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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 (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowercase (or more formally ''minusc ...
of
Shaanxi Province Shaanxi (; , ; Chinese postal romanization, alternately Shensi) is a landlocked Provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China. Officially part of Northwest China, it borders the province-level divisions of Shanxi (NE, ...

Shaanxi Province
. A
sub-provincial city A sub-provincial division () in 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 country, with a population of around 1 ...
on the
Guanzhong Plain Guanzhong (, formerly romanization of Chinese, romanised as Kwanchung) region, also known as the Guanzhong Basin, Wei River Basin, or uncommonly as the Shaanzhong region, is a historical region of China corresponding to the crescentic graben struc ...
in
Northwest China Northwest China () is a statistical region of China This is a list of traditional top-level regions of China. Republic of China (1912–1949) Nationalist government, Nationalist Era regions NRA military regions People's Republic ...

Northwest China
, it is one of the
oldest cities in China
oldest cities in China
, the oldest prefecture capital and one of the Chinese Four Great Ancient Capitals, having held the position under several of the most important
dynasties in Chinese history Dynasties in Chinese history, or Chinese dynasties, were hereditary Heredity, also called inheritance or biological inheritance, is the passing on of traits Trait may refer to: * Phenotypic trait in biology, which involve genes and cha ...
, including
Western Zhou The Western Zhou ( zh, c=, p=Xīzhōu; c. 1045 BC – 771 BC) was the first half of the Zhou dynasty of ancient China. It began when King Wu of Zhou King Wu of Zhou () was the first king of the King of the Romans (variant used in the ...
,
QinQin may refer to: Dynasties and states * Qin (state) (秦), a major state during the Zhou Dynasty of ancient China * Qin dynasty (秦), founded by the Qin state in 221 BC and ended in 206 BC * Daqin (大秦), ancient Chinese name for the Roman Empi ...

Qin
,
Western Han#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 ...
,
Sui
Sui
,
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 ...
and Tang. The city is the starting point 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 home to the UNESCO World Heritage set
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
of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. Since the 1980s, as part of the economic growth of inland China especially for the central and northwest regions, Xian has re-emerged as a cultural, industrial, political and educational centre of the entire central-northwest region, with many facilities for
research and development Research and development (R&D, R+D), known in Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geogra ...
,
national security National security or national defence is the security and Defence (military), defence of a sovereign state, nation state, including its Citizenship, citizens, economy, and institutions, which is regarded as a duty of government. Originally c ...
and
space exploration Space exploration is the use of 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 ce ...
. Xian currently holds
sub-provincial A sub-provincial division () (or deputy-provincial divisions) in 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 count ...
status, administering 11 districts and 2 counties. The city is the third most populous city in
Western China 200px, Western China Western China (, or rarely ) is the west 250px, A compass rose with west highlighted in black West is one of the four cardinal directions or points of the compass. It is the opposite direction from east, and is the direct ...
, the other two being
Chongqing Chongqing ( ; ; Sichuanese pronunciation: , Standard Mandarin Standard Chinese (), in linguistics known as Standard Northern Mandarin, Standard Beijing Mandarin or simply Mandarin, is a dialect of Mandarin that emerged as the lingu ...

Chongqing
and
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
, as well as the most populous city in Northwestern China. In 2020, Xi'an was ranked as Beta- (global second-tier) city from the Globalization and World Cities Research Network biannual city rankings, and, according to the country's own ranking, ranked 17th. Xi'an is ranked in the top 40 cities in the world by scientific research output as tracked by the
Nature IndexThe Nature Index is a database, that tracks institutions and countries and their scientific output since its introduction in 2016. Each year, Nature Index ranks the leading institutions (which can be companies, universities, government agencies, rese ...
, and home to multiple China's prestige universities, including
Northwestern Polytechnical University Northwestern Polytechnical University (also known as NPU or NWPU; ) is a National Key University, directed by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People's Republic of China Ministry of Industry and Information Technology ...
,
Xidian University Xidian University () is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organization, or organisation (English in the Commo ...

Xidian University
, Northwest University,
Shaanxi Normal University Shaanxi Normal University (SNNU) () is university in Xi'an Xi'an ( , ; Chinese: ), also known as Sian, is the list of capitals in China, capital of Shaanxi, Shaanxi Province. A Sub-provincial division#Sub-provincial municipalities, sub ...
, Chang'an University, Xi'an University of Science and Technology, Xi'an University of Technology, Xi'an University of Architecture and Technology and Shaanxi University of Science and Technology. Notably,
Xi'an Jiaotong University Xi'an Jiaotong University (XJTU, ) is a Public university, public research university based out of Xi'an, Shaanxi, China. A member of C9 League, Project 985, and Project 211, it is a leading national university with special strengths in enginee ...
is one of the elite
C9 League The C9 League () is an official alliance of nine universities A university () is an of (or ) and which awards s in several . Universities typically offer both and programs in different schools or faculties of learning. The word ''univer ...

C9 League
universities and the hub of the University Alliance of the Silk Road.


Name

"Xi'an" is the
atonal Atonality in its broadest sense is music that lacks a tonal center In music Music is the art of arranging sounds in time through the elements of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. It is one of the universal cultural aspects of all hu ...
pinyin ''Hanyu Pinyin'' (), often abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objecti ...

pinyin
romanization Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspec ...
of the
Mandarin Mandarin may refer to: * Mandarin (bureaucrat), a bureaucrat of Imperial China (the original meaning of the word) ** by extension, any senior government bureaucrat A bureaucrat is a member of a bureaucracy and can compose the administration o ...
pronunciation of its name , which means "Western Peace" in Chinese. (The apostrophe – known in Chinese as a , ' – should be included to distinguish its pronunciation from the single syllable ''xian''.) The name was adopted in 1369 under the early
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
.
Jesuit missionaries The Society of Jesus (SJ; la, Societas Iesu) is a religious order A religious order is a lineage of communities and organizations of people who live in some way set apart from society in accordance with their specific religious devotion, usu ...
recorded its name as or "Si-ngan-fou" from its status as the seat of a
prefecture A prefecture (from the 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 ...
(,''fǔ''). This form still appears in the Latin name of the Catholic diocese of Xi'an, . The name was later romanized as by Wade & Giles and as "Sianfu" or "Sian" by the Qing imperial post office, both of which were common until the general adoption of pinyin. The area of present-day Xi'an has been the site of several important former Chinese cities. The capital of the
Western Zhou The Western Zhou ( zh, c=, p=Xīzhōu; c. 1045 BC – 771 BC) was the first half of the Zhou dynasty The Zhou dynasty ( ; Old Chinese Old Chinese, also called Archaic Chinese in older works, is the oldest attested stage of Chinese Chin ...
were the
twin cities 300px, A view of the town of Tornio (Finland), which forms a twin city with Haparanda">Finland.html" ;"title="Tornio (Finland">Tornio (Finland), which forms a twin city with Haparanda (Sweden). Twin cities are a special case of two neighborin ...

