Xian City Wall, Xian

Xian City Wall, Xian (must see)

The Xian City Wall is the only surviving complete wall surrounding a city in China. It is also the largest defense barrier in the world.

Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang of the Ming Dynasty erected the Xian City Wall in the 14th century. When the emperor captured Xian, he was advised by a wise hermit called Zhu Sheng to build high walls to defend the city and then establish his empire by unifying all the other provinces. The emperor heeded the sage advice, unified China and ordered all local governments to built strong city walls to defend their territory. The Xian City wall was the strongest among the other city walls in the country.

The Xian City Wall was an improvement on an old wall built during the reign of the Tang dynasty. It is 12 meters high and 14 kilometers long. There are 98 watch towers placed 120 meters apart. The wall has four gates consisting of three towers in each direction. The gate towers were used to lift and lower drawbridges. A narrow tower and a main tower were also built near each gate.

Tunnels connected the gate towers and 11 passages for horse driven carts took soldiers to the top of the wall. There are also four larger watchtowers at each corner of the wall.

Today visitors can rent bicycle and ride on the city wall. A round trip would take about two hours with frequent stops in between - remember this is the longest city wall structure in the world with a total distance of 14 kilometers. It will be an experience that you will never forget!

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Xian. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Xian City Wall on Map

Sight Name: Xian City Wall
Sight Location: Xian, China (See walking tours in Xian)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Xian, China

Create Your Own Walk in Xian

Create Your Own Walk in Xian

Creating your own self-guided walk in Xian is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Xian Introduction Walking Tour

Xian Introduction Walking Tour

Xian became a cultural and political center of China in the 11th century BC and was the capital city of eleven imperial Chinese dynasties.

For a western comparison, Xian closely resembles Rome. At the beginning of the first millennium, there were two major powers sitting at the ends of the civilized world, the Roman Empire in the west and the Han Dynasty in the east, each commanding roughly the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.4 Km or 2.7 Miles
Shopping Streets Tour

Shopping Streets Tour

Xian is the former starting point of the ancient Silk Road. It was here that foreign traders came to do business and procure local goods, like Chinese tea, silk and porcelain - all were much sought after internationally, for centuries.

Although the commercial center in China has moved to its coastline in recent years, Xian is still an amazing place where you can do some quality shopping,...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles
Historical Religious Sites

Historical Religious Sites

Situated at the one end of the historical Silk Road, Xian for centuries has been a melting pot of different cultures and faiths, seeing traders from all parts of Asia come to do business. Many foreigners eventually settled here, bringing along their cuisine, customs and religious practices.

Hence the number of pagodas, Buddhist and Taoist temples, as well as mosques found in Xian, some of...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 Km or 1.8 Miles