Born in 259BC, a 22 year old young ruler from the western state of Qin had enough of the warring states around him. This one man made a decision – a decision that changed the course of history. In his vision he sought to put an end to war mongering quarrels and unite the land. He smote the war mongers and subjugated them. Very soon he was lord of all and China was born in 221BC. This man was Emperor Qin Shi Huang – the first Emperor of China whose tomb till today is guarded by thousands of warriors who the world mesmerizingly knows as the Terracotta Warriors.
He died in 210 BC after an unsuccessful search for the elixir of life. After his death, his story soon faded into legend. Emperors came and went and the world soon forgot the great Qin Shi Huang. But how can you keep a legend like him hidden for long. He surfaced 2200 years later in the 20th century to stun the modern world.
In 1974 a bunch of humble farmers made a discovery while digging a well. Buried under the earth and timber were vaults filled with thousands of terracotta warriors in battle formation. Generals, soldiers, archers, and horses defying time, stand erect as a reminder of Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s military success against the warring states in his campaign to unite China. It was a testament to his glory and military prowess.
This is the story of my experience on facing the Terracotta Warriors Xian…
This is one of the few places on Earth that captivated me as a child. I dreamed of one day seeing these and wrote a massive essay on them when I was in Primary School. I still haven’t managed to get there (one day) so I loved reading about your experience with them. I love the fact that they included everything an army would need – those horses are amazing. Just the skill alone… Love!
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When the Terracotta exhibition came down to Singapore, I was dying to go and kept pushing it to another date thinking I will eventually go. The exhibition came and went and I had not seen them. I was disappointed in myself for not making time. But this experience has redeemed everything!
Aren’t the Terracotta Warriors amazing?!! I loved my visit to Xi’an and just like you was mesmerised by the terracotta statues.
I can’t believe your visit was put on hold by Robert Mugabe, though – that’s amazing!
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I know right! I was like how long does a President take to view all 3 pits?? Then I realised they had cordoned off the area way before he even arrived! Sigh….
Great photos! It really is an impressive sight, isn’t it? Our visit coincided with that of the supposed farmer who unearthed them, who was there signing autographs and selling books. Thankfully we didn’t have to wait in the sun for four hours for him!
Did you make it to the Shaanxi History Museum while you were there? It has an outstanding collection of the warriors on display and you can get unbelievably close to them!
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Yes I sure did! The Shaanxi History Museum was awesome but it was also very very crowded. 🙂 I suddenly realised that we may have been travelling around Xi’an during local Chinese school holidays!
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I was surprised by the sheer number of soldiers! Great sight to see!
This is an amazing cultural treasure….I haven’t been there but I would love to go. Sites like this give us such a unique look into the cultures that came before us. Fascinating!