , , and ...

music
for the actors and performers in the
Pear Garden The Liyuan or Pear Garden was the first known royal performing arts and musical academy in China. Founded during the Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an ...
Troupe *A separate entertainment ward


East Park

The East Park grounds included: *A large pond *Two streams (one leading into the park from under the wall, one feeding water into a city canal) *A
cuju ''Cuju'' or ''Ts'u-chü'' is an ancient Chinese ball game Ball games (or ballgames), also ball sports, are any form of game or sport which feature a ball as part of play. These include games such as association football, football, cricket, baseb ...
(traditional Chinese soccer) field


Tallies

For different buildings and locations in the entire city, the total numbers for each were: *111 Buddhist monasteries *41 Taoist abbeys *38 Family shrines *2 Official temples *10 City wards having one or multiple Provincial Transmission Offices *12 Inns *6 Graveyards *7 Official foreign-religion churches


Citywide events

Citywide events of Chang'an include:Benn, 149.Benn, 150.Benn, 151.Benn, 152.Benn, 153. *Festivals of
traditional Chinese holidays The traditional Chinese holidays are an essential part of harvests or prayer offerings. The most important Chinese holiday is the Chinese New Year Chinese New Year ( ), Spring Festival or the Lunar New Year, is the festival that celebrates t ...
celebrated throughout the city (and empire) included: **
New Year New Year is the time Time is the continued of and that occurs in an apparently succession from the , through the , into the . It is a component quantity of various s used to events, to compare the duration of events or the interva ...

New Year
; the grandest of all festivals, and a seven-day holiday period for government officials. Civil officials, military officers, and foreign emissaries gathered first in the early hours of the morning to attend a
levee file:River Levee Cross Section Figure.svg, Components of a levee: file:Sacramento River Levee.jpg, The side of a levee in Sacramento, California A levee (), dike (American English), dyke (Commonwealth English), embankment, floodbank, or stop ...
, an occasion where omens, disasters, and blessings of the previous year would be reviewed, along with tribute of regional prefectures and foreign countries presented. It was also an opportunity for provincial governors to present their recommended candidates for the
imperial examination The Chinese imperial examinations, or ''keju'' (lit. "subject recommendation"), was a civil service examination system in History of China#Imperial era, Imperial China for selecting candidates for the state Civil service#China, bureaucracy. T ...
. Although festival ceremonies in Chang'an were lavish, rural people in the countryside celebrated privately at home with their families in age old traditions, such as drinking a special wine, Killing Ghosts and Reviving Souls wine, that was believed to cure illnesses in the following year. **
Lantern Festival The Lantern Festival ( zh, t=元宵節, s=元宵节, hp=Yuánxiāo jié), also called Shangyuan Festival ( zh, t=上元節, s=上元节, hp=Shàngyuán jié), is a Chinese traditional festival celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first mont ...

Lantern Festival
; a three-day festival held on the 14th, 15th, and 16th days of the first
full moon The full moon is the lunar phase s in 2022 as viewed from the Southern Hemisphere The Southern Hemisphere is the half (hemisphere Hemisphere may refer to: * A half of a sphere As half of the Earth * A hemispheres of Earth, hemisphere o ...

full moon
. This was the only holiday where the government lifted its nightly curfew all across the city so that people could freely exit their wards and stroll about the main city streets to celebrate. Citizens attempted to outdo one another each year in the amount of lamps and the size of lamps they could erect in a grand display. By far the most prominent was the one in the year 713 erected at a gate in Chang'an by the recently abdicated
Emperor Ruizong of Tang Emperor Ruizong of Tang (22 June 662 – 13 July 716), personal name Li Dan, also known at times during his life as Li Xulun, Li Lun, Wu Lun, and Wu Dan, was the fifth and ninth emperor of Tang Dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Emp ...
. His lantern wheel had a recorded height of , the frame of which was draped in
brocade Brocade is a class of richly decorative shuttle-woven fabric A textile is a flexible material made by creating an interlocking bundle of yarn Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibre Fiber or fibre (from la, f ...
s and
silk Silk is a natural Nature, in the broadest sense, is the natural, physical, material world or universe The universe ( la, universus) is all of space and time and their contents, including planets, stars, galaxies, and all o ...

