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About Xi'an

Xi’an is one of the oldest cities in the middle of China, with a history of over three millennia. The name of the city means ‘Western Peace’. Next to the city you can find one of China’s most impressive sights: the Terracotta Army, that was ordered by the first emperor of China in the 3rd century BCE.

The city has always been of great importance in the Chinese history. In 1936, the nationalist general Chiang Kai-shek was captured by his own generals for his continuous fight against the communists. This ‘Xi’an incident’ lead to a truce between nationalists and communists, who conquered the Japanese later on.

In 2000, the ‘Western Development’ plan came into action. After the rapid rise of the coastal cities, the Chinese administration came up with a plan to stir up the developments in central and western China. In the Shaanxi province, Xi’an is the most important economy. The cities welfare is partly due to the manufacturing industry. Also, tourism has always played a large role in this historical city.

Summers are hot and humid, in July the average temperature is about 26°C. In the drier winter, the temperature sinks to around the freezing mark. In spring, you can expect dust storms.

Interesting Facts

  • There are seven mosques in Xi’an. Since the emperor officially allowed the practice of Islam in 651 AD, there has been a muslim community in Xi’an.
  • The metro system of the city is not completed yet, the first line opened in 2011. This shows the rapid development of Xi’an!
  • Xi’an is the centre of one of the most touristic areas within China. In Xi’an you can find temples that are almost two thousand years old, glass and steel skyscrapers and everything in between. Xi’an is and has long been a city of culture.

Top three activities

  • You obviously can’t miss the Terracotta Army, just outside of the city. 
  • The building of the city wall was started in 194 BCE. In the 14th century the structure was rebuild and nowadays it is one of the main tourist attractions.
  • Xi’an is not just the city of culture, but the urban region is surrounded by 11 national parks. Make sure to do some hiking when you’re around!

Facts about Xi'an

Population      8,467,000
Size (km²)826
Life expectancy79 years
GDP per capita$9,220

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