The Great Wall of China: This is one of the revised seven wonders of the world and the prized spot of China. This amazing piece of the architecture dates back to 220 BCE and still stands tall today. The Great Wall of China is one of the best places to get a real glimpse into ancient life in China. However, the learning and experience of Chinese history don’t stop there. Take your time to walk the wall around China’s oldest ancient city: Xi’an.
The Xi’an City Wall, also known as the Fortifications of Xi’an, is the most complete city wall that has survived throughout all of China’s history. It’s also one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world.
The Incredible History Of The Xi'an City Wall, In China's Oldest Ancient City
This spectacular wall was built when Zhu Yuanzhang, the first Emperor of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), captured Huizhou. He told the Emperor that he should ‘build high walls, store abundant food supplies and take time to be an Emperor,’ so that he could fortify the city and unify the other states. After the creation of the Ming Dynasty, Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang followed this advice and began to enlarge the wall built initially during the old Tang Dynasty (618-907).
After the extension, the wall now stands 40 feet tall, and 40-46 feet wide at the top. It’s about 50-60 feet thick at the bottom. It covers 8.5 miles in length with a deep moat surrounding it. Approximately every 400 feet there is a ramp that extends out from the main wall. The distance between every two ramparts is just within the range of an arrow shot from either side so that they could shoot the enemy or anyone who wanted to attack the city. On the outer side of the wall, there are 5,948 crenellations. The soldiers can look out and shoot at the enemy.
Planning Your Trip to the Wall around Xi’an
Visitors can enter the Wall from any of the main gates but the best entrance is usually the South Gate. The South Gate Xi’an (Yongning Gate) is the most time-honored and magnificent one among all the city gates. There are tour guides there to offer information and details about the wall or the time period of China at the time. There are also bicycles for rent around the South Gate to help you get around the entirety of the wall. These bikes usually rent between 5 and 8 American dollars.
Performance at the Southern Gate
Part of what makes the south gate the best entrance to come through is they hold several performances throughout the day, showing you real details of the days in ancient Xi’an. The schedule of the performances is as follows:
- 09:00: Gate Opening Ceremony
- 10:30/19:40: Martial Performance in the Ancient City
- 10:45/19:45: Living Sculpture
- 17:30: Army Array Performance
- 09:30/15:30/18:40: Warriors Changing the Guard Ceremony
- 11:00/11:40/16:20/16:50/18:00: Warrior Cruise Performance
This wall is a beautiful example of the impressive engineering and construction skills of the ancient Chinese people. Feel free to walk or bike around the walls and see amazing remains of historical China as well as spectacular views from up top of the wall.
The best times to visit would either be between March and June or September through November. This helps guarantee the weather will be nice and appropriate, so there will be no closures to any part of the city or the wall. Also, there tend to be fewer visitors during this time, making your travel and experience easier and the best it can be!
Spending time around this city and the wall is usually a day's adventure while you’re in China taking only 3-5 hours to experience in full. It opens for visitations at 8 am every morning and is usually open until about 8 pm at night. To visit this historic place is only about 10 American dollars, making it a perfect addition to your China trip!
This beautiful site is very popular and easy to reach no matter where you are staying. There are easy bus passes or taxis to take to reach the Wall at Xi’an. There are also many delicious restaurants and eateries around the Wall, so no need to rush and worry about your next meal!
As you leisurely stroll or bike ride on some of the ancient city walls, you can best enjoy its inner and outer walls, watchtowers, moats, and landscaped environs as well as an elevated view of the city. This is where having a tour guide might really come in handy, letting them help you appreciate all the city wall’s history.
It’s highly recommended that you visit in the late afternoon for the best combination of weather and light for photography. The sunset over the wall is truly a sight to see! It’s also fantastic to stay till evening and experience all the colorfully-lit walls and Xi’an night views! This is guaranteed to be the highlight of your Instagram page!
Book your trip to China and experience and make sure to see all that the historical wall of Xi’an has to offer! It’ll be an adventure like no other!