twin cities
of
Feng Feng may refer to: *Feng (surname) Feng may refer to: *Feng (surname)Feng may refer to: *Feng (surname), one of several Chinese surnames in Mandarin: **Féng (surname) (wikt:冯 féng 2nd tone "gallop"), very common Chinese surname **Fèng (surna ...
and Hao, known collectively as
Fenghao Fenghao () is the modern name of the twin city formed by the Western Zhou The Western Zhou ( zh, c=, p=Xīzhōu; c. 1045 BC – 771 BC) was the first half of the Zhou dynasty of ancient China. It began when King Wu of Zhou King Wu of Zhou ...
, located on opposite banks of the Feng River at its confluence with the southern bank of the Wei in the western suburbs of present-day Xi'an. The
QinQin may refer to: Dynasties and states * Qin (state) (秦), a major state during the Zhou Dynasty of ancient China * Qin dynasty (秦), founded by the Qin state in 221 BC and ended in 206 BC * Daqin (大秦), ancient Chinese name for the Roman Empi ...
capital
Xianyang Xianyang () is a prefecture-level city A prefectural-level municipality (), prefectural-level city or prefectural city is an administrative division of the People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic ...

Xianyang
was erected north of the Wei during the
Warring States period The Warring States period () was an era in ancient Chinese history characterized by warfare, as well as bureaucratic and military reforms and consolidation. It followed the Spring and Autumn period#REDIRECT Spring and Autumn period The Spri ...
and was succeeded by the
Western Han#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 ...
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 commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between ...
(), meaning "Perpetual Peace", which was located south of the Wei and covered the central area of present-day Xi'an. During the
Eastern Han#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 ...
, Chang'an was also known as Xijing () or the "Western Capital", relative to its position to the main capital at
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
. Under the , its name became Daxing (, "Greatly Prosperous") in AD 581. Under the Tang, the name reverted to Chang'an in 618. Under the
Mongolian Mongolian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Mongolia, a country in Asia * Mongolian people, or Mongols * Mongolia (1911–24), the government of Mongolia, 1911–1919 and 1921–1924 * Mongolian language * Mongolian alphabet * Mongo ...
Yuan dynasty The Yuan dynasty (), officially the Great Yuan (; xng, , , literally "Great Yuan State"), was a successor state Successor is someone who, or something which succeeds or comes after (see success and succession) Film and TV * ''The Succ ...
(13th & 14th centuries), it held a succession of names: Fengyuan Anxi "Peaceful West") and
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 ...
The Ming name "Xi'an" was changed back to Xijing ("Western Capital", as above) between 1930 and 1943.


History


Prehistory

Xi'an has a rich and culturally significant history. The
Lantian Man Lantian Man (), ''Homo erectus lantianensis'') is a subspecies of ''Homo erectus ''Homo erectus'' (meaning " upright man") is an extinct species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and ...
was discovered in 1963 in
Lantian County Lantian County () is under the administration of Xi'an Xi'an ( , ; Chinese: ), also known as Sian, is the list of capitals in China, capital of Shaanxi, Shaanxi Province. A Sub-provincial division#Sub-provincial municipalities, sub-prov ...
, southeast of Xi'an, and dates back to at least 500,000 years before the present time. A 6,500-year-old
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 ...
village,
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
, was discovered in 1953 on the eastern outskirts of the city proper, which contains the remains of several well organized
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 ...
settlements
carbon dated Radiocarbon dating (also referred to as carbon dating or carbon-14 dating) is a method for determining the age of an object containing organic material Organic matter, organic material, or natural organic matter refers to the large source of ...
to 5600–6700 years ago. The site is now home to the Xi'an Banpo Museum, built in 1957 to preserve the archaeological collection.


Ancient era

Xi'an became a cultural and political centre of China in the 11th century BC with the founding of the
Zhou dynasty The Zhou dynasty ( ; Old Chinese Old Chinese, also called Archaic Chinese in older works, is the oldest attested stage of Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China ...
. The capital of Zhou was established in the twin settlements of Fengjing () and
Haojing Hao or Haojing (), also called Zongzhou (), was one of the two settlements comprising the capital of the Western Zhou dynasty (1066–770 BCE), the other being Fēng or Fēngjīng (). Together they were known as Fenghao and stood on opposite banks ...
, together known as
Fenghao Fenghao () is the modern name of the twin city formed by the Western Zhou The Western Zhou ( zh, c=, p=Xīzhōu; c. 1045 BC – 771 BC) was the first half of the Zhou dynasty of ancient China. It began when King Wu of Zhou King Wu of Zhou ...
, located southwest of contemporary Xi'an. The settlement was also known as Zōngzhōu (宗周) to indicate its role as the capital of the
vassal states A vassal state is any 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 State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in ...
. In 738 BC,
King Ping of Zhou King Ping of Zhou (; died 720 BC), personal name Ji Yijiu, was the thirteenth king of the 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 ...
moved the capital 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
due to
political unrest Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of re ...
.


Imperial era

Following the
Warring States period The Warring States period () was an era in ancient Chinese history characterized by warfare, as well as bureaucratic and military reforms and consolidation. It followed the Spring and Autumn period#REDIRECT Spring and Autumn period The Spri ...
, China was unified under 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
(221–206 BC) for the first time, with the capital located at
Xianyang Xianyang () is a prefecture-level city A prefectural-level municipality (), prefectural-level city or prefectural city is an administrative division of the People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic ...

Xianyang
, just northwest of modern Xi'an. The first emperor of China,
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 ...
ordered the construction of 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
and his mausoleum just to the east of Xi'an almost immediately after his ascension to the throne. In 202 BC, the founding 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
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 Liu Bang and ruled by the House of Liu. Preceded by the short-lived Qin dynas ...

Han dynasty
established his capital in Chang'an County; his first palace, Changle Palace (, "Perpetual Happiness") was built across the river from the ruin of the Qin capital. This is traditionally regarded as the founding date of Chang'an. Two years later, Liu Bang built
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 ...
(, "Never Ending Palace") north of modern Xi'an. Weiyang Palace was the largest palace ever built on Earth, covering , which is 6.7 times the size of the current
Forbidden City The Forbidden City () is a palace A palace is a grand residence, especially a royal residence, or the home of a or some other high-ranking dignitary, such as a or . The word is derived from the name palātium, for in Rome which housed ...

