Located in the heart of Xi'an City, Xi'an City Wall is like a wordless history book and a landmark of this ancient city. It has witnessed the changes from the Sui Dynasty (581–618) to the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644). Xi'an City Wall is one of the earliest and is the most complete section of all the ancient walls that have ever existed in China.
It's 12 meters tall and forms a rectangle with a perimeter of about 14 kilometers. This ancient architectural masterpiece displays the wisdom of the working people in ancient China, and has a high value in history, the military, and building art.
What You Can Experience at Xi'an City Wall
- Witness the largest and the most complete section of ancient wall in China and feel the historic atmosphere in this city that's over 3,000 years old.
- Explore one of the most ancient military defensive projects of China and discover the differences with the Great Wall.
- Cycle on this ancient city wall and be rewarded with a panoramic view of Xi'an.
Military Defense — the Main Function of Xi'an City Wall
Xi'an City Wall was mainly built for military defense, so it's solid as a mountain.
- The First Line of Defense — a Moat
There is a hanging bridge across the moat, which is the only way to get in or out of the city. During the daytime, the hanging bridge would be open for the local people to go in and out. However, it would be closed at night.
- The Second Line of Defense — a Watchtower
There is a watchtower outside the city gate to sound the night watches (an ancient way to let local people know the correct time) and give an alarm.
- The Third Line of Defense — Embrasured Watchtower
The embrasured watchtower is 30 meters tall and its walls are straight. There are intensive arrow holes for soldiers to look out and shoot arrows.
- The Fourth Line of Defense — Barbican
The Barbican is located between the Embrasured Watchtower and the Zheng Tower. It covers 9,348 square meters and was used to attack the enemy when they invaded there.
- The Fifth Line of Defense — the Front Gate of Xi'an City Wall
The front gate is the fifth line of defense and is the most ancient gate of Xi'an City Wall.
4 Representative Ancient Gates
There are 18 gates in Xi'an City Wall, but Changle Gate, Yongning Gate, Anding Gate, and Anyuan Gate are the main gates there. These four main gates all have a single door and three city walls surround them, two of which form the Barbican. The other 14 gates have been rebuilt at the base of some city wall ruins or rebuilt near the ruins of city gates from the Tang Dynasty (618–906).
Yongning Gate (the South Gate)
Yongning Gate is also known as the South Gate and is the most ancient gate, which has been used for the longest time among the 18 gates in Xi'an City Wall. Yongning It was built in 582 during the Sui Dynasty and was named Yongning Gate in the Ming Dynasty. Vehicles and pedestrians have to go through this gate if they want to go to the south or the north of the city.
Anding Gate (the West Gate)
Anding Gate is also known as the West Gate and was the middle gate of the western walls in the Tang Dynasty. During its reconstruction in the Ming Dynasty, its location was moved a little southward and it was named Anding Gate.
Its location meant the western frontier would be safe and peaceful. The Anding Gateis a square barbican between the gate tower and the Embrasured Watchtower, which was an accessible location and the key line of defense.
Anyuan Gate (the North Gate)
Anyuan Gate is also known as the North Gate, and was built during the Ming Dynasty. Anyuan Gate was burnt by an insurrectionary army during the 1911 revolution and was rebuilt in 1983. "Anyuan" means a wish that a remote minority nationality would appreciate and follow the government of the Ming Dynasty.
Changle Gate (the East Gate)
Changle Gate is also known as the East Gate, and was also built during the Ming Dynasty. "Changle" means "happy forever". The gate was burnt when Lizicheng (a famous leader of a peasant war) captured Xi'an. He said to a solider: "If the emperor is happy forever, the common people will suffer forever".
- Chinese: 西安城墙 (Xīān chéngqiáng, sshee-an-chnng-chyang)
- Location: 2 South Street, Beilin District, Xi'an City, Shaanxi Province
- Value: the largest and the most complete ancient city wall in China
- Opening times: 8am to 10pm; after 6pm you can only descend from the wall
- Entrance price: 54 yuan per person
- Visiting duration: about 1 to 3 hours
- Architectural period: from the Sui Dynasty (581–618) to the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644)
- By bus: Take bus 11, 12, 16, 23, 26, 29, 31, 35, 36, 40, 46, 203, 204, 208, 213, 214, 215, 222, 239, 258, 311, 321, 323, 405, 600, or 608. Get off at the Yongning Gate (South Gate) station.
- By subway: Take subway line 2, and get off at the Yongning Gate (South Gate) station.
How to Visit Xi'an City Wall?
The imposing ancient city wall forms a rectangle with a perimeter of about 14 kilometers. Therefore, go on the wall and choose your favorite way to enjoy this ancient defensive project.
- By Bicycle
It's the most popular way to experience this ancient wall and you can control your pace.
Common bicycle (for one person): 45 yuan for 2 hours. You need to pay 5 yuan per vehicle for every 10 minutes you go over the appointed time. Tandem bicycle: 90 yuan for 2 hours. You need to pay 10 yuan per vehicle for every 10 minutes you go over the appointed time.
It's 200 yuan to hire one bicycle. You can rent and return the bicycle at any point. After 7pm, you can only rent or return bicycles at the South Gate.
- By Electromobile
Price: 30 yuan for one station, and 120 yuan for the whole distance
Station: the South Gate, West Gate, North Gate, and the East Gate
The West Gate, North Gate, and the East Gate: 8:15am to 7pm
The South Gate: 8am to 10pm
Visiting Xi'an City Wall with Trippest
Join our one-day mini tour to discover the most wonderful section of Xi'an.
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