Template:Infobox City

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Bell Tower
If you came here from Xian you might want to see Christianity, X can mean 'christ'.

Xi'an (Template:Zh-cpw; literal meaning: "Western Peace") is the capital of Shaanxi province, in China and a sub-provincial city. It was one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China because it has been the capital of 13 dynasties such as Zhou, Qin, Han and Tang. Xi'an is the eastern end of the Silk Road. The city has more than 3,100 years of history. It was called Chang'an (长安, 長安 pinyin: Chng'ān), meaning "Perpetual Peace", in ancient times.

Xi'an is the largest and most developed city in the northwestern part of China and is ranked among the 10 largest cities in the nation.



  • Zhou Dynasty established its capital in Feng (沣) and Hao (镐) between the late 11th century BC and 770 BC, both located west of contemporary Xi'an.
  • Qin Dynasty (221 BC-206 BC) constructed its capital in the north shore of Wei River, which was burned by Xiang Yu at the end of the dynasty.
  • 202 BC: Liu Bang, the founding emperor of the Han Dynasty, established Chang'an County as his capital; his first palace Changle Palace (长乐宫) was built across the river from the ruin of the Qin capital. This is traditionally regarded as the founding date of Chang'an and Xi'an.
  • 200 BC: Emperor Liu Bang built Weiyang Palace (未央宫) in Chang'an.
  • 194 BC: Construction of the first city wall of Chang'an began, which did not finished until 190 BC. The wall measured 25.7 km in length, 12-16 m in thickness at the base. The area within the wall was ca. 36 square km.
  • AD 582: Emperor of Sui Dynasty ordered a new capital to be built southeast of the Han capital, called Daxing (大興, great excitement). It consisted of three sections: the Palace, the Imperial City, and the civilian section. The total area within the wall was 84 square km, The main street Zhuque Avenue measured 155 m in width. It was the largest city in the world. The city was renamed Chang'an (長安, everlasting peace) in Tang Dynasty.
  • AD 701: Construction of Da Yan Pagoda (大雁塔, Great Wild Goose Pagoda) began. It measured 64 m in height. This pagoda was constructed for the storage of the translation of the Buddha Sutra obtained from India by the monk Xuan Zang.
  • AD 707: Construction of Xiao Yan Pagoda (小雁塔, Little Wild Goose Pagoda) began. It measured 45 m in height. After the earthquake of 1556 AD, its height was reduced to 43.4 m.
  • AD 904: The end of Tang Dynasty brought destruction to Chang'an. Residences were forced to move to Luoyang, the new capital. Only a small area continued to be occupied after the destruction.
  • AD 1370: Ming Dynasty built a new wall to protect a much smaller city of 12 square km. The wall measures 11.9 km in circumference, 12 m in height, and 15-18 m in thickness at the base.


Missing image
The Xi'an drum tower

The city is nested between a flood plain created by 8 surrounding rivers and streams, most of which have been too polluted to be used as sources of fresh water.

Xi'an borders the northern foot of the Qinling Mountain Ranges to the south, and the banks of Wei River to the north.

The city covers approximately 16,808 km of urban area.


Its population is around 7.5 million. About 4 million people live in the city area. Xi'an has a large Muslim quarter which is home to the beautiful 1250 year old Great Mosque of Xi'an.


Qinqiang is one type of Chinese opera with a long history.


Missing image
On top of the city wall looking down the main street towards the Bell Tower


 An underpass around the Bell Tower
An underpass around the Bell Tower

Xi'an's GDP per capita was 27893 (ca. US$3397) in 2003, ranked no. 39 among 659 Chinese cities. Xi'an is the most industrialized and developed city in the Northwest of China.

Public Transportation

A subway construction project was planned in 2002 to be completed by 2006. The projected Xi'an subway (No. 1 line) would start from the northwest area of Xi'an city and stop at the Xi'an Textile City with a total length of 19.74km. The previous feasibility study didn't get the approval from the Beijing Central Government. In 2004 a new Feasibility study was carried out by the Spanish consortium SUE (Spanish United Engineering) integrated by INOCSA, EUROESTUDIOS and PROINTEC, with a total length of 26.22 km, including 15 stations, a train depot and a multifunction base. According to this Study, the Line 1 will be completed in 2009.


Xi'an is the sister city with Kyoto, Japan and with Pau, France.

Colleges and universities

Xi'an is known as one of the academic centers in China. The number of institutions is the third only after Beijing and Shanghai. The private institutions are famous in the country.



  • Xi'an Eurasia University
  • Xi'an Fanyi University
  • Xi'an Peihua University (西安培华学院)
  • Xi'an Siyuan University

Note: Institutions without full-time bachelor programs are not listed.

For details, see List of universities in mainland China

External links


da:Xian de:Xi'an es:Xi'an fr:Xi'an ko:시안 nl:Xi'an ja:西安 ro:Xī'ān zh:西安


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