Fortifications of Xi’an

The best preserved Chinese city walls


August 30, 2017

/ By / Xi'an, China

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Built during the Ming-Era in the 14th century, Xi’an City Walls remain intact till date. The heritage site found its way to the tentative list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites under the title ‘City Walls of the Ming and Qing Dynasties’ in 2008, and is a major tourist attraction in Shaanxi Province, China.

Situated at the end of the ancient Silk Road, the Xian Ancient City Walls in China’s Shaanxi Province were built in the14th century under the instructions of Zhu Yuanzhang – the first emperor of Ming Dynasty, with the idea to build high walls, stock abundant food supplies and take time to claim the throne.

The rectangular enclosure that runs a stretch of 14 square kilometres, with a walkway on the top, is built on the norms of traditional Chinese architectural style and can be approached through various gates, with South Gate being the largest and most accessible.

Once up the wall, sight of people cycling and strolling is a common one, and also an ideal way to explore the ancient architecture and elements, especially after the sunset, when the place makes for a phenomenal location to get the bird’s eye view of the city. The rental fee for one bicycle goes upto 40 Yuan for approximately 1.5 hours.

One of the highlights at the ancient South Gate is a feast of interesting performances showcasing the charm of the bygone times of Xian. However, the ‘Welcome Ceremony’ at the South Gate is what attracts tourists the most, which makes for an ideal watch for people who wish to understand the culture of Xian. With performers wearing Tang-style dresses, the ceremony presented at the gate is a faithful re-enactment of a classical welcoming ceremony in the style of Tang Dynasty, made up of five parts – Ying (welcome), Bai (respects), Ci (bestow), Yan (entertain), Song (see-off).

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