Xian - City at the End of the Silk Road Proofsheet

A Photo Gallery By Dennis Kraft

Located in Shaanxi province, Xian is a city of architectural and culinary treasures. It is a meeting point of culture, a treasury of historic artifacts and a shopper's delight. From the iconic architecture of the Bell and Drum Towers, the labyrinth of market stalls in the Muslim quarter, and with a proximity to the Terracotta Warriors, there is plenty to see and explore in this amazing city.

Xian City 09 Walls and Gates
Xian City 09 Walls and Gates
Xian Bell Tower 02
Xian Bell Tower 02
Xian Drum Tower and Shoppers 08
Xian Drum Tower and Shoppers 08
Xian 26 Chinese Tang Dancing Program Hostess
Xian 26 Chinese Tang Dancing Program Hostess
People of China 17 Xian Tang Dynasty Dancer
People of China 17 Xian Tang Dynasty Dancer
People of China 15
People of China 15
Xian 33 Muslim Quarter
Xian 33 Muslim Quarter
Xian Muslim Quarter Cat
Xian Muslim Quarter Cat
People of China  22 Monkey King
People of China 22 Monkey King
Xian  16 Wild Goose Pagoda
Xian 16 Wild Goose Pagoda
Xian - The Terracotta Warriors 04
Xian - The Terracotta Warriors 04
Xian - The Terracotta Warriors 07
Xian - The Terracotta Warriors 07


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Caption List:

Photo 1. Xian City Walls and Gates . Xian has what is considered the most largest, most complete and best preserved city wall in China. Built over three periods in the 14th, 16th, and 18th centuries, it encloses 14 square kilometres and tourists often rent bicycles to ride or walk along its top perimeter.

Photo 2. Xian's Bell Tower has an interesting history. In the revolution of 1911, rebels fought the Qing army here. In 1927, the first cinema in Xian and the first sound cinema in China was set up and run out of the Bell Tower by Chinese businessman named Shilin who had gone to the US as a student and returned to China. It was also bombed and damaged by the Japanese on October 10th, 1939.

Photo 3. Xian Drum Tower is on the edge of the Muslim quarter and in the midst of a modern shopping area. Night time brings crowds of people to the area to enjoy food, shopping and to people watch.

Photo 4. Xian's Chinese Tang Dancing Program Hostess. Xian is a city that values its culture. The Tang Dance Show of Xian is world famous and is performed nightly for tourists. This young hostess greets guests to the show in Tang period costume.

Photo 5. The Xian Tang Dynasty Dancers are one of the most popular attractions in Xian. A dumpling banquet is followed by a colourful dance and music performance celebrating China's Tang Dynasty heritage.

Photo 6. Well worth exploring is Xian's Muslim Quarter. A dumpling vendor in the Muslim quarter in Xian, poses for his picture near his stove.

Photo 7. It is estimated that there are 50,000 Hui Muslims living in Xian and approximately 20,000 live in the Muslim Quarter. Most are devout Muslims and the community is close knit. There are ten mosques in the Muslim Quarter including the Great Mosque. The Muslim Quarter is famous throughout China for both the variety of items for sale within it's confines but also the food.

Photo 8. Xian Muslim Quarter Cat. A cat takes a quiet nap in Xian's Muslim Quarter.

Photo 9. The Monkey King or Sun Wukong, is a famous literary and folkloric character in Chinese culture. He is known as a brave and mischievous trickster and remains a popular hero of Chinese culture to this day. This costumed Monkey King was photographed in the Muslim Quarter of Xian encouraging patrons to visit a food kiosk.

Photo 10. The Wild Goose Pagoda . Xian is home to the Famed Wild Goose Pagoda located int he Da Ci en Temple Complex. The pagoda is about 4 kilometres from Downtown Xian and was built in 652 Ad during the Tang Dynasty. It is 64.5 metres tall and considered a classic of Chinese architecture. There are a number of different stories about how it received it's name. One is that the name represents wandering Buddhist monks who were like wild geese spreading Buddhism.

Photo 11. Xian is famous for the nearby 6000 Terracotta Warriors. The army was buried in military formation complete with officers, soldiers, crossbow men and flanking calvary. The faces of each the warriors is unique and it is believed that 8 general molds were used to construct the faces and then modified with clay to individualize their appearance. The terracotta warriors were constructed to be approximately 20 cm taller than real life soldiers of the time, to make them more intimidating.

Photo 12. Since 1974, The Chinese government has had trained archaeologists and experts slowly and carefully reconstruct the warriors individually. It is estimated that it will take another forty years before the job is complete. The main structure, holding the bulk of the terracotta warriors, is a massive building.