The fortifications of Xi’an, also known as Xi’an City Wall, in Xi’an, an ancient capital of China, represent one of the oldest, largest and best preserved Chinese city walls. It was built under the rule of the Hongwu Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang as a military defense system. It exhibits the “complete features of the rampart architecture of feudal society”. It has been refurbished many times since it was built in the 14th century, thrice at intervals of about 200 years in the later half of the 1500s and 1700s, and in recent years in 1983. The wall encloses an area of about 14 square kilometres (5.4 sq mi).
The Xi’an City Wall is on the tentative list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Site under the title “City Walls of the Ming and Qing Dynasties”. Since 2008, it is also on the list of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage of the People’s Republic of China. Since March 1961, the Xi’an City Wall is a heritage National Historical and Cultural Unit.
The Bell Tower on Xi’an City Wall in China, is a stately traditional building, that marks the geographical center of the ancient capital. From this important landmark extend East, South, West and North Streets, connecting the tower to the East, South, West and North Gates of the City Wall of the Ming Dynasty.
The wooden tower, which is the largest and best-preserved of its kind in China, is 36 meters (118 feet) high. It stands on a brick base 35.5 meters (116.4 feet) long and 8.6 meters (28.2 feet) high on each side. During the Ming Dynasty, Xian was an important military town in Northwest China, a fact that is reflected in the size and historic significance.
The tower was built in 1384 by Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang as a way to dominate the surrounding countryside and provide early warning of attack by rival rulers.
Cycling around the city walls in Xi’an, China is a popular activity giving you wonderful views around different parts of the city. The distance around the city walls is 13.7 km. To cycle round the wall for a whole circle takes 1.5 to 2 hours at a medium speed. The bicycle deposit is CNY 200. The single bicycle costs CNY 45/2 hours. The tandem bicycle costs CNY 90/2 hours.
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