Forbidden City
and 11 times the size of the Vatican City. The original Xi'an city wall was started in 194 BC and took 4 years to finish. Upon completion, the wall measured in length and in thickness at the base, enclosing an area of . In the year 190, amidst uprisings and rebellions just prior to the
Three Kingdoms The Three Kingdoms () from 220 to 280 AD was the tripartite division of China among the states of Cao Wei, Wei, Shu Han, Shu, and Eastern Wu, Wu. The Three Kingdoms period started with the End of the Han dynasty, end of the Han dynasty#East ...

Three Kingdoms
Period, a powerful warlord named
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 ...
moved the court from
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
to Chang'an in a bid to avoid a coalition of other powerful warlords against him. Following several hundred years of unrest, 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
united China again in 582. The emperor of Sui ordered a new capital to be built southeast of the Han capital, called Daxing. It consisted of three sections: the Imperial City, the palace section, and the civilian section, with a total area of within the city walls. At the time, it was the largest city in the world. The city was renamed Chang'an by 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 the mid-7th century, after returning from his pilgrimage to India, the
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
monk
Xuanzang Xuanzang (; fl. 602 – 664), born Chen Hui / Chen Yi (), also known as Hiuen Tsang, was a 7th-century Chinese Buddhist monk A monk (, from el, μοναχός, ''monachos'', "single, solitary" via Latin Latin (, or , ) is a cla ...

Xuanzang
established a translation centre for
Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor langua ...

Sanskrit
scriptures. Construction of the
Giant Wild Goose Pagoda Giant Wild Goose Pagoda or Big Wild Goose Pagoda (, literally "big swan goose The swan goose (''Anser cygnoides'') is a large goose A goose (plural geese) is a bird of any of several waterfowl Anseriformes is an order of bird ...

Giant Wild Goose Pagoda
began in 652. This
pagoda A pagoda is an Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and Northern Hemisphere, Northern Hemisphere of the Earth, Hemispheres. It shares the continental landm ...

pagoda
was in height, and was built to store the translations of Buddhist sutras obtained from India by
Xuanzang Xuanzang (; fl. 602 – 664), born Chen Hui / Chen Yi (), also known as Hiuen Tsang, was a 7th-century Chinese Buddhist monk A monk (, from el, μοναχός, ''monachos'', "single, solitary" via Latin Latin (, or , ) is a cla ...

Xuanzang
. In 707, construction of 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 ...
began. This pagoda measured tall at the time of completion, and was built to store the translations of Buddhist sutras by
Yijing The ''I Ching'' or ''Yi Jing'' (, ), usually translated as ''Book of Changes'' or ''Classic of Changes'', is an ancient Chinese divination text and among the oldest of the Chinese classics. Originally a divination manual in the Western Zho ...
. The massive
1556 Shaanxi earthquake The 1556 Shaanxi earthquake, or Huaxian earthquake (), or Jiajing earthquake (), is the deadliest earthquake in recorded history. According to imperial records, approximately 830,000 people lost their lives. It occurred on the morning of 23 Janu ...
eventually damaged the tower and reduced its height to .Kiang, 12. The
Nestorian Stele The Xi'an Stele also known as the Nestorian Stele, Nestorian Stone, Nestorian Monument, or Nestorian Tablet, is a Tang Chinese stele A stele ( ),Anglicized plural steles ( ); Greek plural stelai ( ), from Greek , ''stēlē''. The Greek p ...
is a Tang Chinese
stele A stele ( ),Anglicized plural steles ( ); Greek plural stelai ( ), from Greek , ''stēlē''. The Greek plural is written , ''stēlai'', but this is only rarely encountered in English. or occasionally stela (plural ''stelas'' or ''stelæ''), ...

stele
erected in 781 that documents 150 years of early
Christianity in China Christianity in China has been present since at least the 7th century and has gained a significant amount of influence during the last 200 years. The Syro-Persian Church of the East The Church of the East ( syc, , ''ʿĒḏtā d-Maḏen ...
.Hill, Henry, ed (1988). Light from the East: A Symposium on the Oriental Orthodox and Assyrian Churches. Toronto, Canada. pp. 108–109 It is a 279 cm tall
limestone Limestone is a common type of carbonate In chemistry, a carbonate is a salt Salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl), a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of Salt (chemistry), salts; salt in its na ...

limestone
block with text in both
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 country, with a populat ...
and
SyriacSyriac may refer to: *Syriac language, a dialect of Middle Aramaic * Syriac alphabet ** Syriac (Unicode block) ** Syriac Supplement * Neo-Aramaic languages also known as Syriac in most native vernaculars * Syriac Christianity, the churches using Syr ...

Syriac
describing the existence of Christian communities in several cities in northern China. It reveals that the initial
Nestorian Christian Nestorianism is a polysemic Polysemy ( or ; from grc-gre, πολύ-, , "many" and , , "sign") is the capacity for a word or phrase to have multiple meanings, usually related by contiguity of meaning within a semantic field. Polysemy is thus ...

Nestorian Christian
church had met recognition by the Tang Emperor Taizong, due to efforts of the Christian missionary
Alopen Alopen (, Middle Chinese Middle Chinese (formerly known as Ancient Chinese) or the Qieyun system (QYS) is the historical variety of recorded in the ', a first published in 601 and followed by several revised and expanded editions. The Swedish ...
in 635. Chang'an was devastated at the end of the Tang dynasty in 904. Residents were forced to move to the new capital city in
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
. Only a small area in the city continued to be occupied thereafter. During the
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
, a new wall was constructed in 1370 and remains intact to this day. The wall measures in
circumference In geometry Geometry (from the grc, γεωμετρία; ' "earth", ' "measurement") is, with , one of the oldest branches of . It is concerned with properties of space that are related with distance, shape, size, and relative position ...
, in height, and in thickness at the base; a moat was also built outside the walls. The new wall and moat would protect a much smaller city of .


