History of Xi'an

 Xi'an has been destroyed many times in its long history and rebuilt elsewhere. The city used to be called Feng, Xianyang Changan and DaxingchengXi'an was the capital of the first emperor of China.

4,400 BC

Banpo was built approx. 5 km east of today's Xi'an at the Chan He river. The settlement had about 500 inhabitants. Interesting finds from the Neolithic Yangshao culture are displayed at the Historic Museum of Shanxi.

1,100 BC

On the east and west banks of the Feng River, the cities of Feng and Hao are founded by the western Zhou dynasty. 

770 BC

The two cities are destroyed by barbarians and the Zhou move to Luoyi (Luoyang). 

350 BC

The Qin Dynasty moves its headquarters from Yong (Fengxiang) to Xianyang. Xianyang is a city a few kilometers west of present day Xi'an.

221 BC

The first emperor Qin Shihuangdi defeaed the other kingdoms of China and united the country. To keep the conquered territory quiet over 120,000 people were relocated from the defeated provinces as hostages to the capital of Xianyang. The first emperor of China Qin Shihuangdi unified the script, the standard units and built roads to unite the country. The terracotta army was built to protect his tomb. After his death, the Qin Dynasty falls apart and the Han Dynasty takes over.

206 BC

The western Han Dynasty established their new capital Changan south of Xianyang. About 300,000 people lived in the city, which was surrounded by a 25 km long city wall made of rammed earth. The Checkerboard pattern of Changan served as model to the japanese capitals of Nara and Kyoto.

111 BC

The Han Dynasty expands its empire south by conquering Yunnan and Guangdong.

18 AD

The capital is badly destroyed by an uprising and relocated to Chengzhou (Luoyang). 


The Sui Dynasty makes Changan the capital again. But a new city was created south of the old town. The new city was called Daxingcheng


In the Tang Dynasty, the city was called Changan again and expanded. The city was surrounded by a 9.7x8 , 6 km long and 12 m thick wall. The city had over 1 million inhabitants. The Checkerboard pattern of Changan served as model for the japanese capitals of Nara and Kyoto.


Changan is conquered by rebels and the Tang Dynasty court takes refuge in Chengdu.  


The Tang Dynasty is falling and Xi'an is becoming less important. The following Zhou Dynasty made Kaifeng their capital.


In the Ming Dynasty, Xi'an experienced an upswing, but remained significantly smaller than in the Tang period. 


The current city wall was built.


Puyi, the last emperor abdicated in Beijing after all of China's provinces had separated from the Qing Dynasty and declared the Republic of China.


Mao Zedong proclaims the People's Republic of China in Beijing.   


In Lintong, a small town about 30 km east of Xi'an, farmers discover the famous Terracotta Army while digging a well. 


Deng Xiaoping announces the opening policy. The first special economic zones are allowed on the coasts.


The demonstrations on Tian An Men Square in Beijing are broken up with tanks.  


The first subway line of Xi'an opens.


More than 5 million people live in Xi'an. The Xi'an region has grows to over 10 million inhabitants. 





The history of Xi'an