Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Xi'an's city wall

Xi'an's old city wall was built during the Tang Dynasty, in the second century BC when Xi'an was still called Chang'an. It measured more than 25 km in lenght and encircled a city of 36 km². The wall you can see today originated in the Ming dynasty (14th century) and encircled a much smaller city of only 14 km². The wall was built of earth; what you see today is an even later add-on of brick cladding.
The existing wall has four city gates and we entered through the southern Yongning gate, the gate of 'eternal peace':

Here you can see the top of the wall:

And a look below into a front yard:

It was cold this day. At first we wanted to cycle the 13 odd kilometers, then I voted for taking the little electric bus (a suggestion which wasn't received all too well). Then we considered taking a rickshaw, but a glimpse down and we saw a nice tea house. Well, if this isn't fate. So we decided to walk to the next little tower and then have a nice hot tea.

Pa opted for his usual jasmine tea which was remarkably beautiful:

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