Friday, June 21, 2013

Aloha to Xi'an - Yangling Mausoleum (Han Dynasty Tombs)

We arrived on time at the Beijing airport for our flight to Xi'an. Unfortunately, weather delayed the inbound plane.  Then the airplane broke upon arrival.   Air China directed passengers to another gate ... in Chinese.   We just followed the crowd.   Since the other gate was being used for several flights, the area was mobbed.  Then Air China fixed the original airplane and direct us back to the original gate ... in Chinese. Once again, we followed the crowd.  At the time, it was annoying ... but now it makes me chuckle!    We flew 1400 kilometers southwest to Xi'an. From Wikipedia (link),

One of the oldest cities in China, with more than 3,100 years of history, the city was known as Chang'an before the Ming Dynasty. Xi'an is one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China, having held the position under several of the most important dynasties in Chinese history, including Zhou, Qin, Han, Sui, and Tang.  Xi'an is the eastern terminus of the Silk Road and home to the Terracotta Army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang.  

Our guide, Betty, rearranged our tour to accommodate our late arrival, heading directly to the Yangling Mausoleum of the Han Dynasty (link),

The Yangling Mausoleum of the Han Dynasty (Hanyangling) is located at Zhangjiawan Village, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of Xian City, Shaanxi Province. It is a joint tomb of Liu Qi, a notable emperor of the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC-24AD), and his empress, Empress Wang. It was built in the year 153 AD and covers an area of 20 square kilometers (4,942 acres). It is a magnificent and abundant cultural relic, comprising the emperor's tomb, empress' tomb, the south and north burial pits, ceremonial site, human sacrifice graveyard and criminals' cemetery. Neatly arranged and centered with the emperor's tomb, it reveals the strict hierarchical social structure. The Outside Pits Exhibition Hall was opened in 2006 and is the first underground museum in China.

The emperor's tomb is akin to a pyramid; the current excavation (the red triangle in the above photograph) is one of the pits guarding his tomb.

The museum required us to wear "booties".   The museum is built atop the pits to spotlight their discoveries.

The emperor believed he would need an army, servants, and even animals in his next life.   So the people created doll like warriors, eunuchs, and livestock which were buried in the pits guarding the emperor's tomb.

The soldiers' have been nicknamed the "naked Terra Cotta warriors".

Archaeologists believe the soldiers were dressed in silk, which would have decayed over time.   Above is a replica of what may have been placed in the pits.  


Kim in Korea

From our hotel window ... not quite as busy at Beijing!


  1. Oh wow... so many problems with the flight. Too bad they didn't speak English and explain what happened to you. I hope the other passengers helped you!

  2. Fascinating place. And I'm sure glad you made it there safely after all the mishaps with the plane.

  3. My goodness, you are having quite an adventure. Sounds like you have had some wonderful tours and tour guides!

  4. I remember when the figures were first found. How exciting to see them.

  5. I hope to see the terracotta soldiers. My friend visited Xian a few years ago.

  6. Lucky your plane woes worked out!

  7. Wow that is great! Airports are the same everywhere.

  8. I continue to be amazed at your experiences and pictures! So glad everything is working out - eventually.

  9. The plane broke and they "fixed it" Uh, nope, don't think I would want to get on it, LOL. The terracotta soldiers are cool, I loved that one of my fave authors (Kerrelyn Sparks) actually wrote in a reference to them in one of her books. EAT PREY LOVE--Carlo's story :)