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Xi'an City Wall


Xi'an City Wall , located in the downtown area of Xi'an city, is a rectangle and the wall is 15 meters high, the bottom is 18 meters wide, the top 15 meters wide, the east wall is 2590 meters long, the western wall is 2631.2 meters long, the south wall is 3441.6 meters long, the north is wall 3241 meters long, the total perimeter is 11.9 km long. Xi'an city wall  has four city gates and there are Changle East Gate , Anding west gate, Yongning south gate and Anyuan north gate, each city gate consists of  two parts,  watchtower and gate tower. The wall exists today was built during the Hongwu 7th year to eleventh year( 1374-1378 ) and it has 600 years of history, is the most complete ancient city wall construction of China.

The Xi'an city wall was built under the guidance of Zhu Yuanzhang's policy in the early Ming dynasty and this policy is "Building the high wall, storing more grains and claiming the throne slowly", thus, the building was built on the basis of Tang imperial city. The building of the wall is completely focused on the defense strategic system. The thickness of the wall is greater than the height, solid as a mountain. The top of the wall is wide enough to drive cars and may coupe and train the soldiers. The wall includes a series of military facilities such as the moat, suspension bridge, brake building, watchtower, the main building, turret, the enemy forts, parapet, crenel etc. The wall has experienced three major renovations since the completion. In the 2ed year of Ming Longqing (1568), Shaanxi governor Zhang zhi presided over the repair of the wall and it was him who first changed the wall from soil to brick wall; In the Forty-sixth year of Qing Emperor Qianlong (1781), the city walls and towers were renovated under the charge of Shaanxi governor Biyuan. Since 1983, Shaanxi province and the people's Government of Xi'an performed a large-scale of renovation to the ancient city wall, including the rebuild of the demolished east gate, the north watchtower, the brake tower of the south gate and the suspension bridge. What's more a ring city park was also built at that time, which made the old city become more vivacious than its old days. And it becomes a major tourist attraction in Xi’an city.

The remembrance of history: Ancient Chinese city wall is the traditional defense facilities. Dating back to 6000 years ago, people lived in Banpo Ruins dug deep trench around their residences to beware the beast and tribal attacks. If we regard the Banpo village as the first city of human history, then the function of the deep trench was similar with the latter city wall. After human being invented the technology of building the wall, the city wall naturally born with the city at the same time and finally became the significant symbol of the ancient city. According to historical records; "Jing built the wall to protect his lord and set his home inside the wall, this is the beginning of the city". It is approximately 4500 years ago in the late primitive society. As the ancient capital of history, all previous dynasties had repeatedly rebuilt the city wall. Most of them were buried in the dust of history. But the city wall we see now can be traced back to 6 centuries ago of the Sui dynasty.

The characteristics of the ancient city wall: it includes the moat, suspension bridge, brake building, watchtower, the main building, turret, the enemy forts, parapet, crenel these military facilities, constituting a full military defense system. It is meaningful to pay a visit to the Xi'an city wall, because it can bring you benefit of understanding ancient warfare specifically and city construction and architectural art. The origin of the name of the Xi'an city wall gate: it has been 1400 years since the Sui and Tang Dynasties. During such long historical years, many changes have happened to the city gates. The name origin of these gates, in a certain degree is a reflection of the city’s ups and downs in history.