The Xian City Wall in central area of Xian city is not only the most complete city wall that has survived in China, but also one of the largest and most complete ancient military systems of defense in the world. That 600 years old city wall was built in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) on base of the Imperial city wall of the Tang Dynasty(618-907).
When Zhu Yuanzhang, the first Emperor of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), captured Huizhou, a hermit named Zhu Sheng admonished him that he should ‘built high walls, store abundant food supplies and take time to be an Emperor,’ so that he could fortify the city and unify the other states. After the establishment of the Ming dynasty, Zhu Yuanzhang followed his advice and began to enlarge the wall built initially during the old Tang dynasty (618 -907), creating the modern Xian City Wall. It’s the most complete city wall that has survived in China, as well being one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world.
After the extension, the wall now stands 12 meters (40 feet) tall, 12-14 meters (40-46 feet) wide at the top and 15-18 meters (50-60 feet) thick at the bottom. It covers 13.7 kilometers (8.5 miles) in length with a deep moat surrounding it. Every 120 meters, there is a rampart which extends out from the main wall. All together, there are 98 ramparts on the wall, which were built to defend against the enemy climbing up the wall. Each rampart has a sentry building, in which the soldiers could protect the entire wall without exposing themselves to the enemy. Besides, the distance between every two ramparts is just within the range of an arrow shot from either side, so that they could shoot the enemy, who wanted to attack the city, from the side. On the outer side of the city wall, there are 5948 crenellations, namely battlements. The soldiers can outlook and shoot at the enemy. On the inner side, parapets were built to protect the soldiers from falling off.
The Ming Dynasty City Wall formed a complex and well-organized system of defense. The city wall itself is a true display of the ability and wisdom of the working people in ancient times. It provides invaluable and substantial material for the study of the history, military science, and architecture of the Ming Dynasty.With time goes by, City Wall lost its function as military defensive system. Instead it stands as a eyewitness of up and downs of Xian
Entrance fee: RMB54 per person all year round
Opening hours: 08:00-19:30
Public Transportation: Bus No. 5, No. 215, No. 603, No. 611, etc. Metro Line 2
Tips for City Wall Visiting:
- Visiting the whole part of City Wall on foot will cost over 3 hours. If you rent a bike or take the battery cart it will take about 1 hour to cover the whole part of City Wall. Cost depends on how long time you rent the bike or take the battery cart.
- There are 4 main gates of City wall and they are quite far from one to another one. Please choose one nearest to your hotel to visit.
- As long as it does not rain, at South Gate of City Wall each evening there is Welcoming Ceremony Show starting at 19:00 in summer half year.
Tours including Xian City Wall:
Xian Classic Day Tour
1 Day Terracotta Army and City Wall Bus Tour
4 Days Xian Package Tour
1 Day Beijing Xian Tour by Overnight Train
2 Days Shanghai Xian Tour by Air
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