Chang'an · 长安
—  Sub-provincial city  —
From top: Terracotta Army, Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, Drum Tower of Xi'an, Bell Tower of Xi'an, City wall of Xi'an, and the Tang Paradise
Location in Shaanxi province
Xi'an is located in China
Location within China
Coordinates: 34°16′N 108°54′E / 34.267°N 108.9°E / 34.267; 108.9Coordinates: 34°16′N 108°54′E / 34.267°N 108.9°E / 34.267; 108.9
Country People's Republic of China
Province Shaanxi
 - CPC Xi'an Sun Qingyun (孙清云)
 - Mayor Chen Baogen (陈宝根)
 - Sub-provincial city 9,983 km2 (3,854.5 sq mi)
 - Urban 826 km2 (318.9 sq mi)
 - Yangling 94 km2 (36.3 sq mi)
Elevation 405 m (1,329 ft)
Population (2010)
 - Sub-provincial city 8,467,837
 - Density 848.2/km2 (2,196.9/sq mi)
 Urban 3,340,000
 - Urban density 4,043.6/km2 (10,472.8/sq mi)
Time zone CST (UTC+8)
Postal code 710000 - 710090
Area code(s) +86/29
GDP (2008)
- Total ¥ 219 billion
- Per capita ¥26,259
License plate prefixes 陕A
City flower Pomegranate flower
City tree Pagoda tree
Website http://www.xa.gov.cn/
Chinese 西安
Literal meaning western peace
Traditional Chinese 長安
Simplified Chinese 长安
Literal meaning perpetual peace

Xi'an (Chinese: 西安; pinyin: Xī'ān; Wade–Giles: Hsi-An, also spelled Hsi-an, Hsian, or Sian)[1][2] is the capital of the 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.[1] 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,[3] including Zhou, Qin, Han, Sui, and Tang.[3] Xi'an is the eastern terminus of the Silk Road and home to the Terracotta Army.[1]

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 the most populous metropolitan area in inland China with more than 8 million inhabitants, including urban parts of Xianyang (Weicheng and Qindu districts).



The two Chinese characters "西安" in the name Xi'an literally mean "Western Peace". During the Zhou Dynasty, the area was called Fenghao, with the portion of the city on the west bank of the Feng River called Feng and the portion on the east called Hao.[4] It was renamed Chang'an, meaning "Perpetual Peace", during the Han Dynasty (206 BCE - 220 CE). It changed in 581 CE to Daxing (大興) during the Sui Dynasty then again became Chang'an from 618 CE during the Tang Dynasty. During the Yuan Dynasty (1270-1368 CE), the city was first given the name Fengyuan (奉元), followed by Anxi (安西) then Jingzhao (京兆). It finally became Xi'an in the year 1369 CE at the time of the Ming Dynasty. This name remained until 1928, then in 1930 it was renamed Xijing (西京), or "Western Capital". The city's name once again reverted to its Ming-era designation of Xi'an in the year 1943.

Xi'an is abbreviated in Chinese to either Hao or Tang (唐). The former abbreviation is derived from the Zhou Dynasty name Haojing, whilst the latter comes from the name of the Tang Dynasty.


Terracotta Army inside the Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum, 3rd century BCE.
Statues in the Imperial Tomb of Tang Emperor Gaozong, one of the many Tang Dynasty-era mausoleums located in the Xi'an area
Bell Tower of Xi'an

Xi'an has a rich and culturally significant history. The Lantian Man was discovered in 1963 in Lantian County, 50 km southeast of Xi'an, and dates back at least 500,000 years before present. A 6,500 year old Banpo Neolithic village in was discovered in 1954 on the outskirts of the city proper.

Xi'an became a cultural and political centre of China in the 11th century BCE with the founding of the Zhou Dynasty. The capital of Zhou was established in the twin settlements of Fengjing (灃京) and Haojing, together known as Fenghao, located south west of contemporary Xi'an. Following the Warring States Period, China was unified under the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BCE) for the first time, with the capital located at Xianyang, just northwest of modern Xi'an. The first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang ordered the construction of the Terracotta Army and his mausoleum just to the east of Xi'an almost immediately after his ascension to the throne.

