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Xianyang

Lying in the hinterland of Shaanxi Province, Xianyang City has the Weishui River cutting through its south, leans on Zongshan Mountain, and borders the provincial capital city, Xi'an, to the south, and Gansu Province to the north. It is the first stop of the ancient Silk Road. With one city, two districts and ten counties under its jurisdiction, Xianyang is a national level historical and cultural city.

Xianyang is one of the famous Chinese ancient capitals. As early as in the late Shang Dynasty (17th-11th century BC), the people of the Zhou moved about Xianyang area. In 250BC, Emperor Xiaogong of the Qin State moved the capital to Xianyang. Yingzheng unified the six states and built up the first multi-national feudal regime. Eleven dynasties, including the Zhou (11th- 17th century BC), Han (206BC-220AD) and Tang (618-907), once established Xianyang as their capitals or the environs of capital cities, making it a political, economic and cultural center of then China.

Xianyang has a long history, splendid culture, rich cultural relics and historic sites, marvelous healthcare and unsophisticated folk customs, forming unique tourism resources.

Ancient towers and related architectures can be found here and there in Xianyang. Ancient towers here include the North Tower in Xingping, the Yongping Tower in Yongshou, the Botaihou Tower in Liquan, and the Tower in the Baoben Temple in Wugong built in the Tang Dynasty, the Binxian Tower, and the Xunyitai Tower built in the Song Dynasty (960-1279), the Beidu Iron Tower, the Chongwen Tower in Jingyang, and the Zhongwangbao Wooden Tower in Sanyuan built in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), and the Tower in the Jingui Temple in Qiquan built in the Qing Dynasty, etc. Among them, the Chongwen Tower in Jingyang is preserved intact and is the tallest brick tower in China, the Beidu Iron Tower is the tallest iron tower in China, and the Wooden Tower in Sanyuan is the tallest wooden tower in China.

Ancient temples and related architectures in Xianyang include the site of Qin Dynasty (221-206BC) palaces, the Great Buddha Temple in Binxian and the Zhaoren Temple in Changwu built in the Tang Dynasty, the City God Temple in Sanyuan, the Temple of Literature in Xingping, the Taihu Temple in Jingyang, the Wu's Fazenda, the Temple of Literature, the Temple of Literature in Xianyang, the Phoenix Terrace, the Dragon Bridge in Sanyuan and the City God Temple in Wugong built in the Ming Dynasty, the Jingui Temple in Liquan, the Jing Kingdom Park in Sanyuan, the Zhou's Great Mansion, the Tang's Fazenda in Xunyi built in the Qing Dynasty. Among them, the Great Buddha Temple in Binxian and the Zhaoren Temple in Changwu are cultural relics sites under the national level protection, and the City God Temple in Sanyuan is the best-preserved ancient building complex of the Ming Dynasty in the province.

Xianyang also has several imperial mausoleums. The Qianling Mausoleum is the joint-burial tomb of the first empress, Wu Zetian, and Emperor Gaozong of the Tang Dynasty (618-907). The funeral objects in the tomb are well preserved. The Zhaoling Mausoleum, the mausoleum of Li Shimin, Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty, is an imperial mausoleum with a large space and a large number of satellite tombs. The Maoling Mausoleum, the mausoleum of Liu Che, Emperor Wudi, is grand in scale, and it is the biggest mausoleum among the imperial mausoleums of the Western Han Dynasty (206BC-8AD). Around the Maoling Mausoleum scatter the satellite tombs of the emperor's concubines, maids-in-waiting, ministers and royal relatives. There are still more than 20 tombs extant, including the tombs of Wei Qing, Huo Guang, Quo Qubing and Jin Ribei.

Xianyang has numerous stone carvings. The Horse Treading on the Huns and other stone carvings in the Maoling Mausoleum are proclaimed national treasures; the statues of red birds, winged horses and 61 human figures stand in the mausoleum between the second and the third gate. The walking lions and unicorns in the Shunling Mausoleum are marvelous. The Six Coursers in the Zhaoling Mausoleum is famous far and wide.

The cultural relics kept in Xianyang museums are rare in the world. The murals unearthed in the site of the Qin Dynasty palaces are relatively early murals unearthed in China, the murals that reflect the imperial life of the Tang Dynasty excavated from the Zholing and Qianling mausoleums are treasures of murals, and the brick carvings unearthed in Feng Yun's tomb of the Five Dynasties Period (907-960) are rarely seen in the world. Besides, there are many other precious cultural relics in the museums.

Xianyang boasts numerous revolutionary cultural relics and unique folk customs, and was proclaimed as a historical and cultural city by the State Council in January 4, 1994.

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