Next stop on our journey through China was a city of Xian, known also as Chang’an, which means an eternal city.
Since it is located far from Hangzhou (in the North West, however, more central part of the country), we travelled there by plane. This city is especially interesting from the historical point of view, as it was a birth place of the ancient Chinese civilization, and its first capital.
When we arrived in Xian, my first impression was that this city is different from the others we had seen until now in China. Despite the fact it used to serve as a capital city for many dynasties, nowadays it has a more provincial feeling, what makes it even more interesting. You can see another face of China there; not only this beautiful, rich part, which we saw in Shanghai or Hangzhou.
We started our sightseeing from the place which was not so obvious for us, when visiting a city in China, yet very interesting. We went to see… the Chinese style mosque. The Arab merchants brought their religion to China together with their goods, and established a religious assembly. What is interesting is that the locals who converted to the religion, developed their original style of being Muslim, combining Chinese culture with Arabic directions. An example of that can be seen in the pictures, the mosque built in traditional Chinese style, however, with a blue roof and verses of Koran indoors, symbolizing the religion of Islam.
The Mosque is located in the Muslim Quarter, where you can taste a specific foods.
From there, our guide drove us to see the famous Drum and Bell Towers, which are located exactly in the city center. The Bell Tower is the biggest and the best preserved of its kind in China. It comes from the times of the Ming Dynasty (the XIV century). The Bell Tower was supposed to raise alarm in case of danger or invasion. The Drum Tower was supposed to announce the day coming to an end.
To the Museum of Terracotta Warriors we had to drive about 1,5h, as it is located in Lintong, 1,5km away from the Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s Mausoleum. This first sovereign of all China, was the one who came with the idea of building his Mausoleum when he was 13 years old. People of the emperor where poisoned after his death, so that they would not pass any information concerning this construction. Qin Shi Huang came with the idea that it is enough to replicate the look of each of His army and bury the figures, so after his death he could obtain a power one more time with his army. Actually, the site was discovered in the year 1975 by peasants. Until today, archeological works are still in progress, as not everything has been uncovered yet. The Museum is very big, and the exhibits are numerous. There are mainly warriors, horses and carriages.
The last thing we visited in Xian, was the old Walls of the City. They are so wide that some people even ride bicycles on them. The walls are connected the corners by guard towers. .