Xi’an, the historical city, was called Chang’an in ancient times, and is now the capital of Shaanxi province.

Xi’an is situated in the center of Weihe Plain with the towering and verdant Mt. Qinling in the south, with the meandering and rolling Beishan mountain system in the north and eight rivers around it, all of which are at Guang Zhong Plain (the center of passes).

Historically, Xian was famous for being called “a gold city stretching a thousand li” with its fertile soil, mild climate, adequate rainfall and rich products.

Xi’an has a long history. Since the earliest societies, humanity lived and multiplied here. It served as a capital for twelve dynasties, including the Western Zhou, Qin, Western Han, Sui and Tang dynasties, spanning over 1120 years. It became the oriental cultural center of the Silk Road.

Many dynasties kept the city beautiful and magnificent. More than two hundred and seventy palaces and temples, for example, were built in the Qin dynasty, in the Han dynasty the “Three Han Palaces”, namely Changle, Weiyang, Jianzhang Palaces, and numerous other palaces and watch towers were built. In the City of Chang’an of the Sui and Tang dynasties, luxurious palaces sprang up like tree, of which Taiji, Daming and Xingqing Palaces and the forbidden garden of the Tang dynasty to the north of the town were very large.

Now, from these architectural sites people still can imagine the general picture of what Chang’an City was like, then. All the emperors of the Qin, Han, Tang and other dynasties had their magnificent mausoleums built. Qin Shi Huang’s mausoleum at the foot of Lishan Hill in Lintong county, for example, is the earliest example of a grand mausoleum for an emperor in ancient China.

The twelve emperors of the Western Han dynasty were mostly buried on the plateau to the north of the Weihe River. Their tomb-mounds were man-made and quite imposing, but emperors of the Tang dynasty began to have their bombs constructed into hills. They are scattered in the counties to the north of the Weihe River and called the “Eighteen Tang Mausoleums”. In front of these mausoleums were erected huge stone carvings, while inside them were exquisite funeral objects and colorful murals, a feast for one’s eyes.

Some of the monasteries and Buddhist pagodas constructed in many dynasties have remained well preserved, including the most famous ones, as the Big Wild Goose (Da Yan) Pagoda in Ci’en Temple and the Small Wild Goose (Xiao Yan) Pagoda in Jianfu Temple. The bronze wares of ancient China are an important example of the splendid culture that reflect this slave society. Feng and Hao in the Xi’an area, which were the capitals of the Western Zhou dynasty, have been acclaimed as “the Home of the Bronze wares”, as a wealth of bronze items unearthed from there, over the years. It was quite popular to put up stone tablets in front of tombs to record the merits and achievements of the departed, in many dynasties, and a great deal of stone tablets and calligraphy data remain to this day. So Xi’an is also famous for being “the Home of Calligraphy”.

Xi’an is the largest commercial and trade-hub, as well as the largest material distribution center in the Mid-Western Region of northern China. As shown in a report in 1998, there are more than 100,000 commercial service networks, 435 consumption markets, and 485 various types of wholesale markets, and nearly 1,000 wholesale agencies.
Through fifty years development, Xi’an has already set up sordid industry basement in certain areas. Aviation, aerospace, electronics, machinery, communications, instruments and meters, and electric power are typical industry in Xi’an. In some of these areas, the industries in Xi’an has not only reached the top level in China, but also has equaled to the world advance level.
Xi’an has formed a transportation network of air routes, railways and highways. Xi’an Civil Airline Service has opened 95 domestic airlines to 44 cities, two international airlines to Nagoya and Hiroshima in Japan and regional airlines to Hong Hong and Marco. It also has opened direct lines to Okinawa and Fukuoka in Japan and Jidda in Saudi Arabia. Highways, first and second grade highways, as well as the under-construction first-grade highways and express ways continually increase the transportation capability of Xi’an. Post and Telecommunication also grow rapidly in Xi’an. Xi’an has opened direct dialing services to more than 190 foreign countries and regions and 900 Chinese cities and country towns. EMS has expanded to 94 countries and near 2,000 Chinese cities.
Xi’an is powerful in terms of its scientific and technological strength, the comprehensive strength ranks second in China. Xi’an boasts 727 scientific research institutions, technical personnel constitute 26.4% of the total working staff in Xi’an. The proportion of technical personnel in Xi’an is the highest in China. There are 38 institutions of higher learning. A batch of advanced experimental bases and testing centers have the capability of assimilate, digest and transfer state-level and world-level technologies. The applied technologies in the fields of aeronautics, aerospace, mechanics, electronics, meter and instrument, optics, textile and power equipment are in the leading position in China. Xi’an is one of the important scientific research and higher education bases in China.

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