silk
gauze Gauze is a thin, translucent In the field of optics, transparency (also called pellucidity or diaphaneity) is the physical property of allowing light to pass through the material without appreciable scattering of light. On a macroscopic s ...
, adorned with
gold Gold is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical elemen ...

gold
and
jade Jade is a mineral, much used in some cultures as jewellery and for ornaments, mostly known for its green varieties, though it appears naturally in other colors as well, notably yellow and white. Jade can refer to either of two different silica ...

jade
jewelry, and when it had its total of some 50,000 oil cups lit the radiance of it could be seen for miles. **
Lustration Lustration is the purge of government officials in Central and Eastern Europe. Various forms of lustration were employed in post-communist Europe and more recently in Ukraine. Etymology Lustration in general is the process of making somethi ...
; this one-day festival took place on the third day of the third moon (dubbed the "double-three"), and traditionally was meant to dispel evil and wash away defilement in a river with scented aromatic
orchis ''Orchis'' is a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their an ...

orchis
plants. By the Tang era it had become a time of baudy celebration, feasting, wine drinking, and writing poetry. The Tang court annually served up a special batch of
deep fried Deep frying (also referred to as deep fat frying) is a cooking Cooking or cookery is the art, science, and craft of using heat to Outline of food preparation, prepare food for consumption. Cooking techniques and ingredients vary widely acros ...
pastries as dessert for the occasion, most likely served in the Serpentine River Park. **
Cold Food Festival The Cold Food or Hanshi Festival is a traditional Chinese holiday which developed from the local commemoration of the death of the Jin nobleman Jie Zitui in the 7thcenturyBC under the Zhou dynasty, into an occasion across East Asia for the co ...
; this solar-based holiday on April 5 (concurrent with the
Qingming Festival The Qingming festival, also known as Tomb-Sweeping Day in English (sometimes also called Chinese Memorial Day or Ancestors' Day), is a List of observances set by the Chinese calendar, traditional Chinese festival observed by the Han Chinese of ...
) was named so because no fires were allowed to be lit for three days, hence no warmed or hot food. It was a time to respect one's ancestors by maintaining their tombs and offering sacrifices, while a
picnic A picnic is a meal A meal is an eating Eating (also known as consuming) is the ingestion Ingestion is the consumption of a substance by an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ' ...

picnic
would be held later in the day. It was also a time for fun in outdoor activities, with amusement on swing sets, playing cuju football, horse polo, and
tug of war Tug of war (also known as tug o' war, tug war, rope war, rope pulling, or tugging war) is a sport that pits two teams against each other in a test of strength: teams pull on opposite ends of a rope A rope is a group of yarn Yarn is a lo ...

tug of war
. In the year 710,
Emperor Zhongzong of Tang Emperor Zhongzong of Tang (26 November 656 – 3 July 710), personal name Li Xian, and at other times Li Zhe or Wu Xian, was the fourth of the of China, ruling briefly in 684 and again from 705 to 710. During the first period, he did not ru ...
had his chief ministers, sons-in-law, and military officers engage in a game of tug of war, and purportedly laughed when the oldest ministers fell over. The imperial throne also presented porridge to officials, and even dyed chicken and duck eggs, similar to the practice on
Easter Easter,Traditional names for the feast in English are "Easter Day", as in the ''Book of Common Prayer''; "Easter Sunday", used by James Ussher''The Whole Works of the Most Rev. James Ussher, Volume 4'' and Samuel Pepys''The Diary of Samuel Pe ...