Modern era

In October 1911, during the
Xinhai revolution The 1911 Revolution, also known as the Chinese Revolution or the Xinhai Revolution, ended China's last imperial dynasty, the Manchu The Manchu (; ) are an officially recognized ethnic minority in China and the people from whom Manchuria ...
, revolutionaries stormed the Manchu fort in Xi'an. Most of the city's 20,000 Manchus were killed.Ernest Frank Borst-Smith, ''Caught in the Chinese Revolution: a record of risks and rescue''. London:
T. Fisher Unwin T. Fisher Unwin was the London publishing house founded by Thomas Fisher Unwin, husband of British Liberal Party (UK), Liberal politician Jane Cobden in 1882. Unwin was a co-founder of the Johnson Club, formed 13 September, 1884, to mark the hundr ...
, 1912.
The city's Hui Muslims (Mohammedans) joined the revolutionaries, although Hui Muslims in Shaanxi and Gansu generally supported the Qing. Some wealthy Manchus survived by being
ransom Ransom is the practice of holding a prisoner or item to extort Extortion is the practice of obtaining benefit through coercion Coercion () is compelling a party to act in an involuntary manner by use of threat A threat is a ''comm ...

ransom
ed. Wealthy Han Chinese enslaved Manchu girls and poor Han Chinese troops seized young Manchu women as wives. Hui Muslims also seized young pretty Manchu girls and raised them as Muslims. A British missionary who witnessed the massacre commented that "Old and young, men and women, children alike, were all butchered... Houses were plundered and then burnt; those who would fain have laid hidden till the storm was past, were forced to come out into the open. The revolutionaries, protected by a parapet of the wall, poured a heavy, unceasing, relentless fire into the doomed Tartar (Manchu) city, those who tried to escape thence into the Chinese city were cut down as they emerged from the gates." In 1936, the
Xi'an Incident The Xi'an Incident () was a political crisis that took place in Xi'an Xi'an ( , ; Chinese: ), also known as Sian, is the list of capitals in China, capital of Shaanxi, Shaanxi Province. A Sub-provincial division#Sub-provincial municipa ...
took place inside the city during the
Chinese Civil War The Chinese Civil War was a civil war in China fought between the Kuomintang (KMT)-led Nationalist government, government of the Republic of China (1912–1949), Republic of China (ROC) and forces of the Communist Party of China (CPC) lastin ...
. The incident brought the
Kuomintang The Kuomintang (KMT), also referred to as the Guomindang (GMD) or the Chinese Nationalist Party, is a political party in the Taiwan, Republic of China, initially Republic of China (1912–1949), on the Mainland China, Chinese mainland and ...
(KMT) and
Communist Party of China The Chinese Communist Party (CCP), officially the Communist Party of China (CPC), is the founding and One-party state, sole ruling party of the China, People's Republic of China (PRC). The CCP leads List of political parties in China, eight other ...

Communist Party of China
to a truce in order to concentrate on fighting against the Japanese Invasion. On March 11, 1938, an aerial battle broke out for the first time over Xi'an as
Imperial Japanese Army Air Force Imperial is that which relates to an empire An empire is a "political unit" made up of several territories and peoples, "usually created by conquest, and divided between a dominant center and subordinate peripheries". Narrowly defined, an empir ...
aircraft attacked the city and was engaged by
Chinese Air Force The People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF; ), also known as the Chinese Air Force (中国空军) or the People's Liberation Air Force (人民空军), is an aerial service branch of the People's Liberation Army The People's Liberati ...
I-15 I15 may refer to: * Interstate 15, a north–south Interstate Highway in the United States of America * Polikarpov I-15, a Soviet fighter aircraft * I15 (band), a band * , of the Imperial Japanese Navy {{Letter-NumberCombDisambig ...

I-15
fighter planes led by Lt.
Cen Zeliu Cen Zeliu (; 1912–1941), also Shum Tsak-lau ''(Cantonese)'': was born in Enping, Guangdong, 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 popula ...
of the 5th Pursuit Group, 17th Squadron. While repeatedly attacked by air, Shaanxi was heavily fortified by units of the
Eighth Route Army The Eighth Route Army (), officially known as the 18th Group Army of the National Revolutionary Army The National Revolutionary Army (NRA; ), sometimes shortened to Revolutionary Army () before 1928, and as National Army () after 1928, ...
; Xi'an was never taken by the Japanese forces. On May 20, 1949, the Communist-controlled
People's Liberation Army The People's Liberation Army (PLA) is the armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between St ...
captured the city of Xi'an from the
Kuomintang The Kuomintang (KMT), also referred to as the Guomindang (GMD) or the Chinese Nationalist Party, is a political party in the Taiwan, Republic of China, initially Republic of China (1912–1949), on the Mainland China, Chinese mainland and ...
force. Xi'an made headlines for being one of the many cities where the
2012 China anti-Japanese demonstrations The China anti-Japanese demonstrations of 2012 or () were a series of demonstrations held across more than 100 cities in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan during August and September 2012. The main cause of the demonstrations was the escalati ...

2012 China anti-Japanese demonstrations
occurred.


Geography

Xi'an lies on the
Guanzhong Plain Guanzhong (, formerly romanization of Chinese, romanised as Kwanchung) region, also known as the Guanzhong Basin, Wei River Basin, or uncommonly as the Shaanzhong region, is a historical region of China corresponding to the crescentic graben struc ...
in the south-central part of
Shaanxi Shaanxi (; , ; Chinese postal romanization, alternately Shensi) is a landlocked Provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China. Officially part of Northwest China, it borders the province-level divisions of Shanxi (NE, ...

Shaanxi
province, on a flood plain created by the eight surrounding rivers and streams. The urban area of Xi'an is located at . The city borders the northern foot of the
Qin Mountains The Qinling () or Qin Mountains, formerly known as the Nanshan ("Southern Mountains"), are a major east-west mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mounta ...
(Qinling) to the south, and the banks of 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 ...
to the north. Hua Shan, one of the five sacred Taoist mountains, is located away to the east of the city. Not far to the north is the
Loess Plateau The Chinese Loess Plateau, or simply the Loess Plateau, is a plateau In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid ...
. At the beginning of Han dynasty, Prime Minister Zhang Liang advised the emperor Liu Bang to choose Guanzhong as the capital of the Han dynasty: "Guanzhong Plain, which is located behind Xiao Pass and Hangu Pass, connects Long (
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
) and Shu (
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
). Lands of thousand miles rich in harvest be found here, as if this place belongs to the nation of heaven." () Since then, Guanzhong is also known as the 'Nation of the Heaven'.


