Xian City Wall is the ancient military defense system survived the time and age. Xian is today the capital of Shaanxi province of China. The city has more than 3,100 years of history and considered as one of the 4 ancient capitals of China. The wall was constructed during Ming Dynasty believed to be ruled China during 1368 to 1644 when Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang was on the throne. As per the advice of Saint Zhu Sheng, he constructed this huge city defense wall to protect his country from foreign invasions and also to fortify his rule over the people. Over a period of time the emperor expanded the city boundaries by enlarging the city walls.
The largest man made city will in the history:
Xian City Wall is the largest still surviving man made defensive wall in the world. The dimension of the wall shows the civil construction expertise of ancient Chinese masons. The 12 meter tall wall is having 12 to 14 meter width on the top side. The basement is having a width of 15 to 18 meter. Considering the length, officially confirmed as 13.7 kilometers is a real challenge to understand the massive efforts that would have employed to complete the task. The entire stretch outside the wall is protected with a deep moat. The structure is having a rampart every 120 meters and there are 98 ramparts altogether. This shows the military planning skills of the dynasty. The rampart is constructed very skill fully where the soldier can defend the wall without exposing him to the enemy soldiers. The two ramparts are within the shooting distance of arrow shot. This makes an easy encounter with the enemy soldiers from both side of the rampart. On the outer side of the defense wall there are about 5,948 crenellations specially made to engage the enemies. Inside the city wall, there were parapet protections to hold the soldiers in case they fall down. Looking to the entire layer – out – layer battle field and protective system which shred the excellent dynamics of war planning the dynasty had.
The four main city gates:
There are four main gates for the city wall namely Changle, Anding, Yongning and Anyuan. They are given detailed attention in constructing the city wall as in those time there were no fire power to break the wall and soldiers has to fight all the way through the gate. The east gate Changle is known as eternal joy, the west Anding is known as harmony peace, south is known as eternal peace and north Anyuan is known as forever harmony. Among the four the south gate was so splendid in decoration. This is very near to the city center Bell Tower. Important government functions are held near the south gate.
There are altogether 18 gates for the city wall but all the gates are not opened for the public. Tourist can enter the city through East Gate, West Gate, South Gate, Small South Gate, North Gate, Wenchang Gate, Heping Gate and Hanguang Gate. It is better to enter to through any gate that is near to your entry point and take ride inside the city over the city wall. But don’t forget to mark the South Gate as this is most important and significant city gate. You can walk along the South Street to reach to the South Gate within 10 minutes.
Easy transportation arrangements:
From Xian bus station there are lot of buses available to different city wall gates. Cycling on the city wall, battery operated car services are also available to roam over the city wall. Entrance fee CNY 54 per head and for Children CNY 27 per head. The South Gate will be opened between 08:00 am to 22:00 pm. Other gates will be opened from 08:00 am to 19:00 pm during May to October and 8:00 am to 19:00 pm during November to April. The Hanguang Gate will be opened between 8:00 am to 17:30 pm.
There will be grand City Wall Gate opening ceremony at the South Gate Square everyday at 9:00am. To add glamour there will be Living Statute Performance, Warrior Parade Performance, Relieving Guard Ceremony, War Drum and Military Forman and Military Formation Performance. Never miss these wonderful features.