Easter
in the
Western world The Western world, also known as the West, refers to various regions, nations and state (polity), states, depending on the context, most often consisting of the majority of Europe, Northern America, and Australasia.
. **Fifth Day of the Fifth Moon; this one-day holiday dubbed the
Dragon Boat Festival The Dragon Boat Festival is a traditional holiday which occurs on the 5th day of the 5th month of the traditional Chinese calendar. The Chinese calendar is lunisolar, so the date of the festival varies from year to year on the Gregorian cal ...
was held in honor of an ancient Chinese statesman
Qu Yuan Qu Yuan ( – 278 BC) was a Chinese poet and politician in the Chu (state), State of Chu during the Warring States period. He is known for his patriotism and contributions to Classical Chinese poetry, classical poetry and verses, e ...

Qu Yuan
(c. 340-278 BC) from the
State of Chu Chu, or Ch'u in Wade–Giles Wade–Giles () is a romanization Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by hu ...
. Ashamed that he could not save the dire affairs of his state or his king by offering good council, Qu Yuan leaped into a river and committed
suicide Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one's own death Death is the permanent, irreversible cessation of all biological functions that sustain a living Living or The Living may refer to: Common meanings *Life, a condition t ...

suicide
; it was said that soon after many went out on the river in boats in a desperate attempt to rescue him if still alive. This act turned into a festive tradition of boarding a
dragon boat A dragon boat is a human-powered watercraft Human-powered watercraft are watercraft Watercraft, also known as water vessels or waterborne vessels, are vehicles used in water, including boats, ship A ship is a large watercraft that tra ...

dragon boat
to race against other
oar An oar is an implement used for water-borne propulsion. Oars have a flat blade at one end. Rowers grasp the oar at the other end. The difference between oars and paddles is that oars are used exclusively for rowing. In rowing the oar is connect ...
smen, and also to call out Qu's name, still in search of him. The type of food commonly eaten during the Tang period for this festival was either glutinous millet or rice wrapped in leaves and boiled. **Seventh Night of the Seventh Moon; this was a one-day festival that was held in honor of the
celestial Celestial may refer to: Science * Objects or events seen in the sky and the following astronomical terms: ** Astronomical object, a naturally occurring physical entity, association, or structure that exists in the observable universe ** Celesti ...

celestial
with deities associated with the star
Altair Altair () designated α Aquilae ( to Alpha Aquilae, abbreviated Alpha Aql, α Aql), is the brightest in the of and the in the . It is currently in the —a nearby , an accumulation of gas and dust. Altair is an ...

Altair
(the male cow-herd deity) in the
constellation A constellation is an area on the celestial sphere in which a group of visible stars forms a perceived outline or pattern, typically representing an animal, mythological person or creature, or an inanimate object. The origins of the earliest ...

constellation
Aquila and the star
Vega Vega is the brightest star A star is an astronomical object consisting of a luminous spheroid of plasma (physics), plasma held together by its own gravity. The List of nearest stars and brown dwarfs, nearest star to Earth is the Sun ...

Vega
(the female weaver maid deity) in the constellation
Lyra Lyra (; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Re ...

Lyra
. For this holiday, women prayed for the enhancement of their skills at sewing and weaving. In the early 8th century Tang servitors had erected a tall hall by knotting
brocade Brocade is a class of richly decorative shuttle-woven fabric A textile is a flexible material made by creating an interlocking bundle of yarn Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibre Fiber or fibre (from la, f ...
s to a bamboo frame and laid out fruits, ale, and roasts as offerings to the two stellar lovers. It was during this holiday that the emperor's
concubine Concubinage is an interpersonal The concept of interpersonal relationship involves social associations, connections, or affiliations between two or more people. Interpersonal relationships vary in their degree of intimacy or self-disclo ...
s threaded
polychrome Polychrome is the "practice of decorating architectural elements, sculpture, etc., in a variety of colors." The term is used to refer to certain styles of architecture, pottery Pottery is the process and the products of forming vessels a ...