Climate

Xi'an has a
temperate In geography Geography (from 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 populati ...
climate that is influenced by the East Asian monsoon, classified under the
Köppen climate classification The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification Climate classification is a way of categorizing the world's s. A climate classification may correlate closely with a category, as climate is a major infl ...
as situated on the borderline between a
semi-arid climate A semi-arid climate, semi-desert climate, or steppe climate is the climate Climate is the long-term pattern of weather Weather is the state of the atmosphere, describing for example the degree to which it is hot or cold, wet or dry, c ...
(''BSk'') and
humid subtropical climate A humid subtropical climate is a zone of climate characterized by hot and humid summers, and cool to mild winters. These climates normally lie on the southeast side of all continents, generally between latitude In geography Geograp ...
(''Cwa''). The Wei River valley is characterised by hot,
humid Humidity is the concentration of water vapor, water vapour present in the air. Water vapor, the gaseous state of water, is generally invisible to the human eye. Humidity indicates the likelihood for precipitation (meteorology), precipitation, d ...

humid
summers, cold, dry winters, and dry springs and autumns. Most of the annual
precipitation In meteorology Meteorology is a branch of the (which include and ), with a major focus on . The study of meteorology dates back , though significant progress in meteorology did not begin until the 18th century. The 19th century saw mod ...
is delivered from July to late October. Snow occasionally falls in winter but rarely settles for long.
Dust storm A dust storm, also called a sandstorm, is a meteorological phenomenon common in arid A region is arid when it is characterized by a severe lack of available water, to the extent of hindering or preventing the growth and development Deve ...

Dust storm
s often occur during March and April as the city rapidly warms up. Summer months also experience frequent but short
thunderstorm A thunderstorm, also known as an electrical storm or a lightning storm, is a storm characterized by the presence of lightning Lightning is a naturally occurring electrostatic discharge Electrostatic discharge (ESD) is the sudden fl ...

thunderstorm
s. The monthly 24-hour average temperature ranges from around the freezing mark in January to in July, with an annual mean of . With monthly percent possible sunshine ranging from 31 percent in December to 47 percent in August, the city receives 1,536 hours of bright sunshine annually. Extremes since 1951 have ranged from on January 11, 1955, to on June 21, 1998. A highest record of was registered in another station on June 17, 2006.


National Time Service Center

The Shaanxi Astronomical Observatory was established in 1966. In 1975, according to the Geodetic Origin Report of the People's Republic of China, 'in order to avoid bias in the mensuration as much as possible, the Geodetic Origin would be in central mainland China.' Lintong (), a town near Xi'an was chosen. Since 1986, Chinese Standard Time (CST) was set from NTSC. The National Time Service Center (NTSC), the Chinese Academy of Sciences is an institute which is mainly engaged in the service and research on time and frequency. NTSC takes charge of generating and maintaining the national standard time scale, disseminating the time and frequency signals. The autonomous standard time scales of universal time and atomic time and the dissemination techniques with LF radio and HF radio were established successively during the 1970s and 1980s, which meet all the requirements for different applications on the whole, such as the scientific researches, national economy, etc.


Demographics

As of 2010 Xi'an has a population of 5.4 million. Compared to the census data from 2007, the population has increased by 1.4 million persons. The population is 51.66 percent male and 48.34 percent female. Among its districts, Yanta has the largest population, with around 1.08 million inhabitants. The Xian
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
was estimated by the
OECD The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD; french: Organisation de Coopération et de Développement Économiques, OCDE) is an intergovernmental economic organisation with 38 member countries, founded in 1961 to st ...

OECD
(Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) to have, , a population of 12.9 million,Linked from the OECD her

of which 5,740,000 is urban.


Administrative divisions

The sub-provincial city of Xi'an has direct jurisdiction over 11 District of China, districts and 2
counties A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposes Chambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh in certain modern nations. The term is derived from the Old French ...
:


Transportation

Xi'an has many areas that are easily accessible on foot. In many commercial, residential, educational zones in the city, especially in the shopping and entertainment districts around the Bell Tower, underpasses and overpasses have been built for the safety and convenience of pedestrians. A bicycle-sharing network started operating in Xi'an from the year 2013 and today has 52,000 bikes, used by over 200,000 people per day. Taxi services are numerous, but many citizens of Xi'an still commute to work using the city's 270 official municipal bus routes serviced by a fleet of over 7,800 buses, with an average system-wide ridership of over 4 million people per day. The bus network is complemented by a rapidly expanding subway system that carries over 1.5 million commuters per day. There are more than 2 million registered automobiles in Xi'an; the growing number of personal automobiles also means traffic jams are a common urban issue.


Metro

Line 2, running through the city from north (North Railway Station) to south (Weiqu Nan), was the first line opened to the public on September 16, 2011. Operations began on September 28, 2011. This line is long with 17 stations. Line 1 opened on September 15, 2013. As a west–east railway, its 19 stations connect and Fangzhicheng. Line 3 runs from northeast ( Baoshuiqu) to southwest (Yuhuazhai) and opened on November 8, 2016. Line 4, which is basically parallel to Line 2 on its east except for the northern parts, runs from the North Square of the North Railway Station eikezhan (Beiguangchang)to south (Hangtianxincheng) and was available publicly on December 26, 2018. Line 5 opened on December 28, 2020. This line is 41.6 kilometres long with 31 stations from Matengkong to Chuangxingang. The subway system covers some of the most famous attractions, such as Banpo Museum (Banpo Station, Line 1), Bell and Drum Tower (Line 2),
Fortifications of Xi'an The fortifications of Xi'an (), also known as Xi'an City Wall, in Xi'an Xi'an ( , ; Chinese: ), also known as Sian, is the list of capitals in China, capital of Shaanxi, Shaanxi Province. A Sub-provincial division#Sub-provincial municipa ...
(Line 2), the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda (Line 3 and Line 4), the Daminggong National Heritage Park (Line 4) and
Shaanxi History Museum Shaanxi History Museum, which is located to the northwest of 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, Sha ...

Shaanxi History Museum
(Line 2, 3 and 4), etc."Xi'an Transportation" ChinaTour.Net
Accessed December 4, 2014
The first metro departure time for Line 1, 2, 3 and 4 is 6:00, the last metro departure time for Line 3 and 4 is 23:00, for Line 1 is 23:30, and for Line 2 is 23:50. On December 30, 2008, a fire accident occurred that was extinguished within an hour and all workers evacuated safely. Sixty-six hours later, on January 2, another fire occurred at another station on Line 2.


Rail

Xi'an's railway station, located just north of Xi'an walled city, is one of the eight major national railway stations, and the main railway transportation hub of Shaanxi Province. The new , situated a few miles to the north, is the station for the high-speed trains of the
Zhengzhou–Xi'an High-Speed Railway The Zhengzhou–Xi'an high-speed railway, also known as the Zhengxi passenger line, is a high-speed railway line operated by China Railway High-speed connecting Zhengzhou and Xi'an, the provincial capitals of Henan and Shaanxi, respectively. It we ...
. With 34 platforms, it is the largest railway station in
Northwest China Northwest China () is a statistical region of China This is a list of traditional top-level regions of China. Republic of China (1912–1949) Nationalist government, Nationalist Era regions NRA military regions People's Republic ...

