A city of central China; capital of ancient Chinese empire 221-206 BC; Also called: Sian, Singan, Changan, Hsian.
Industrial city and capital of Shaanxi province, China; It produces chemicals, electrical equipment, and fertilizers.
It was the capital of China under the Zhou dynasty (1066–221 BC); under the Han dynasty (206 BC–AD 220), when it was called Changan (“long peace”); and under the Tang dynasty 618–906, as Siking (“western capital”). The Manchus called it Sian (“western peace”), now spelled Xian. It reverted to Changan 1913–32, was Siking 1932–43, and again Sian from 1943. It was here that the imperial court retired after the Boxer Rebellion 1900.
Its treasures include the 600-year-old Ming wall; the terracotta army, consisting of pottery soldiers buried to protect the tomb of the first Qin emperor, Shi Huangdi; Big Wild Goose Pagoda, one of the oldest in China; and the Great Mosque 742.