polychrome
thread into needles with nine eyes, while facing the moon themselves (in a ritual called "praying for skill n sewing and weaving). ** Fifteenth Day of the Seventh Moon; this holiday was called All Saints' Feast, developing from the legend
Mulian Rescues His Mother ''Mulian Rescues His Mother'' or ''Mulian Saves His Mother From Hell'' is a popular Chinese Buddhist tale first attested in a Dunhuang manuscript dating to the early 9th century CE. It is an elaboration of the canonical Yulanpen Sutra which wa ...
. in which the
bodhisattva In Buddhism Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware o ...

bodhisattva
savior Mulian who had discovered his mother paying for her sinful ways while in
purgatory Purgatory (, via Anglo-Norman language, Anglo-Norman and Old French) is, according to the belief of some Christianity, Christians (mostly Catholics), an intermediate state after physical death for expiatory purification. There is disagreement amo ...

purgatory
filled with hungry ghosts. According to the tale, she starved there because any food that she put into her mouth would turn into charcoal. Then it was said that she told the Buddha to make an offering with his clergy on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, a virtuous act that would free seven generations of people from being hungry ghosts in Hell as well as people reborn as lower animals. After Mulian was able to save his own mother by offerings, Mulian convinced the Buddha to make the day into a permanent holiday. This holiday was an opportunity of Buddhist monasteries to flaunt their collected wealth and attract donors, especially by methods of drawing crowds with dramatic spectacles and performances. ** Fifteenth Day of the Eighth Moon; this festival (today simply called the Moon Festival or
Mid-Autumn Festival The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival or Mooncake Festival, is a traditional festival celebrated in China, mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and Vietnam, as well as by overseas Chinese and Overseas Vietnamese, Vietnam ...
), took place in mid autumn, and was designated as a three-day
vacation A vacation (American English), or holiday (British English), is a leave of absence from a regular job. People often take a vacation during specific holiday observances, or for specific festivals or celebrations. Vacations are often spent with F ...
for government officials. Unlike the previous holiday's association with Buddhism, this holiday was associated with Taoism, specifically Taoist
alchemy Alchemy (from Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countri ...
. There was a tale about a
hare Hares and jackrabbits are Leporidae, leporids belonging to the genus ''Lepus''. Hares are classified in the same Family (biology), family as rabbits. They have similar herbivorous diets, but are generally larger in size than rabbits, have proport ...

hare
on the moon who worked hard grinding
ingredient An ingredient is a substance that forms part of a mixture In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the Chemical element, elements that make up m ...
s for an
elixir An elixir is a sweet liquid used for medical purposes, to be taken orally and intended to cure one's illness. When used as a pharmaceutical preparation, an elixir contains at least one active ingredient An active ingredient is the ingredient ...
by using a
mortar and pestle Mortar and pestle is a set of two simple tool A tool is an object that can extend an individual's ability to modify features of the surrounding environment. Although many animals use tool use by animals, simple tools, only human beings, w ...

mortar and pestle
. In
folklore Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the tradition A tradition is a belief A belief is an attitude Attitude may refer to: Philosophy and psychology * Attitude (psycholog ...

folklore
, a magician escorted Emperor Illustrious August to the palace of the moon goddess across a silver bridge that was conjured up by him tossing his staff into the air. In the tale, on the fifteenth day of the eighth moon, the emperor viewed the performance of "Air of the Rainbow Robe and Feathered Skirt" by immortal maids. He memorized the music, and on his return to earth taught it to his performers. For people in Chang'an (and elsewhere), this holiday was a means for many to simply feast and drink for the night. ** Ninth Day of the Ninth Moon; this was a three-day holiday associated with the promotion of longevity (with
chrysanthemum Chrysanthemums (), sometimes called mums or chrysanths, are flowering plant Flowering plants include multiple members of the clade Angiospermae (), commonly called angiosperms. The term "angiosperm" is derived from the Greek#REDIRECT Gree ...