In 202 BCE, the founding emperor Liu Bang of the Han Dynasty established his capital in Chang'an County; his first palace Changle Palace (長樂宮, perpetual happiness) was built across the river from the ruin of the Qin capital. This is traditionally regarded as the founding date of Chang'an, or Xi'an. Two years later, Liu Bang built Weiyang Palace north of modern Xi'an. The original Xi'an city wall was started in 194 BCE and took 4 years to finish. Upon completion, the wall measured 25.7 km (15.97 mi) in length and 12–16 m (39.37–52.49 ft) in thickness at the base, enclosing an area of 36 km2 (13.90 sq mi). In the year 190, amidst uprisings and rebellions just prior to the Three Kingdoms Period, a powerful warlord named Dong Zhuo moved the court from Luoyang to Chang'an in a bid to avoid a coalition of other powerful warlords against him.

Following several hundred years of unrest, Sui Dynasty united China again in 582. The emperor of Sui ordered a new capital to be built southeast of the Han capital, called Daxing (大興, great prosperity). It consisted of three sections: the Xi'an Palace, the Imperial City, and the civilian section, with a total area of 84 km² within the city walls. At the time, it was the largest city in the world. The city was renamed Chang'an in the Tang Dynasty. In the mid-7th century, after returning from his pilgrimage to India, Buddhist monk Xuan Zang (popularly known as Tang Sanzang) established a translation centre for Sanskrit scriptures.

Construction of the Great Wild Goose Pagoda began in 652. This pagoda was 64 m (209.97 ft) in height, and was built to store the translations of Buddhist sutras obtained from India by the Xuan Zang. In 707, construction of the Small Wild Goose Pagoda began, and measured 45 m (147.64 ft) tall at the time of completion. The massive 1556 Shaanxi earthquake eventually damaged the tower and reduced its height to 43.4 m (142.39 ft).

Chang'an was devastated at the end of the Tang Dynasty in 904. Residents were forced to move to the new capital city in Luoyang. Only a small area in the city continued to be occupied thereafter. During the Ming Dynasty, a new wall was constructed in 1370 and remains intact to this day. The wall measures 11.9 km in circumference, 12 m (39.37 ft) in height, and 15–18 m (49.21–59.06 ft) in thickness at the base; a moat was also built outside the walls. The new wall and moat would protect a much smaller city of 12 km².

In October 1911, during the revolution in which the Qing Dynasty was overthrown, the Manchus living in the north-eastern zone within the city walls were massacred.[5] In 1936, the Xi'an Incident took place inside the city during the Chinese Civil War. The incident brought the Kuomintang (KMT) and Communist Party of China to a truce to in order to concentrate on fighting against the Japanese Invasion.

On May 4, 2010, a new metro tunnel started in Xi’an, which will ease the move for commuter travel from surface streets to below ground.[6]

Geography and climate

Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: CMA[7]


Xi'an lies on the Guanzhong Plain in central China, on a flood plain created by the eight surrounding rivers and streams. The city has an average elevation of 400 metres (1,312 ft) above sea level and an annual precipitation of 550 millimetres (22 in). The urban area of Xi'an is located at 34°16′N 108°56′E / 34.267°N 108.933°E / 34.267; 108.933 . The Wei River provides potable water to the city.

The city borders the northern foot of the Qinling Mountains to the south, and the banks of the Wei River to the north. Hua Shan, one of the five sacred Taoist mountains, is located 100 km away to the east of the city. Not far to the north is the Loess Plateau.

At the beginning of Han Dynasty, Prime Minister Zhang Liang advised the emperor Liu Bang to choose Guanzhong as the capital of the Han Dynasty: 'Guanzhong Plain, which is located behind Xiao Pass and Hangu Pass, connects Long Plain and Shu Plain. Land of thousands miles and rich in harvest can be found here, as if this place is belongs to the nation of the heaven.' ("关中左崤函, 右陇蜀, 沃野千里, 此所谓金城千里, 天府之国也" 《史记·留侯世家》) Since then, Guanzhong is also known as 'Nation of the Heaven'.