Northwest China
. Construction of the station began on September 19, 2008. The station was opened on January 11, 2011. As of May 2012, Xi'an North Station is served only by the fast (G-series and D-series) trains running on the
Zhengzhou–Xi'an high-speed railway The Zhengzhou–Xi'an high-speed railway, also known as the Zhengxi passenger line, is a high-speed railway line operated by China Railway High-speed connecting Zhengzhou and Xi'an, the provincial capitals of Henan and Shaanxi, respectively. It we ...
; one of them continues south to
Hankou Hankou, alternately romanized as Hankow (), was one of the three towns (the other two were Wuchang and Hanyang) merged to become modern-day Wuhan Wuhan (, ; ; ) is the capital of Hubei Province Hubei (; ; Postal romanization, alter ...

Hankou
. The city's other stations include Xi'an West, Xi'an East, Xi'an South, Sanmincun, and Fangzhicheng railway stations. Xi'an Railway Station covers , has 5 passenger platforms, and 24 tracks. It provides 112 services to 80 000 people daily. Among the destinations served by direct trains from Xi'an are
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
,
Zhengzhou Zhengzhou (; ), also spelt Zheng Zhou and Chinese postal romanization, alternatively romanized as Chengchow, is the Capital (political), capital and largest city of Henan, Henan Province in the Central China, central part of the China, People's ...

Zhengzhou
,
Lanzhou Lanzhou (, ; ; Postal romanisation Postal romanization was a system of transliterating Chinese place names developed by postal authorities in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. For many cities, the postal romanization was the most comm ...

Lanzhou
,
Baoji () is a prefecture-level city A prefectural-level municipality (), prefectural-level city or prefectural city is an administrative division of the People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC ...

Baoji
, and
Mount Hua Mount Hua () is a mountain A mountain is an elevated portion of the Earth's crust, generally with steep sides that show significant exposed bedrock. A mountain differs from a plateau in having a limited summit area, and is larger than a ...
. China Railway High-speed 2 now run an express services from Xi'an to Baoji and Xi'an to Zhengzhou; with a total running time to Baoji of under 90 minutes, and 2 hours to Zhengzhou. The
Zhengzhou–Xi'an high-speed railway The Zhengzhou–Xi'an high-speed railway, also known as the Zhengxi passenger line, is a high-speed railway line operated by China Railway High-speed connecting Zhengzhou and Xi'an, the provincial capitals of Henan and Shaanxi, respectively. It we ...
also serves Xi'an. Construction work began on September 25, 2005, the railway opened for service on February 6, 2010. The railway has made air service between Zhengzhou and Xi'an uncompetitive. All passenger flights between the two cities were suspended within 48 days of start of regular high-speed rail service.


Air

Xi'an Xianyang International Airport Xi'an Xianyang International Airport is the main airport serving 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 th ...

Xi'an Xianyang International Airport
(airport code: XIY) is the major airport serving the city and it is the largest airport in the northwestern part of China. It is 25 miles northwest of Xi'an city centre, and 8 miles northeast of the centre of Xianyang.
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 passenger A passenger (also abbreviated as pax) is a person who trave ...

China Eastern Airlines
,
Hainan Airlines Hainan Airlines Co., Ltd. (HNA, ) is an airline An airline is a company that provides air transport services for traveling passenger A passenger (also abbreviated as pax) is a person who travels in a vehicle but bears little or no re ...
and
China Southern Airlines China Southern Airlines Company Limited is an airline headquartered in Baiyun District, Guangzhou, Baiyun District, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province. Established on 1 July 1988 following the restructuring of the CAAC Airlines that acquired and me ...
are the main airlines using the airport. Terminal 3 and the second runway were opened on May 3, 2012. Other than linking to most Chinese cities, the airport also has flights to several major Asian cities. One incident, however, is in 1994, when China Northwest Airlines flight 2303 broke up in mid-air and crashed near Xi'an, en route to Guangzhou from Xian. A maintenance error was responsible. All 160 people on board died. , it remains the deadliest airplane crash ever to occur in mainland China.


Culture and Religion


Resident artists

Xi'an is home to contemporary Chinese stars such as
Xu Wei Xu Wei (, 1521–1593), other department Qingteng Shanren (), was a Ming dynasty The Ming dynasty (), officially the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644 following the collapse of the Mongol The Mongols ...
, Zhang Chu and Zheng Jun.


Xi'an cuisine

'''' (flat bread soaked in lamb soup; ) is a well known Xi'anese dish. '' Liang pi'' (cold rice noodles; simplified Chinese: 凉皮; traditional Chinese: 涼皮; pinyin: ''liángpí'' ) are wheat or rice noodles served cold with vinegar and chili oil. '''', also known as ''youpo chemian'' (), are thick and long hand-pulled noodles, typically served with red hot pepper. '''' (meat buns; ) is a bun filled with pork.


Qinqiang

Qinqiang Qinqiang (秦腔, pinyin ''Hanyu Pinyin'' (), often abbreviated to pinyin, is the official romanization system for Standard Chinese, Standard Mandarin Chinese in mainland China and to some extent in Taiwan and Singapore. It is often used ...
(Voice of Qin) is the oldest and most extensive of the four major types of Chinese opera. Another one would be the Empress of the Great Tang is China's first Tang Dynasty dance and music show. The story is based on the life of the famous Chinese historical figure,
Empress Wu Zetian Wu Zhao, commonly known as Wu Zetian (17 February 624 – 16 December 705), alternatively Wu Hou, and during the later Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, ...
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 ...
. Through live performances by a classical Chinese orchestra and state-of-the-art stage design, this show will take you back to the glory of the legendary Empress Wu Zetian and the Great Tang Empire.


Chinese traditional religion and Taoism

The most influential religions in Xi'an are the
Chinese traditional religion Chinese folk religion, also known as ''popular religion'', is a polyphyletic File:Monophyly, paraphyly, polyphyly.png, 300px, Cladogram of the primates, showing a monophyly (the simians, in yellow), a paraphyly (the prosimians, in cyan, i ...
and
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 ...
schools A school is an educational institution designed to provide learning spaces and learning environments for the teaching of students under the direction of teachers. Most countries have systems of formal education, which is sometimes compuls ...
, represented by many major and minor temples. Among these there are a
City God Temple The Chenghuangshen (), is a tutelary deity or deities in Chinese folk religion who is believed to protect the people and the affairs of the particular village, town or city of great dimension, and the corresponding afterlife location. Beginning ov ...