chrysanthemum
as the main symbol). It was a holiday where many sought to have picnics out in the country, especially in higher elevated areas such as mountain sides. Without the ability to travel away to far off mountains, inhabitants of Chang'an simply held their feasts at the tops of pagodas or in the Serpentine River Park. Stems and leaves of chrysanthemum were added to
ferment Fermentation is a metabolism, metabolic process that produces chemical changes in organic Substrate (chemistry), substrates through the action of enzymes. In biochemistry, it is narrowly defined as the extraction of energy from carbohydrates in ...
ed grains and were brewed for a year straight. On the same festival the following year, it was believed that drinking this ale would prolong one's life. ** The Last Day of the Twelfth Moon; on this holiday ale and fruit were provided as offerings to the god of the stove, after having Buddhist or Taoist priests recite scripture at one's own home (if one had the wealth and means). Offerings were made to the stove god because it was his responsibility to make annual reports to heaven on the good deeds or sins committed by the family in question. A family would do everything to charm the god, including hanging a newly painted portrait of the god on a piece of paper above their stove on New Years, which hung in the same position for an entire year. It was a common practice to rub in some
alcoholic beverage An alcoholic drink is a drink A drink (or beverage) is a liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible In fluid mechanics or more generally continuum mechanics, incompressible flow (isochoric process, isochoric flow) refers to a fluid f ...
across the picture of the deities mouth, so that he would become drunk and far too
inebriated Alcohol intoxication, also known as drunkenness or alcohol poisoning, is the negative behavior and physical effects caused by a recent consumption of alcohol File:Alcohol general.svg, upright=0.8, The bond angle between a hydroxyl group (-OH ...
to make any sort of reasonably bad or negative report about the family to heaven. * Grand Carnivals;
carnival Carnival is a Western Christian 250px, St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, the largest church building in the world today. Western Christianity is one of two sub-divisions of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abra ...
s during the Tang period were lively events, with great quantities of eating, drinking, street
parade A parade is a procession of people, usually organized along a street, often in costume Costume is the distinctive style of dress or cosmetic of an individual or group that reflects class, gender, profession, ethnicity, nationality, activity o ...

parade
s, and sideshow acts in tents. Carnivals had no fixed dates or customs, but were merely celebrations bestowed by the emperor in the case of his generosity or special circumstances such as great military victories, abundant
harvest Harvesting is the process of gathering a ripe crop from the field Field may refer to: Expanses of open ground * Field (agriculture), an area of land used for agricultural purposes * Airfield, an aerodrome that lacks the infrastructure of a ...

harvest
s after a long drought or famine, sacrifices to gods, or the granting of grand amnesties. This type of carnival as a nationwide tradition was established long before the Tang by
Qin Shihuang Qin Shi Huang (, ; 18 February 25910 September 210) was the founder of the Qin dynasty and the first emperor of a unified China. From 247 to 221 BC he was Zheng, King of Qin (, ''Qín Wáng Zhèng'', personal name 嬴政 ''Yíng Zhèng'' or ...
in the 3rd century BC, upon his unification of China in 221.Benn, 154. Between 628 and 758, the imperial throne bestowed a total of sixty nine different carnivals, seventeen of which were held under
Empress Wu#REDIRECT Asterisk The asterisk , from Late Latin , from Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often ...
.Benn, 155. These carnivals generally lasted 3 days, and sometimes five, seven, or nine days (using odd numbers due so that the number of days could correspond with beliefs in the cosmos). The carnival grounds were usually staged in the wide avenues of the city, and smaller parties in attendance in the open plazas of Buddhist monasteries. However, in 713, a carnival was held in the large avenue running east to west between the West Palace walls and the government compounds of the administrative city, an open space that was long and wide, and was more secure since the guard units of the city were placed nearby and could handle crowd control of trouble arose.Benn, 156. Carnivals of the Tang Dynasty featured large passing wagons with high poles were acrobats would climb and perform stunts for crowds. Large floats during the Tang, on great four-wheeled wagons, rose as high as five stories, called 'mountain carts' or 'drought boats'.Benn, 157. These superstructure vehicles were draped in silken flags and cloths, with bamboo and other wooden type frames, foreign musicians dressed in rich fabrics sitting on the top playing music, and the whole cart drawn by en that were covered in
tiger The tiger (''Panthera tigris'') is the largest extant taxon, living Felidae, cat species and a member of the genus ''Panthera''. It is most recognisable for its dark vertical stripes on orange fur with a white underside. An apex predator, i ...