National Time Service Centre

The Shaanxi Astronomical Observatory was established in 1966. In 1975, according to the Geodetic Origin Report of the People's Republic of China, 'in order to avoid bias in the mensuration as much as possible, the Geodetic Origin would be in central mainland China.' Jingyang (泾阳), a town near Xi'an was chosen. Since 1986, Chinese Standard Time (CST) was set from NTSC. The NTSC at Jingyang is 36 km away from Xi'an. Distances to the national borders are 880 km to the North, 2500 km to the Northeast, 1000 km to the East, 1750 km to the South, 2250 km to the Southwest, 2930 km to the West, and 2500 km to the Northwest.

National Time Service Centre (NTSC), the Chinese Academy of Sciences is an institute which is mainly engaged in the service and research on time and frequency. NTSC takes charge of generating and maintaining the national standard time scale, disseminating the time and frequency signals. The autonomous standard time scales of universal time and atomic time and the dissemination techniques with LF radio and HF radio were established successively during the 1970s and 1980s, which meet all the requirements for different applications on the whole, such as the scientific researches, national economy, etc.[8]


Xi'an has a temperate, semi-arid climate (Köppen BSk) influenced by the East Asian monsoon. The Wei River valley is characterised by hot, humid summers and cold, dry winters. Spring and autumn are somewhat brief and dry. Xi'an receives most of its annual precipitation from August to late October in the form of rain. Snow occasionally falls in winter but rarely settles for long. Dust storms often occur during March and April as the city rapidly warms up. Summer months also experience frequent but short thunderstorms. Monthly mean temperatures range from around the freezing mark in January to 26.6 °C (79.9 °F) in July, with an annual average of 13.7 °C (56.7 °F). Extreme temperatures have ranged from −20.6 °C (−5 °F) to 42.9 °C (109 °F).[9]


Muslim Quarter in Xi'an, 2011

By the end of 2005, Xi'an had a population of 8.07 million.[10] Compared to the census data from 2000, the population has increased by 656,700 persons from 7.41 million.[10] The population is 51.66% male and 48.34% female.[10] The district with the most population is YanTa Qu, with 1.08 million inhabitants.[10]

The majority of Xi'an residents are Han Chinese, who make up 99.1% of the city's total population.[citation needed] There are around 81,500 people belonging to ethnic minorities living in Xi'an, including 50,000 Muslim Hui people concentrated in the Muslim quarter, which is also home to the 1,360 year old Great Mosque of Xi'an.

During World War II, Xi'an became a destination for many refugees from other provinces of China, especially neighboring Henan Province. Because Xi'an was far inland, the invading Japanese army only managed a few aerial assaults on the city. As a result, Xi'an suffered minimal destruction. After 1949, the national government tried to balance the development in different regions of China, and relocated a number of factories and universities from other cities to Xi'an. Modern Xi'an Jiaotong University was relocated from its original campus in Shanghai.


The sub-provincial city of Xi'an has direct jurisdiction over 9 districts (区 qu) and 4 counties (县 xian):

Subdivisions of Xi'an-China.png Subdivision Population Land area   Subdivision Population Land area
as of 2006 km² as of 2006 km²
Xi'an City Proper   Xi'an Suburban and Rural
Beilin-qu 碑林区 700,000 22.0   Chang'an-qu 长安区 930,000 1583
Yanta-qu 雁塔区 690,000 152.0   Yanliang-qu 阎良区 240,000 240.0
Weiyang-qu 未央区 410,000 261   Lintong-qu 临潼区 670,000 898.0
Baqiao-qu 灞桥区 450,000 322  
Xincheng-qu 新城区 490,000 31.0   Lantian-xian 蓝田县 640,000 1,977.0
Lianhu-qu 莲湖区 600,000 38.00   Zhouzhi-xian 周至县 630,000 2,956.0
  Hu-xian 户县 590,000 1,213.0
  Gaoling-xian 高陵县 230,000 290


Underpass around the Bell Tower
Xi'an Railway Station

Xi'an has many areas that are easily accessible on foot. In many commercial, residential, educations zones in the city, especially in the shopping and entertainment districts around the Bell Tower, underpasses and overpasses have been built for the safety and convenience of pedestrians. However many intersections still lack sufficiently visible traffic lights and the right-of-way is virtually non-existent except at large intersections with traffic police and signals.[citation needed]

There has been a significant increase in the number of privately-owned vehicles among middle and upper class households in Xi'an. Electric bikes are very popular among students and offer easy transportation in and around the city for many residents. Taxi services are numerous but many citizens of Xi'an still commute to work on one of more than 200 bus routes.