City God Temple
, completely reconstructed in the 2010s, and a
Temple of Confucius A temple of Confucius or Confucian temple is a temple A temple (from the Latin ) is a building reserved for spiritual rituals and activities such as prayer and sacrifice. Religions which erect temples include Christianity (whose temples are ...

Temple of Confucius
.


Christianity

The first recorded Christian missionary in China was
Alopen Alopen (, Middle Chinese Middle Chinese (formerly known as Ancient Chinese) or the Qieyun system (QYS) is the historical variety of recorded in the ', a first published in 601 and followed by several revised and expanded editions. The Swedish ...
, a
SyriacSyriac may refer to: *Syriac language, a dialect of Middle Aramaic * Syriac alphabet ** Syriac (Unicode block) ** Syriac Supplement * Neo-Aramaic languages also known as Syriac in most native vernaculars * Syriac Christianity, the churches using Syr ...

Syriac
-speaker, who arrived in Xi'an (then known as Chang'an) in 635 along 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
. The
Nestorian Stele The Xi'an Stele also known as the Nestorian Stele, Nestorian Stone, Nestorian Monument, or Nestorian Tablet, is a Tang Chinese stele A stele ( ),Anglicized plural steles ( ); Greek plural stelai ( ), from Greek , ''stēlē''. The Greek p ...
, now located in Xi'an's Beilin Museum, is a Tang Chinese
stele A stele ( ),Anglicized plural steles ( ); Greek plural stelai ( ), from Greek , ''stēlē''. The Greek plural is written , ''stēlai'', but this is only rarely encountered in English. or occasionally stela (plural ''stelas'' or ''stelæ''), ...

stele
erected in 781 that documents the 150 years of early
Christianity in China Christianity in China has been present since at least the 7th century and has gained a significant amount of influence during the last 200 years. The Syro-Persian Church of the East The Church of the East ( syc, , ''ʿĒḏtā d-Maḏen ...
following Alopen. It is a
limestone Limestone is a common type of carbonate In chemistry, a carbonate is a salt Salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl), a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of Salt (chemistry), salts; salt in its na ...

limestone
block with text in both
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 country, with a populat ...
and
SyriacSyriac may refer to: *Syriac language, a dialect of Middle Aramaic * Syriac alphabet ** Syriac (Unicode block) ** Syriac Supplement * Neo-Aramaic languages also known as Syriac in most native vernaculars * Syriac Christianity, the churches using Syr ...

Syriac
describing the existence of Christian communities in several cities in northern China. The
Daqin Pagoda The Daqin Pagoda () is a Buddhist pagoda in Zhouzhi County Zhouzhi () is a county (China), county under the administration of Xi'an, the capital of Shaanxi province, China. It is the most spacious but least densely populated county-level division ...
, a Buddhist pagoda in
Zhouzhi County Zhouzhi () is a county (China), county under the administration of Xi'an, the capital of Shaanxi province, China. It is the most spacious but least densely populated county-level division of Xi'an, and also contains the city's southernmost and west ...
of Xi'an, has been suggested to have originally been a
Nestorian Nestorianism is a polysemic Polysemy ( or ; from grc-gre, πολύ-, , "many" and , , "sign") is the capacity for a word or phrase to have multiple meanings, usually related by contiguity of meaning within a semantic field. Polysemy is thus ...
Christian church from 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 ...
.Martin Palmer, The Jesus Sutras: Rediscovering the Lost Religion of Taoist Christianity, , 2001 Baptist missionaries from England ran a hospital in Xi'an. In 1892,
Arthur Gostick Shorrock Arthur Gostick Shorrock (1861–1945) was a Baptist Baptists form a major branch of Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be C ...
and Moir Duncan founded the ''Sianfu Mission'', in present-day Xi'an.


Islam

Xi'an has a large Muslim community, the significant majority are from the
Hui The Hui people ( zh, c=, p=Huízú, w=Hui2-tsu2, Xiao'erjing Xiao'erjing or Xiao'erjin or Xiaor jin or in its shortened form, Xiaojing, literally meaning "children's script" or "minor script" (cf. "original script" referring to the origina ...
group, there are an estimated 50,000 Hui Muslims in Xi'an. There are seven mosques in Xi'an, the best known being the Great Mosque of Xi'an, Great Mosque.


Economy

As part of the China Western Development policy, Xi’an became a major target for accelerated attention. From 1997 to 2006, the industrial output value of Xi’an's service industry increased at an annual average rate of 13 percent, compared to traditional service industries of 0.74 percent, representing a growth from US$8.113 billion to US$25.85 billion. Xi'an is the largest economy of the Shaanxi province, with a GDP of 324.1 billion Yuan in 2010. On average this value increases by 14.5 percent annually, and accounts for approximately 41.8 percent of
Shaanxi Shaanxi (; , ; Chinese postal romanization, alternately Shensi) is a landlocked Provinces of China, province of the China, People's Republic of China. Officially part of Northwest China, it borders the province-level divisions of Shanxi (NE, ...

Shaanxi
's total GDP. At least fifty-eight countries have established over 2,560 enterprises in Xian, including nineteen of the Fortune 500 enterprises. These include ABB, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Toshiba, Fujitsu, Coca-Cola Company and Boeing. Important industries include equipment manufacturing, tourism, and service outsourcing. The manufacturing industry had an annual output of RMB 36.5 billion, accounting for 44.5 percent of the city's total. Furthermore, as one of China's four ancient capitals, Xi'an's many cultural sites, including 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
, the City Wall of Xi'an, and the Famen Temple, make tourism an important industry as well. In 2010, 52 million domestic tourists visited Xi'an, earning a total income of RMB 40.52 billion. On average, revenue increases by 36.4 percent per year, and foreign-exchange earnings (530 million in 2009) increase by around 35.8 percent. Xi'an is also one of the first service outsourcing cities in China, with over 800 corporations in the industry. The city's output value from this sector exceeded RMB 23 billion in 2008. Employment in the sector doubled from 1997 to 2006, from a base of 60,000, and computer consulting also doubled from 16,000 to 32,000. As a result of the importance of the software-outsourcing industry, the city planned construction of a Software New Town, which is scheduled to be completed in 2015 with 30 billion RMB investment. Other major export goods include lighting equipment and automobile parts, while its major import goods are mechanical and electrical products. Internationally, Xi'an's largest trade partner is the United States.


