History of Xi'an
en.xa.gov.cn     Updated: 2019-01-31

A world renowned historical and cultural city, Xi'an was chosen more often than any other city as an ancient dynastic capital. Its influence has been very wide. Xi'an is the cradle of the Chinese nationality, the birthplace of the Chinese civilization and the representative of Chinese culture. In China’s remote antiquity, “Lantian Ape Man” lived in its region; in the Neolithic Period, “Banpo Villagers” settled there to set up their tribes; and in the 11th century BC, King Wen of the Zhou dynasty established the two capitals of Feng and Hao on the banks of the Fenghe River, initiating its brilliant history as a thousand-year capital of China.

The city was first established more than 3,100 years ago and was a capital of 13 dynasties over 1,129 years, including the Western Zhou (c. 11th century -771 BC), the Qin (221-207 BC), the Western Han (206 BC-AD 8), the Xin (9-23), the Eastern Han (25-220), the Western Jin (265-317), the Former Zhao (304-329), the Former Qin (351-394), the Later Qin (384-417), the Western Wei (535-556), the Northern Zhou (557-581), the Sui (581-618), and the Tang (618-907). Xi'an is among the Top Four Ancient Capitals of the world, in the company of Athens, Rome and Cairo. It once functioned as the political, economic and cultural center of China and as the starting point of the Silk Road.

Thanks to its long history and rich culture, Xi'an has yielded numerous cultural relics, the most famous of which is the Terracotta Army excavated in suburban Xi'an in the 1970s, now credited as the eighth wonder of the world. The total number and value of Xi'an's relics rank first among cities of China. Some of them are unique in China and rare in the world.