Currently there are major construction works along Chang An street for the first metro system in Xi'an, designed with 6 lines, to be completed by 2016.

Work started on the 2nd route in 2007,and has opened in September 16 2011. The 1st route has started in early 2009, while the rest is planned to start in 2013 and to be finished around 2016.


Taxis in Xi'an are predominantly VW Santana made in Shanghai, BYD Auto made in Xi'an, and Citroen made in Wuhan. Taxis work 24 hours a day, managed by the Taxi Management Bureau of Xi'an City which records complaints. Customers are charged by meter.

Most, if not all, taxis in Xi'an run on compressed natural gas.


There are 6 passenger transport railway stations in Xi'an. Xi'an Railway Station is one of the eight major national railway stations. Other stations include Xi'an West, Xi'an East, Xi'an South, Xi'an North, Sanmincun, and Fangzhicheng railway stations.

Xi'an Railway Station covers 597 thousand square meters, has 5 passenger platforms, and 24 tracks. It provides 112 services to 80 000 people daily. There are services from Xi'an to Zhengzhou, from Xi'an to Lanzhou, from Xi'an to Baoji, and from Xi'an to Mount Hua. China Railway High-speed 2 now run an express services from Xi'an to Baoji and Xi'an to Zhengzhou; with a total running time to Baoji of under 90 minutes, and 2 hours to Zhengzhou. The Zhengzhou–Xi'an High-Speed Railway opened on February 6, 2010.


Xi'an currently has two ring road systems, the Second Ring road and the Third Ring road which encircle the city. These ring roads are similar to freeways, except that there are traffic signals on the Second Ring road.

As a tourist city, Xi'an has built expressways to Lintong, Tongchuan and Baoji, with well-maintained roads to famous scenic spots in suburban counties and to the north slope of the Qin Mountains. Since its construction in September 2007, the Xi-Han Expressway connects Han Zhong and Xi'an through the Qinling Mountains. At 15 kilometers long the Zhongnan Shan Tunnel is the longest tunnel in Asia.[citation needed]

Xi'an Xianyang International Airport


Xi'an Xianyang International Airport (airport code: XIY) is the major airport serving the city and is the largest airport in the northwestern part of China. The airport is located to the northwest of the city, between Xi'an and Xianyang. Chang'an Airlines and China Eastern Airlines are the main airlines using the airport.

International Routes: There are direct flights from Xi'an to many major cities in Asia, including Bangkok, Fukuoka, Hong Kong, Osaka, Pusan, Sapporo, Singapore and Seoul and Taipei.

Germany's Fraport, the operator of Frankfurt Airport, has paid 490 million yuan to obtain a 24.5-percent stake in the Xianyang International Airport, offering opportunities to upgrade and expand the facility.



A typical Chinese pavilion located in Xi'an

The culture of Xi'an descends from one of the world's earliest civilizations. The Guanzhong Ren (关中人/關中人) culture is considered the cultural antecedent of Xi'anese; their features are satirized as the "Ten Strangenesses of Guanzhong Ren" (关中十大怪/關中十大怪). Xi'an is also known for the "Eight Great Sights of Chang'an" (长安八景/長安八景), a collection of scenic areas in the region.

Arts, drama, music, and film

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" (乱弹), 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 (西秦腔, Voice of West Qin) in Qin Dynasty, and blossomed until Qing Dynasty, with direct influences on many branches of Chinese Opera.

The Tang Dynasty Music and Dance show presents ancient music and dance.

Chang'an School (长安画派) is a very important modern Chinese school of traditional arts. The main artists are Chen Zhongzhi (陈忠志), Zhao Wangyun (赵望云), Shilu (石鲁), He Haixia (何海霞).

Much like Beijing 798 and Shanghai 1933, Xi'an has an art district called Textile town (纺织城). 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 known for its rock music, and is one of the vigorous underground musical centres in China[citation needed] - the other three being Beijing, Kunming and Chengdu. It 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.

