Situated in the middle reaches of the Yellow River, Shaanxi boasts tourists resources and is one of the birthplaces of Chinese culture. There are innumerous scenic spots and places of historical interest in Xi'an, the provincial capital, which served as the imperial capital for eleven dynasties. The mausoleum of Emperor Qin and the excavated Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses are the most famous ones.
Shaanxi Province is remarkable for its long history and splendid culture. It was the center of power for a string of dynasties, the remains of whose capital cities are strung out along the southern stretch of the plain. Shaanxi Province covers an area of over 190,000 square kilos and has a population of over 34 millions. Its capital city is Xi'an. Xi'an is one of China's Six Ancient Capitals and boasts of numerous historic sites and cultural relics.
Shaanxi is abundant of mineral resources which are famous both for quantity and quality. Over 130 various minerals have been found in Shaanxi while there are only 150 found in the whole world.
Recommended Scenic Spots
Terra Cotta Warriors
Terra Cotta Warriors and Qin Shihuang Mausoleum, situated in north of Lishan, a quiet place with beautiful sceneries, were uncovered in 1974. The mausoleum covers an area of more than 14,000 square meters with 6,000 life-sized terra cotta warriors and horses. These soldiers have been guarding the emperor's tomb, underground, for over 2,000 years. They are in a battle array, showing a readiness for battles to defend the imperial tomb. All figures have a different look with vivid details on their faces, postures and uniforms. It is possible to tell who is in infantry or cavalry. Even their ranks can be judged by their height. Terra Cotta Warriors enjoys a reputation of "8th world wonder" and it has been listed on the World Heritage List by the United Nations.
Qianling Tomb in Xi'an
This is one of the most impressive tombs, 85km northwest of Xi'an on Mt. Liangshan. This is the joint resting place of Tang Emperor Gao Zong and his wife Empress Wu Zetian.
Gao Zong ascended the throne in 650 AD after the death of his father, Emperor Tai Zong. Empress Wu, actually a concubine of Tai Zong, also caught the fancy of his son, who made her his empress. Gao died in 683 AD, and the following year Empress Wu dethroned her husband's successor, Emperor Zhong Zong. She reigned as an all-powerful monarch until her death around 705 AD.
The tomb consists of three peaks: the two on the southern side are artificial, but the higher northern peak is natural and is the main part of the tomb. Walls used to surround the tomb, but these are gone. Southwest of the tomb are 17 smaller tombs of officials.
The grounds of the imperial tomb boast a number of large stone sculptures of animals and officers of the imperial guard. There are 61 (now headless) statues of the leaders of minority peoples of China and of the representatives of friendly nations who attended the emperor's funeral. The two steles on the ground each stand more than 6m high. The 'Wordless Stele' is a blank tablet; one story goes that it symbolises Empress Wu's absolute power, which she considered inexpressible in words.