Although walls have surrounded the old city of Xian (and Chang’an before it) since the Sui Dynasty (581-617), the one that stands today was constructed in 1370 by Hongwu Emperor of the Ming Dynasty. Today it is the oldest, the largest and best preserved city wall and fortification in the whole of China, thanks to the fact that it was well-maintained throughout the Ming and Qing Dynasties. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with three other city walls – Nanjing, Xingcheng and Jingzhou.
Enclosing 36 square kilometres of city, the wall is built in the Chinese rampart architectural style, with 98 ramparts placed along its length. At 12 metres tall and 18 metres wide at the bottom, the city wall is one of the Ming Dynasty’s greatest architectural feats. The top of the wall is a great place to get a bird’s eye view of the city – you can even stroll or cycle the whole perimeter.
What better way to experience it than on a Wendy Wu tour?