Economy and business

Industrial zones

Major industrial zones in Xi'an include:

  • Xi'an Economic and Technological Development Zone
  • Xi'an Hi-Tech Industries Development Zone

Telecommunications industry

China's 3G standard (Datang Telecom) and Wireless standard (Xidian university) were developed in Xian. Many other domestic and multinational telecommunications vendors have set up their R&D centres and/or factories in Xi'an, including Huawei, ZTE, CATT, NEC, Fujitsu and Siemens. Xi'an is China's leading training centre for engineers. The universities and local companies have provided hundreds of thousands of engineers for the Chinese telecommunications industry.

Software, outsourcing industry and BPO

CBD, Tangyan Road, Xi'an

The growing economy of Xi'an supports the development of a software industry, and the city is a pioneer in software industry in China.

In 2005, the production value of software industry reached RMB 8.2 billion Yuan, with export revenue up to $US 42 million.

In recent years, service outsourcing industry in Xi'an has maintained robust growth. The outstanding contractor enterprises, rich human resources and preferential policies have paved a solid foundation for Xi'an to becoming a capital for service outsourcing.

Xi'an, as a second-tier city in China after the likes of Beijing and Shanghai, has a track record in the Business Process Outsourcing field. The local government is using tax and other incentives to encourage companies and professionals to relocate there.

A Silicon.com article describes Xi'an: "But Xi'an is selling on its own merits - with a large pool of cheap human resources from the 100 universities in the area, it hoovers up around 3,000 computer graduates every year, each earning approximately $120 a month - half the wages for the equivalent job in Beijing."[11][12]

Game Industry

The largest internet bar in the world with more than 3000 computers is located in Xi'an. As one of the largest educational centres in China, with a huge number of undergraduate students, online games are very popular in the area. Xi'an has already hosted worldwide game competitions such as ACON5, CEG2006, and WCG2006.

Aerospace industry

In 2008, after the launch of the initial aerospace centre in Shanghai, China is constructing another civil aerospace centre in the Shaanxi province. The State Development and Reform Commission approved the planning of Xi'an National Civil Aerospace Industrial Base on December 26, 2007. The National Civil Aerospace Industrial Base of Xi'an, set to cover 23 square km, will focus on developing satellites, new materials, energies, IT and other technologies for civil applications.

In November 2006, Xi'an and the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation jointly set up Xi'an Aerospace Science and Technology Industrial Base. From its establishment, the base has focused on the development of the civil space industry, including equipment manufacturing, software and service outsourcing, new materials and solar photovoltaics.

Apart from the core area, the base will cover Xi'an and the Guanzhong area (the central China) and the expansion zone will reach Northwest China and Southwest China. It is expected that by 2012 the total industry output can reach 2.8 billion us dollars with about 10 to 20 brand products with intellectual property rights and 5-8 products with global competitiveness.

Famous economists

Chinese economists from Northwest University in Xi'an include Zhang Weiying (张维迎), Zhang Shuguang (张曙光), Weijie (魏杰), Liu Shijin (刘世锦), Song Ze (宋则), Fenglun (冯仑), Feng Zongsu (冯宗苏), Zou Dongtao (邹东涛), Li Yiping (李义平), Zuo Zhonghai (左中海). Zhang Chaoyang (张朝阳), the CEO of SOHU (Nasdaq) company, born and grew up in Xi'an, is the leader in the field of Chinese Internet. Liu Chuanzhi, the founder and president of Lenovo Group Limited, completed his higher education in Xidian University of Xi'an in 1960s.

International events

World Horticultural Expo 2011

Xi’an was chosen to host the 2011 World Horticultural Exposition by the Association of International Producers of Horticulture (AIPH) at its 59th congress, held at Brighton, United Kingdom on September 4, 2007. The 2011 World Horti-Expo will be held from April 28 to October 28, 2011. The exhibition will be located in a new district of the city, Chanba district, and is expected to bring some 10 million visitors to Xi’an.[13]


High season

Long holidays are usual during Spring Festival, Labor Holiday (May 1–3), and National Holiday (October 1–7). The number of travellers is often greater during Summer (May–August), although the most pleasant season for visiting Xi'an is Autumn.


