XIAN TRAVEL: HISTORY OF XIAN
History of Xian
|Zhou Dynasty established its capital in Feng and Hao between
the late 11th century BC and 770 BC, both located west of
Qin Dynasty (221 BC-206 BC) constructed its capital in the
north shore of Wei River, which was burned by Xiang Yu at
the end of the dynasty.
202 BC: Liu Bang, the founding emperor of the Han Dynasty,
established Chang'an County as his capital; his first palace
Changle Palace was built across the river from the ruin
of the Qin capital. This is traditionally regarded as the
founding date of Chang'an and Xian.
200 BC: Emperor Liu Bang built Weiyang Palace in Chang'an.
194 BC: Construction of the first city wall of Chang'an
began, which did not finished until 190 BC. The wall measured
25.7 km in length, 12-16 m in thickness at the base. The
area within the wall was ca. 36 square km.
AD 582: Emperor of Sui Dynasty ordered a new capital to
be built southeast of the Han capital, called Daxing (great
excitement). It consisted of three sections: the Palace,
the Imperial City, and the civilian section. The total area
within the wall was 84 square km, The main street Zhuque
Avenue measured 155 m in width. It was the largest city
in the world. The city was renamed Chang'an (everlasting
peace) in Tang Dynasty.
7th century: Buddhist monk Xuan Zang, well-known as Tang
Sanzang in China, established a sizeable translation centre
after returning from India with Sanskrit scriptures.
AD 701: Construction of Da Yan Pagoda (Great Wild Goose
Pagoda) began. It measured 64 m in height. This pagoda was
constructed for the storage of the translation of the Buddha
Sutra obtained from India by the monk Xuan Zang.
AD 707: Construction of Xiao Yan Pagoda (Little
Wild Goose Pagoda) began. It measured 45 m in height. After
the earthquake of 1556 AD, its height was reduced to 43.4
AD 904: The end of Tang Dynasty brought destruction to Chang'an.
Residences were forced to move to Luoyang, the new capital.
Only a small area continued to be occupied after the destruction.
AD 1370: Ming Dynasty built a new wall to protect a much
smaller city of 12 square km. The wall measures 11.9 km
in circumference, 12 m in height, and 15-18 m in thickness
at the base.
This city was the site of the Xian Incident in 1936 during
World War II. The Xian Incident brought the Communist Party
of China and Kuomintang to a truce so the two forces could
concentrate on fighting against Japan.