HD Old City & City Wall including Muslim Quarter


| May 15, 2020

The ancient city of Xian is one of the oldest in China, and can trace its origins as a settlement to the Han dynasty (206-220BC). A good place to start an exploration of the city is at the city walls, which form a circumference of 14km with a gateway and watchtowers on each side. Most sections of the wall have been restored or even rebuilt and it stands at 12 metres high. By visiting the wall early in the morning, between 6am and 8am, you will be able to see the residents of Xian congregate to practise tai chi and enjoy dancing and music, a charming facet of Chinese culture and a wonderful way to get a taste of Chinese life and authentic customs. In the centre of the walled city, the bell in the Bell Tower was sounded at dawn when the city gates were opened, and the drum in the nearby Drum Tower at dusk when the gates closed. The renovated bell tower, dating from 1384, was moved to its present site in 1582 where it is now encircled by the downtown shopping and commercial centre. Near the Drum Tower is the Muslim quarter of Huajue Xiang, home to the old houses and narrow lanes of Xian's Muslim, or Hui, community. Islam has been the most enduring of all faiths in Xian. It was first introduced by Arab merchants during the Tang dynasty, and flourished during the Yuan (1279-1368). The Great Mosque survived the Cultural Revolution virtually unscathed and remains an outstanding Chinese re-interpretation of an Islamic place of worship.

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