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Welcome to Xi'an

Xi'an is the capital of Shaanxi province, and a sub-provincial city in the People's Republic of China. One of the oldest cities in China, with more than 3,100 years of history, the city was known as Chang'an before the Ming Dynasty.Xi'an is one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China, having held the position under several of the most important dynasties in Chinese history, including Zhou, Qin, Han, Sui, and Tang.Xi'an is the eastern terminus of the Silk Road and home to the Terracotta Army.

Since the 1990s, as part of the economic revival of interior China especially for the central and northwest regions, the city of Xi'an has re-emerged as an important cultural, industrial and educational centre of the central-northwest region, with facilities for research and development, national security and China's space exploration program. It's now one of the most populous metropolitan areas in inland China with more than 8 million inhabitants, including urban parts of Xianyang (Weicheng and Qindu districts).

Culture

According to a July 2012 report by the Economist Intelligence Unit, it was recently named as one of the 13 emerging megacities, or megalopolises, in China. The report pinpoints and highlights the demographic and income trends that are shaping these cities' development.

The culture of Xi'an descends from one of the world's earliest civilizations. The Guanzhong Ren culture is considered the cultural antecedent of Xi'anese; their features are satirized as the "Ten Strangenesses of Guanzhong Ren" . Xi'an is also known for the "Eight Great Sights of Chang'an", a collection of scenic areas in the region.

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Traditional Chinese musical performances at Xi'an Qinqiang (Voice of Qin) is the oldest and most extensive of the four major types of Chinese opera. Also called "random pluck", Qinqiang is the main type of drama in Shaanxi province. As the earliest ancestor of Beijing Opera, Yu Opera, Chuan Opera and Hebei Opera, Qinqiang has developed its own system of unique vocal music, spoken parts, facial makeup, posture, role, category and acting. It can be traced to Xi Qinqiang (Voice of West Qin) in Qin Dynasty, and blossomed until Qing Dynasty, with direct influences on many branches of Chinese Opera.


Much like Beijing 798 and Shanghai 1933, Xi'an has an art district called Textile town. The district is not an actual town but derives its name from the many textile factories built there since the 1950s. Today it is no longer a centre for the textile industry but a new art factory with 4 workshops in total. Since March 2007, more than 40 artists have taken a part in these workshops.


Xi'an is home to contemporary Chinese Stars such as Xu Wei, Zhang Chu, Zheng Jun.

Zhang Yimou and Gu Changwei are directors from Xi'an. Xi'an is also the only city in China to win the Golden Bear (Berlin Film Festival) twice. The first film is Red Sorghum and the second one is Tuya's Marriage. They are produced by Xi'an Filmmaking Factory (now called Xi'an Qujiang Filmmaking Group) and Xi'an Filmmaking company respectively.

Toursim

The number of travelers is often greater during Summer (May–August), although the most pleasant season for visiting Xi'an is Autumn.


Sites

Some of the most well-known sites in Xi'an are:


1.    The city is surrounded by a well-preserved city wall which was re-constructed in the 14th century during the early Ming Dynasty and was based on the inner imperial palace of Tang Dynasty.
2.    The Mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang and his Terracotta Army are located 40 km (25 mi) to the east of the city centre, in the city's suburbs.
3.    The Bell Tower and Drum Tower, both are located at the city's central axis.
4.    The city's Muslim quarter, which is home to the Great Mosque of Xi'an.
5.    The Giant Wild Goose Pagoda and Small Wild Goose Pagoda are both spectacular towers and both are well over 1,000 years old and have survived great earthquakes. The former is next to a large square with the largest fountain in Asia which projects water high into the air, rising and falling in time to music during one of the daily performances (usually at noon and soon after sunset). They protected Buddhist writings in the past.
6.    The Stele Forest is famous for its numerous historic inscriptions and stoneworks
7.    The Famen Temple and its towering pagoda located on the city's outskirt
8.    Xi Ming Temple
9.    Wolong Temple at Kaitong lane
10.    Xingjiao Temple at Shaolin Yuan (where Xuanzang's Tomb lies)
11.    Jianfu Temple
12.    Blue Dragon Temple
13.    Wangji Temple
14.    The Banpo Neolithic village is located on the outskirt of the city proper
15.    The Qianling Mausoleum, one of the many Tang Dynasty era tombs located in Xi'an
16.    The Shaanxi History Museum has a large collection of artifacts both modern and ancient.
17.    Mount Zhongnan
18.    Mount Taibai
19.    Mount Li
20.    Huaqing Hot Springs, at the foot of Mt. Li, have a history of 6,000 years, the adjacent Huaqing Palace has a history of 3,000 years. Ranked among the Hundred Famous Gardens in China, it also has the status as a National Cultural Relic Protection Unit and a National Key Scenic Area.
21.    Daming Palace National Heritage Park, site of the former royal residence of the Tang Dynasty emperors


Museums

1.    Terracotta Army Museum
2.    Shaanxi History Museum
3.    Hanyang Tomb Museum, the 1st modern underground museum in China, opened in 2006
4.    Stele Forest
5.    Xi'an Museum: October 20, 2006, international council of monuments sites (ICOMOS) international protection centre (IICC) was formally established here


National parks

1.    Mount Cuihua, National Geological Park, Xi'an 
2.    Mount Li National Forest Park, Xi'an 
3.    Mount Zhuque National Forest Park, Xi'an 
4.    Mount Zhongnan National Forest Park, Xi'an 
5.    Mount Taibai National Forest Park
6.    Mount Wangshun National Forest Park, Xi'an