Software and Technological Industries

The major industrial zone in Xi'an is the Xi'an Economic and Technological Development Zone. The Jiangcungou landfill in Xi'an was China's largest landfill site before its closure in 2019. The growing economy of the city also supports the development of a software industry, and the city is a pioneer in software industry in China. The Xi'an Software Park within the Xi'an Hi-Tech Industries Development Zone (XDZ) has attracted over 1,085 corporations and 106,000 employees as of 2012. Xi'an is described as having" large pool of cheap human resources from the 100 universities in the area, it hoovers up around 3,000 computer graduates every year, each earning approximately $120 a month—half the wages for the equivalent job in Beijing."


Aerospace industry

In November 2006, Xi'an and the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation jointly set up Xi'an Aerospace Science and Technology Industrial Base. From its establishment, the base has focused on the development of the civil space industry, including equipment manufacturing, software and service outsourcing, new materials and solar photovoltaics. Apart from the core area, the base will cover Xi'an and the Guanzhong area and the expansion zone will reach other parts of
Northwest China Northwest China () is a statistical region of China This is a list of traditional top-level regions of China. Republic of China (1912–1949) Nationalist government, Nationalist Era regions NRA military regions People's Republic ...

Northwest China
and Southwest China. It is expected that by 2012 the total industry output can reach 2.8 billion us dollars with about 10 to 20 brand products with intellectual property rights and 5 to 8 products with global competitiveness. In 2008, after the launch of the initial aerospace centre in Shanghai, the PRC is constructing another civil aerospace centre in the Shaanxi province. The State Development and Reform Commission approved the planning of Xi'an National Civil Aerospace Industrial Base on December 26, 2007. The National Civil Aerospace Industrial Base of Xi'an, set to cover , will focus on developing satellites, new materials, energies, IT and other technologies for civil applications.


Education

There are a total of 60 universities in the city, with the most famous one being the
Xi'an Jiaotong University Xi'an Jiaotong University (XJTU, ) is a Public university, public research university based out of Xi'an, Shaanxi, China. A member of C9 League, Project 985, and Project 211, it is a leading national university with special strengths in enginee ...
(), which was ranked 290th worldwide. Other ones also include the
Northwestern Polytechnical University Northwestern Polytechnical University (also known as NPU or NWPU; ) is a National Key University, directed by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People's Republic of China Ministry of Industry and Information Technology ...
(),
Xidian University Xidian University () is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organization, or organisation (English in the Commo ...

Xidian University
(), Chang'an University (), Northwest University, China, Northwest University (), Northwest University of Political Science and Law () and;
Shaanxi Normal University Shaanxi Normal University (SNNU) () is university in Xi'an Xi'an ( , ; Chinese: ), also known as Sian, is the list of capitals in China, capital of Shaanxi, Shaanxi Province. A Sub-provincial division#Sub-provincial municipalities, sub ...
(). The city also hosted the 2011 World Horticultural Exposition.


Tourism


Sites

Because of the city's many historical monuments and a plethora of ancient ruins and tombs in the vicinity, tourism has been an important component of the local economy, and the Xi'an region is one of the most popular tourist destinations in China. The city has many important historical sites, and some are ongoing archaeological projects, such as the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor, Mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang and his
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
. There are several burial mounds, tombs of the
Zhou dynasty The Zhou dynasty ( ; Old Chinese Old Chinese, also called Archaic Chinese in older works, is the oldest attested stage of Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China ...
kings located in the city. Xi'an also contains some 800 royal mausoleums and tombs from 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
, with some of them yielding hundreds of sculpted clay soldiers, and remains of sacrificial temples from the Han era. The city has numerous
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 ...
pagodas and is noted for its history museum and its stele forest, which is housed in an 11th-century Confucian temple containing large stone tablets from various dynasties. Some of the most well-known sites in Xi'an are: *The city is surrounded by a well-preserved City wall of Xi'an, city wall which was re-constructed in the 14th century during the early
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
and was based on the inner imperial palace of
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 Mausoleum of
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 ...
and his
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
are located to the east of the city centre, in the city's suburbs. *The Bell Tower of Xi'an, Bell Tower and Drum Tower of Xi'an, Drum Tower, both are located at the city's central axis. *The city's Xi'an Muslim Quarter, Muslim Quarter, which is home to the Great Mosque of Xi'an. *The
Giant Wild Goose Pagoda Giant Wild Goose Pagoda or Big Wild Goose Pagoda (, literally "big swan goose The swan goose (''Anser cygnoides'') is a large goose A goose (plural geese) is a bird of any of several waterfowl Anseriformes is an order of bird ...

Giant Wild Goose Pagoda
and
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 ...
are both spectacular towers and both are well over 1,000 years old and have survived great earthquakes. *The Stele Forest is famous for its numerous historic inscriptions and stoneworks *The Famen Temple and its towering pagoda located west of Xi'an. *Xi Ming Temple *Wolong Temple at Kaitong lane. *Xingjiao Temple at Shaolin Yuan. *Jianfu Temple *The
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
Neolithic village. *The
Shaanxi History Museum Shaanxi History Museum, which is located to the northwest of 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, Sha ...

Shaanxi History Museum
, which has a large collection of historical artifacts. *Huaqing Pool, Huaqing Hot Springs, at the foot of Mt. Li, have a history of 6,000 years, the adjacent Huaqing Palace has a history of 3,000 years. Ranked among the Hundred Famous Gardens in China, it also has the status as a Major Site to Be Protected for Its Historical and Cultural Value at the National Level, National Cultural Relic Protection Unit and a National Key Scenic Area. * Daming Palace National Heritage Park, site of the former royal residence 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 ...
emperors *Mount Li National Forest Park *Mount Zhongnan National Forest Park


Sports

Famous former professional sports teams in Xi'an include: * Chinese Jia-A League ** Shaanxi Guoli F.C. (disbanded in 2005) * Chinese Football Association Super League ** Shaanxi Renhe Commercial Chanba F.C. (moved in 2012 to Guangzhou) * Chinese Basketball Association ** Shaanxi Dongsheng (moved to Foshan and renamed themselves Foshan Dralions in 2010).


Media


Television and radio

* China Central Television's channel 1 through 12 is broadcast nationwide. * Shaanxi Television (SXTV) provincial station, broadcasts on eight channels as well as a satellite channel for other provinces. * Shaanxi Radio broadcasts music, news.


International relations

Xi'an's twin towns and sister cities are: *


References


Citations


Sources

* . * . * . * . * .


External links


Xi'an City Government official website

Xi'an National Hi-tech Development Zone

Xi'an in Chinese history
{{Authority control Xi'an, 11th-century BC establishments in China 200s BC establishments 202 BC Populated places along the Silk Road Provincial capitals in China Sub-provincial cities in the People's Republic of China Populated places with period of establishment missing