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Xian Old City Wall   

xian old city gateBuilt 600 years ago (1374 - 1378) in the Ming Dynasty, the Wall was added on the Tang Dynasty walls. Being the most prominent walls built after medieval time, it is also the best-kept and biggest city walls in Xian.
Since the location of Xian gives it strategic military importance, the Walls are very tall and were fortified. The eastern wall measures 2,590 meters, the western wall is 2,631.2 meters, the southern wall measures 3,441.6 meters, and the northern wall is 3,244 meters, totaling 11,906.8 meters. By the end of 2004 a total of 13.74 kilometer-long walls have been connected.

The brick city wall forms a rectangle running 3.4 kilometers east-west and 2.6 kilometers north-south. Its circumference is 14 kilometers and it encompasses 11.5 square kilometer. The wall is 12 meters tall; it measures 15-18 meters in width at the base and 12-14 meters on top. On each side there is a city gate, over which the various towers majestically stand. There are four gates such as the East Gate (Everlasting Happiness), the West Gate (Eternal Stability), the North Gate (Pacifying the Outlying Areas) and the South Gate (Eternal Peace). The West Gate is the most impressive. The double gate system played an important role in repulsing enemy attacks. If the first gate were breached, the enemy would still find themselves outside the city wall and would be fired upon from the tower over the inner gate. Together the watchtowers, ramparts, and ninety-eight defense towers form an extremely tight system for military defense of the city.


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