City Wall
China, Xian

One of the attractions of Xi'an is the Ming era wall, which offers a picturesque panorama of the old city overlooking the bell tower and the Drum Tower. Built during the Tang Dynasty, when the city was the capital, this is the only surviving city wall that exists in China. A similar structure was in Beijing, but it was destroyed in the mid-20th century during the construction of the subway. A rectangular wall 11.9 kilometers long, 12 meters high, 12-14 meters wide at the top, and 15-18 meters wide at the base, has 5,894 embrasures only on the outside. There are 4 watchtowers at the corners of the wall. Each of the 4 sides has a gate. Above each of the gates there are: a main tower, a shooting tower and paired observation towers.
The first emperor of the Ming dynasty, Zhu Yuanzhang, appointed his son as ruler of Xian. It was then that a new city was planned and a new twelve-meter fortress wall was built. Well-fortified gates, built according to all the rules of medieval fortification art, led to the city from each side of the city: drawbridge, deep moat, stone bag with a high balustrade. Having opened the gate, the defenders could let the enemy in and then fall asleep with a hail of arrows and stones. In each of the 98 watch towers, located at a distance of a shot from each other, a small military garrison was stationed. Gates in the city walls were the only way to leave the city.
The main tower is called Zhenglou. Jalou is a tower with a bridge, and Gianlow is a narrow tower. Zanglow Tower - internal - the main entrance to the city. Gianlow and Zanglow are connected by tunnels - Wengkeng - in them, in case of an attack, the city defenders ambushed. Eleven horse passages lead from Wengkeng to the top of the wall, the steps on them are designed so that the war horses can easily climb and descend.
The first city wall of Xi'an was built of earth, rammed layer by layer, slaked lime and rice gluten connected the layers. This made the wall extremely strong and stable. Later, the wall was completely bricked. On the top of the wall, every 40-60 meters are equipped with brick drainage drains. They played a very important role in the long-term protection of the city wall of Xian. Fortunately for the townspeople, all these fortifications were not needed. In the XV century, the capital of China was moved to Beijing, and Xi'an lost the status of the main strategic object of the country.
After restoration, a park is laid out on the wall, and fish can be caught in the canal surrounding the wall.

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