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Xian, China

The ancient Chinese city Xian dates back to 202 A.D. and was the capital of the Xi Han dynasty. Xian was a very great and mighty city of the ancient world and the flourishing center of Central Asian trade.

Among the city’s main landmarks are the Grand Mosque which is among the oldest, biggest and well-preserved Islamic mosques in China. It is believed to be built in 742 during the Tang Dynasty as a result of the introduction of Islam by Arab merchants and travelers from Persia and Afghanistan to Northwest China during the 7th century. At that time many of them settled in China, married local women and contributed much to the unification of China during the Yuan and Ming Dynasties. The Mosque is a unique combination of Chinese and Islamic architectural traditions.

The “Muslim Market” also called the Hui Minority Market is also a great place to meet locals and buy unique hand-made souvenirs. The bustling market and shopping area with a strong focus on Hui goods has a long and intricate history in China.

Of course the Terracotta Warriors is the absolute highlight and must-visit in Xian. Discovered by peasants only 30 years ago, the 6,000 terracotta figures and their horses are one of the greatest archaeological finds of the 20th century. This unique funeral pottery was built during the reign of Qin Shi, a ruler of legendary stature, who began work on his own mausoleum in 250 BC, harnessing the labor of 750,000 conscripts.

The Terracotta Warriors are an army of life-size statues of warriors that stand in infantry battle order. Arrayed in pits and made of local clay with no two faces alike, they depict bowmen, foot soldiers, cavalry, war chariots and bronze weapons. Three of the four pits are open to the public and there are also exhibition halls.

The famous Buddhist pagoda called Big Wild Goose Pagoda is also worth a visit. Dating back to 589 A.D., the 60 meter tower was constructed of bricks set in layers without using any cement.

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Xian, China

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Xian, China

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