City wall of Xi'an
The Great Mosque of Xi'an
The Giant Wild Goose Pagoda
The Famen Pagoda
Mount Hua, one of the great mountains of China
View of the city from the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda

Because of the city's many historical monuments and a plethora of ancient ruins and tombs in the vicinity,[1] tourism has been an important component of the local economy, and the Xi'an region is one of the most popular tourist destinations in China.[1]

The city has many important historical sites, and some are ongoing archaeological projects, such as the Mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang and his Terracotta Army. There are several burial mounds, tombs of the Zhou Dynasty kings located in the city.[3] Xi'an also contains some 800 royal mausoleums and tombs from the Han Dynasty,[14] with some of them yielding hundreds of sculpted clay soldiers, and remains of sacrificial temples from the Han era.[14] The city has numerous Tang Dynasty pagodas and is noted for its history museum and its stele forest, which is housed in an 11th-century Confucian temple containing large stone tablets from various dynasties.[14]

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

  • 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.
  • The Mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang and his Terracotta Army are located 40 km to the east of the city centre, in the city's suburbs.
  • The Bell Tower and Drum Tower, both are located at the city's central axis.
  • The city's Muslim quarter, which is home to the Great Mosque of Xi'an.
  • 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.
  • The Stele Forest is famous for its numerous historic inscriptions and stoneworks
  • The Famen Temple and its towering pagoda located on the city's outskirt
  • Xi Ming Temple
  • Wolong Temple at Kaitong lane
  • Xingjiao Temple at Shaolin Yuan (where Xuanzang's Tomb lies)
  • Jianfu Temple
  • Blue Dragon Temple
  • Wangji Temple
  • The Banpo Neolithic village is located on the outskirt of the city proper
  • The Qianling Mausoleum, one of the many Tang Dynasty era tombs located in Xi'an
  • The Shaanxi History Museum has a large collection of artifacts both modern and ancient.
  • Mount Hua is one of the most visited and steepest mountains in the country
  • Mount Zhongnan (终南山)
  • Mount Taibai
  • Mount Li
  • Huaqing Hot Springs (華清池), at the foot of Mt. Li, have a history of 6,000 years[citation needed], the adjacent Huaqing Palace has a history of 3,000 years[citation needed]. 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.

Major museums

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

National parks

  • Mount Cuihua, National Geological Park, Xi'an (西安翠华山国家地质公园)
  • Mount Li National Forest Park, Xi'an (西安骊山国家森林公园)
  • Mount Zhuque National Forest Park, Xi'an (西安朱雀山国家森林公园)
  • Mount Zhongnan National Forest Park, Xi'an (西安终南山国家森林公园)
  • Mount Taibai National Forest Park (太白山国家森林公园)
  • Mount Wangshun National Forest Park, Xi'an (西安王顺山国家森林公园)

Other parks


Cuju is a very old football game:

It was improved during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). First of all, the feather-stuffed ball was replaced by an air-filled ball with a two-layered hull. Also, two different types of goalposts emerged: One was made by setting up posts with a net between them and the other consisted of just one goal post in the middle of the field. Chang'an was filled with cuju football fields, in the backyards of large mansions, and some were even established in the grounds of the palaces. The level of female cuju teams also improved. Records indicate that once a 17-year-old girl beat a team of army soldiers. Cuju football became popular amongst the scholars and intellectuals, and if a courtier lacked skill in the game, he could pardon himself by acting as a scorekeeper.

Professional sports teams in Xi'an include:

  • Chinese Football Association Super League
    • Shaanxi Renhe Commercial Chanba F.C. (陕西人和商业浐灞)
  • Chinese Pingpong Association Super League
    • Galaxy (银河)
  • Chinese Basketball Association
    • Shaanxi Dongsheng (东盛)

Xi'an is also the Chinese Boxing training base for the national team.


Television and radio

  • China Central Television's channel 1 through 12 is broadcast nationwide.
  • Shaanxi Television (SXTV) provincial station, broadcasts on eight channels as well as a satellite channel for other provinces.
  • Xi'an Television (XATV) municipal station, has six channels for specialized programming.
  • Shaanxi Radio broadcasts music, news.
  • Xi'an Music Radio: FM 93.1, broadcasts music, news and talkshows.
  • Shaanxi Music Radio: Fm 98.8, broadcasts music, news and talkshows.

