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Monday, February 17, 2014

What is The Terracotta Army? - China World Heritage at its best - XIAN

The statues of the Terracotta Warriors are obviously extremely beautiful. More beautiful that what you would expect after having seen them in the pictures.


What is the Terracotta Army and how you can visit The Terracotta Army Museum.

The Terracotta Army Museum is an hour from Xian, built in an elegant museum complex lacking, as it is usual in modern Chinese architecture, of round lines.

The statues of the Terracotta Warriors are obviously extremely beautiful. More beautiful that what you would expect after having seen them in the pictures.

The faces of the soldiers of the Terracotta Army are extremely expressive, actually more expressive than the ones of the many contemporary Chinese people intent at shouting at their mobile phones even in front of the statues of their proud ancestors.

Three different sites collect the Terracotta Warriors, pits as they call them (called Pit 1, Pit 2, Pit 3).

Unfortunately the statues of the Terracotta Warriors are too further away from the balconies where the visitors can stand to admire them.

The beards of the Terracotta Warriors, as most of the warriors have beards, differ from each statue.
The way the hairs are knotted differs too, even the position of their hands.
The horses are finely decorated as they are the coaches, the only with the umbrella is astonishingly wonderful.

The statues of the Terracotta Army have been left exactly where they were found.

So today you can see the statues exactly in the same position they were supposed to be when they were collocated originally.

Unfortunately the statues of the Terracotta Warriors are too further away from the balconies where the visitors can stand to admire them.

The result is the statues are to far from the eyes of the visitors to be fully appreciated, as what it is extremely interesting to take time to admire the features and the expression of each single statue.

Infact the beards of the Terracotta Warriors, as most of the warriors have beards, differ from each statue. The way the hairs are knotted differs too, even the position of their hands.

The moustaches, the armour, the position and even the shoes are different from a Terracotta Warrior to the other.

All the different ranks of the army are represented.

In Pit 1 the army is in pre-fighting position.

In Pit 3 the high officials are intent in an important briefing.

Pit 2 is interesting in its own way. Here you don't see an army, but you see innumerable heads, torsos, hands shattered in pieces as they were found by the archaeologists.

In Pit 1 the army is in pre-fighting position.

The story of the Terracotta Warriors is truly fascinating and revealing.

The Terracotta Army are the most important part of the largest antique burial site of the world.

Qui Shi Huang, remembered as the first emperor that unify China, ordered to built this amazing burial place for himself and there he was effectively buried.

Qui Shi Huang lived between 210 BC and 260 BC, this should give you the idea of how old the statues are and how amazing is to think that such a  wonderful monument was built so many centuries ago!

The most enlightening way to look at this wonderful monument is to think that the Emperor wanted not only to celebrate himself, but to bring in its afterlife all the people that as an Emperor he needed.

This explain why in the burial place wasn't found only hundreds of soldiers of the Terracotta Army, but statues of stable attendants and skeletons of many horses buried alive.

But most than everything this explains the existence of the two wonderful miniature chariots I can admire today.

The horses are finely decorated as they are the coaches, the one with the umbrella is astonishingly wonderful.


The Terracotta Army is not just amazing statues of soldiers, but of horses too... lokk at this horse head. It look so real!




Visiting the Terracotta Army today is like to go back in a different era .
Two events are revealing of the history of the Terracotta warriors.

Few years after the death of the Emperor a revolutionary movement of peasants did set in fire the beautiful mausoleum and stole the weapons of the Terracotta Army.

The other relevant event, much more recent, is again related to the action of some local peasants who for pure chance discovered the site where the Terracotta Army was buried in 1976.

So the Terracotta Army is not just a wonderful monument part of the UNESCO Heritage, it is a unique photography of the Chinese society of the time.

Visiting the Terracotta Army today is like to go back in a different era and observe these soldiers as if they were alive, as alive, effectively, they look.


The Terracotta Army is not just a wonderful monument part of the UNESCO Heritage, it is a unique photography of the Chinese society of the time.


The Pit number 1 is the one that is probably more interesting to visit.

The soldiers of the Terracotta Army have a dignified expression. They don't look scared to fight. You can almost feel they are going to perform their duty of soldiers with order and coolness.

The eyes of the soldiers of the Terracotta Army are wide open, the arms rest at their sides, their backs are straight. they look like if the are walking very slowly towards the enemy, they are not running. Even the horses look as if they are advancing slowly.

A line of soldiers is looking left and one is looking right to protect the flanks. Another line is marching in front.

Who would have entered the tomb, at this times as today, would have faced first the imposing first line of the army.

I think the Terracotta Army is so popular and famous all over the world, not just for their beauty, but for the dignified expression of the faces of the soldiers.


The modern building containing one of the three pits.
Its modern architecture aims to remind the design of a royal building.

An officers briefing. (Pit 3).

Where and how to visit the Chinese Terracotta Army:

The Chinese Terracotta Army is relatively easy to visit.

Fly or travel by train to Xian. From Xian Train and Bus Station there are frequent buses to the Terracotta Army Museum, around an hour away from the town.

Depending how much you are interested in the Terracotta Army, you can spend at least a good half day visiting the Terracotta Army pits (see above) and the little museum and exhibition room.

Consider bringing with you food and drinks as they are quite expensive inside the museum.

Consider also hiring a professional guide at the entrance of the museum where the ticket office is. The guides are generally quite knowledgeable and since there is no much explanation on the site, hiring guide will help you having a better understanding army of the Terracotta Army history and meaning.

For a better understanding of the time and the history of China consider also visiting Xian Museum in Xian it is free and very interesting.

 
Are you planning to travel to China?


 
Read my page My China Project where you can find the list of all of my posts and the destinations covered in this blog in China.
 

 

Read also the page Visit China and the page What to know before to travel to China.








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