Xi'an Ancient City Walls
The first landmark
visitors will encounter in Xi'an is
the ancient city wall, which stretches
round the old city. The northern side
runs parallel to the railway. Xi'an
was originally a walled city, and
even today the wall is considered
a landmark dividing the city into
the inner part and the outer part.
The city wall is massive - tall, long
and thick. The South Gate and North
Gate are the two main entrances to
the inner city. The city itself is
neatly arranged along the city wall.
Xi'an City Wall was erected
in the 14th century Ming Dynasty,
under the regime of Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang.
When Zhu Yuanzhang captured Huizhou,
long before the establishment of the
Ming Dynasty, he was admonished by
a hermit named Zhu Sheng, who told
him to "build high walls, store
abundant provisions and take your
time in proclaiming yourself emperor."
This advice Zhu Yuanzhang heeded.
Once the whole country was unified,
he sent orders to the local governments
to build city walls on a large scale.
Zhu assured that "out of all
the mountains and rivers in the world,
the area of Central Qin is the most
strongly fortified and strategically
impregnable." The current city
wall is an enhancement of the old
Tang Dynasty structure, as a result
of the emperor's wall building campaign.