Printed media

  • Chinese Business View (华商报) is a popular daily newspaper.
  • Xi'an Evening News (Xi'an Wanbao) (西安晚报), with a history of 50 years (1957–2007), is one of the oldest newspapers.
  • Sanqin Daily (三秦都市报) covers the news of Shaanxi Province.
  • Shaanxi Daily (陕西日报) covers the news of Shaanxi Province and Xi'an.
  • Xian Grooves is a popular magazine for the expat community of Xi'an.
  • Xianese a popular magazine aimed at the expat and Chinese community of Xi'an.

International relations

Xi'an's twin towns and sister cities are:

Colleges and universities



  • Air force Engineering University (空军工程大学, 1999年由空军电讯工程学院、空军工程学院、空军导弹学院合编组成)
  • The Fourth Military Medical University (第四军医大学) [13]
  • The Second Artillery Engineering University of People's Liberation Army (解放军第二炮兵工程学院)
  • (PLA) Xi’an Telecommunication College (解放军西安通信学院)


  • Shaanxi Institute of International Commerce (陕西国际商贸学院)
  • Xi'an Eurasia University (西安欧亚学院; University website)
  • Xi'an Fanyi University (西安翻译学院)
  • Xi'an International University (西安外事学院,University website)
  • Xi'an Peihua University (西安培华学院)
  • Xi'an Siyuan University (西安思源学院)

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

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b c d e "Xi'an". Encyclopædia Britannica. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/542532/Xian. Retrieved 2008-09-03. 
  2. ^ It is also called "Sianfu" by many Western authors in the early 20th century. For example, the Catholic Archdiocese of Xian used to be called the Vicariate Apostolic of Sianfu. Adolf S. Waley, The Re-making of China, New York: EP Dutton and Company, 1914.
  3. ^ a b c "Xi'an". Encarta. 1993-2008. 2008-09-03. Archived from the original on February 28, 2008. http://web.archive.org/web/20080228105855/encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761572407/Xi%E2%80%99an.html. 
  4. ^ Zhongguo Gujin Diming Dacidian 中国古今地名大词典, 2005. (Shanghai: Shanghai Cishu Chubanshe), 1540.
  5. ^ Ernest Frank Borst-Smith, Caught in the Chinese revolution: A record of risks and rescue, published by T.F. Unwin, 1912.
  6. ^ Tunnelling started on Xi'an Metro Line
  7. ^ a b "中国地面国际交换站气候标准值月值数据集(1971-2000年)" (in Simplified Chinese). China Meteorological Administration. June 2011. http://cdc.cma.gov.cn/shuju/index3.jsp?tpcat=SURF&dsid=SURF_CLI_CHN_MUL_MMON_19712000_CES&pageid=3. Retrieved 2009-03-17. 
  8. ^ NTSC
  9. ^ "Extreme Temperatures Around the World". http://www.mherrera.org/temp.htm. Retrieved 2010-12-01. 
  10. ^ a b c d "西安人口 (Xi'an population)". City of Xi'an, in Chinese. http://www.xa.gov.cn/cenweb/xagov/xazl/xazonglan.jsp?flag=3. Retrieved 2007-05-16. [dead link]
  11. ^ People's Daily
  12. ^ Bureau of Commerce of Xi'an Municipal Government
  13. ^ "Xi'an to Host World Horticultural Expo" China.org.cn
  14. ^ a b c "Xi'an". The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition.. http://education.yahoo.com/reference/encyclopedia/entry/Xian;_ylt=At3nAwvWC5EERYXlnVrZdC9Vt8wF. Retrieved 2008-09-03. 
  15. ^ "List of Twin Towns in the Ruhr District". © 2009 Twins2010.com. http://www.twins2010.com/fileadmin/user_upload/pic/Dokumente/List_of_Twin_Towns_01.pdf?PHPSESSID=2edd34819db21e450d3bb625549ce4fd. Retrieved 2009-10-28. 

External links

Preceded by
Capital of China (as Hao)
1046 BC-771 BC
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Capital of China (as Chang'an)
206 BC-23
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Capital of China (as Daxing)
Succeeded by
itself, as Chang'an
Preceded by
itself, as Daxing
Capital of China (as Chang'an)
Succeeded by

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