tiger
skins and outfitted to look like
rhinoceros A rhinoceros (, , ), commonly abbreviated to rhino, is a member of any of the five extant Extant is the opposite of the word extinct Extinction is the termination of a kind of organism or of a group of kinds (taxon), usually a species. T ...

rhinoceros
es and
elephant Elephants are the largest existing land animals. Three living species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A specie ...

elephant
s. An official in charge of the
Music Bureau The Music Bureau (Traditional Chinese Traditional Chinese characters are one type of standard Chinese character Chinese characters, also called ''hanzi'' (), are logogram In a written language A written language is the r ...
in the early 7th century set to the task of composing the official music that was to be played in the grand carnival of the year. On some occasions the emperor granted prizes to those carnival performers he deemed to outshine the rest with their talents. * In 682, a culmination of major droughts, floods,
locust Locusts (derived from the Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known as Popular or Colloquial Latin, is non-literary Literature broadly is any collection of written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considere ...

locust
plagues, and
epidemic An epidemic (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approx ...
s, a widespread famine broke out in the dual Chinese capital cities of Chang'an and Luoyang. The scarcity of food drove the price of grain to unprecedented heights of
inflation In economics, inflation refers to a general progressive increase in prices of goods and services in an economy. When the general price level rises, each unit of currency buys fewer goods and services; consequently, inflation corresponds to a r ...

inflation
, while a once prosperous era under emperors Taizong and Gaozong ended on a sad note.Benn, 4.


Decline

The once prosperous Tang capital abruptly declined after the end of the
Tang Dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an interregnum An interregnum (plural interregna or interregnums) is a period of discontinuity or "gap" in a government, organiza ...
. In 880, the rebel
Huang Chao Huang Chao (835 – July 13, 884) was a Chinese smuggler, soldier, and rebel, and is most well known for being the leader of a major rebellion that severely weakened the Tang dynasty. Huang was a Salt in Chinese history, salt smuggler before j ...

Huang Chao
sacked the city, destroying much of it.worldhistory.org
/ref> When the warlord
Zhu Quanzhong Emperor Taizu of Later Liang (), personal name Zhu Quanzhong () (December 5, 852 – July 18, 912), né Zhu Wen (), name later changed to Zhu Huang (), nickname Zhu San (朱三, literally, "the third Zhu"), was a ''Jiedushi The ''jiedushi'' ( ...
attacked the city again 25 years later, the capital was moved from Chang'an to
Luoyang Luoyang is a city located in the confluence area of Luo River and Yellow River The Yellow River (Chinese: , Jin Chinese, Jin: uə xɔ Standard Beijing Mandarin, Mandarin: ''Huáng hé'' ) is the second-longest river in China, afte ...

Luoyang
, and much of the city was abandoned and fell into disrepair. Soon, most of the city was overrun by nature and was used for agriculture. The former imperial city was modified into a much smaller city. Then the northern and eastern city wall was expanded a little and the official name of city was changed from
JingzhaoJingzhao ( zh, 京兆) was a historical region centered on the ancient Chinese capital of Chang'an Chang'an (; ) is the traditional name of Xi'an Xi'an ( , ; ; Chinese: ), sometimes romanized as Sian, is the capital Capital most co ...
, which means capital city, to Xi'an in
Ming Dynasty The Ming dynasty (), officially the Great Ming, was the Dynasties in Chinese history, ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol Empire, Mongol-led Yuan dynasty. The Ming dynasty was the last imperial dynas ...

Ming Dynasty
.


