Passport to the World over 64 years. Pages from my Travel Diary
The Qin Terracotta Army Museum, Xian, China. Wednesday the 3rd. of May 1995
In 1995, Denise and I left Australia for Hong Kong arriving on the 28th. of April. We were undertaking a 33 day saga by train and bus, following the old Silk Road which started at Xian thence to Turpan, Urumqi, just southwest from Mongolia, over the border to Alma Ata in Kazakhstan, thence to Uzbekistan to visit Tashkent, Samarkand, and Bukhara. Then through the Ural mountains to Moscow, and finally by overnight train to fabulous St Petersburg.
But this diary entry is about visiting the site where the Terracotta Warriors are housed.
The Qin Terracotta Army Museum, Xian.
Understandably the people of Qin were most indignent with this practice, but when Duke Xian ascended the throne of the State of Qin in 384 BC, he banned this barbaric action, substituting burying slaves with using figurines as funerary objects.
Qin Shi Huang who founded the Qin dynasty in 221 BC, used 6,000 life size Terracotta Warriors and horses, covering an area of 14,000 square meters.
In 1974 a group of peasants digging a well made a wonderful discovery, they unearthed fragments of a life sized Terracotta Warrior. Excavation of the vault found several thousands of warriors and their horses, an entire Army designed to follow their Emperor into eternity.
This Army was found in three underground timber lined vaults, Pit No 1, contained hariots and 6,000 soldiers, Pit No 2, about 1,400 figures of cavalrymen, horses and infantrymen, Pit No 3, about 70 figures.
The Qin Terracotta Army Museum is a huge hangar like building, constructed over Pit No 1, it is air conditioned, and no photography is allowed within it.
The whole atmosphere is warlike, each figurine different from the others, and this site is attracting some 2 million visitors per year.
We felt privileged to have viewed this quite remarkable display.
In the exhibition hall to the left of this hangar, are housed two very wonderful bronze chariots. The larger of the two weighs in at 2,646 pounds, is 9.38 feet long by 3.51 feet wide, the chariot drivers and the horses all solid bronze, with the four horses painted white.
We both came away from this wonderful display enriched by it all, and believing that we had viewed one of the true wonders of the world. Should you visit China, you must go to Xian, and view the Terracotta Warriors.
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