is one of the oldest cities in the world with a vivid and rich history
and culture. It is not only the birthplace of the Chinese Nation, but
also the birthplace of human civilization in Asia and the cultural
center of prehistoric civilization. As such, Xi'an has a wealth of
historical sites and relics to visit and see and is a great place to
introduce yourself to Chinese history.
It all began
(as the story goes) over one million years ago in a little village
which is now held to be one of the first matrifocal societies in the
world. In the Bronze age, the Zhou dynasty made their capital near
what is now Xi'an and the area really came to fame under the Emperor Qin
Shi Huang when the empire was united with its capital at Xianyang
60 km west of Xi'an). The magnificent Terracotta
Army were built during this period to protect the Emperor's tomb
from eastern invaders.
dynasty also based themselves here from 206-220 AD and made Xi'an not
only three times bigger than Rome, but an important trade center as
the start of the famous Silk Road. In terms of
historical and religious relics, the most important age was under the
treasures are visible today in many of the museums including the great
Museum . The city's role as a breeding ground for revolutionary
thought continued into the twentieth century when Chang Kaishek's own
troops arrested him here in 1936. Archaeologists believe that there
are many more exciting discoveries still to be made in this area which
will continue to bring fame and funding to this ancient city.
the typical opera of Shaanxi province. This distinctive opera is
actually more local yodeling than real opera! This type of singing
originated in the fields and countryside surrounding Xi'an when locals
who used to shout to one another across the fields gradually developed
a system of song to enable them to communicate!
singing is great fun and the elderly residents of Xi'an take
particular delight in it even today.
If you want
to see the real thing, there are often performances on at the Chang'an
Grand Theatre in Xi'an. Locals also practice their singing in
the parks and down by the river! The old city walls are another
popular stage for wanna be stars!