See also

* Ancient Chinese urban planning *
Historical capitals of China This is a list of historical capitals of China. Four Great Ancient Capitals There are traditionally four major historical capitals of China referred to as the "Four Great Ancient Capitals of China" (). The four are Beijing Beijing ( ), ...
*
List of cities in China A ''list'' is any set of items. List or lists may also refer to: People * List (surname) Organizations * List College, an undergraduate division of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America * SC Germania List, German rugby union club Ot ...
*
Silk Road transmission of Buddhism #REDIRECT Silk Road transmission of Buddhism#REDIRECT Silk Road transmission of Buddhism Buddhism entered Han China via the Silk Road, beginning in the 1st or 2nd century CE. The first documented translation efforts by Buddhist monks in China ...
* Xi Ming Temple *
Xi'an Xi'an ( , ; ; Chinese: ), sometimes romanized as Sian, is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals ...
*
History of Xi'anXi'an was among the most important cities of China before AD 1000. It remains a major regional centre. Xi'an was known as Chang'an in ancient times. Timeline Image:China xian glockenturm 01.jpg, 200px, Bell Tower *Zhou Dynasty established its C ...

History of Xi'an


References


Citations


Sources

* Benn, Charles (2002). ''China's Golden Age: Everyday Life in the Tang Dynasty''. Oxford: Oxford University Press. . * Ebrey, Walthall, Palais (2006). ''East Asia: A Cultural, Social, and Political History''. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. . * Needham, Joseph (1986). ''Science and Civilization in China: Volume 4, Physics and Physical Technology, Part 2, Mechanical Engineering''. Taipei: Caves Books Ltd. * Ma, Dezhi
"Sui Daxing Tang Chang’an Cheng Yizhi" ("Archeological Site of Sui's Daxing and Tang's Chang'an"
''
Encyclopedia of China The ''Encyclopedia of China'' () is the first large-entry modern encyclopedia An encyclopedia (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of ...
'' (Archeology Edition), 1st ed. * Rockhill (1899): ''The Land of the Lamas: Notes of a Journey Through China, Mongolia and Tibet''. William Woodville Rockhill. Longmans, Green and Co., London. Reprint: Winsome Books, Delhi, 2005. . * Xue, Pingshuan. 五代宋元时期古都长安商业的兴衰演变. * Wang, Chongshu
"Han Chang’an Cheng Yizhi" ("Archeological Site of Han's Chang'an")
''
Encyclopedia of China The ''Encyclopedia of China'' () is the first large-entry modern encyclopedia An encyclopedia (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of ...
'' (Archeology Edition), 1st ed. * * * * *


Further reading

* Thilo, Thomas (2016), "Chang'an: China's Gateway to the Silk Road", in: Lieu, Samuel N.C., & Mikkelsen, Gunner B., ''Between Rome and China: History, Religions and Material Culture of the Silk Road'' (Silk Road Studies, XVIII), Turnhout, 2016, p. 91-112 * Cotterell, Arthur (2007). ''The Imperial Capitals of China: An Inside View of the Celestial Empire''. Pimlico. . 304 pages. * Schafer, Edward H. "The Last Years of Ch’ang’an". ''Oriens Extremus'' X (1963):133-179. * Sirén, O. "Tch’angngan au temps des Souei et des T’ang". ''Revue des Arts Asiatiques'' 4 (1927):46-104. * Steinhardt, Nancy Shatzman (1999). ''Chinese Imperial City Planning''. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. * Xiong, Victor Cunrui (2000). ''Sui-Tang Chang’an: A Study in the Urban History of Medieval China''. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Center for Chinese Studies.


External links


Introduction of Xi'an/Chang'an
by the
University of Washington The University of Washington (UW, simply Washington, or informally U-Dub) is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization ...

University of Washington
{{Authority control Ancient Chinese capitals Han dynasty History of Xi'an Major National Historical and Cultural Sites in Shaanxi Populated places along the Silk Road Sites along the Silk Road Sui dynasty Tang dynasty Xin dynasty