If you are an ordinary person then you may have flowers and candles on your grave after your death. But if you were an emperor, especially Chinese emperor, you can build tomb size of a small town. But it would be boring to lie in peace in such extraordinary place alone so why not to build also some companions to join you. Several thousands should be enough…
TERRACOTTA WARRIORS AND HORSES….
…sometimes just called as Terracotta army, is collection of life size warriors, weapons and horses made of clay. Located in Shaanxi province in near surrounding of Xi’an city. The discovery of it is quite well known – sometimes in 1974 local farmers wanted to dig a water well. They dug and dug and dug out something truly unexpected and spectacular. These poor guys have never dug any other well here. But thanks to them we can admire one of the greatest discoveries of the 20th century.
Unfortunately even such historical gem has all attributes of Chinese commercial tourism. There are total three pits with the excavated clay statues. But before you get to them you first must go through barricade of Chinese ladies screaming into the speaker ”Tour guide, tour guide”, which makes their croaky voices even more unbearable, then through shops with souvenirs (some of them has absolutely nothing to do with terracotta army), toys, selfie sticks etc. I actually saw one shop selling a bear furs :-O ! And then you finally get to the big concrete square with three identical buildings.
Pit 1 is the biggest and in my opinion also the nicest. Once you step inside you immediately forget the circus outside. There are hundreds of statues staying just in front of you. It’s magical and also little bit scary! All these soldiers and horses have been here for more than 2000 years as a loyal after life companions of Chinese first emperor Qin. His tomb is nearby. It’s a pyramid shape building and it is said that the inner space is bigger than pyramids in Giza.
- Terracotta army museum is only a small part of much larger structure which was built as a microcosm of emperor’s compound. It consists buildings such as offices, halls or stables exactly like the real city above the ground
Pit two is smaller and deeper. There is a lot of uncovered parts and plenty of damaged statues as the ground collapsed on them within the centuries.
Pit three introduces individual solders and their roles such as archers, officers, cavalry men and so on and their weapons
Still a lot of statues haven’t been excavated. They remain buried under the soil, guarding their emperor…
- All the bronze weapons looked shiny new when unearth. Scientists revealed that ancient Chinese used chrome plating technology which protected the weapons against corrosion. This technology was invented by Americans in 1920th!
Tip: It’s very easy to get there from Xi’an city. It’s not very far away so you can take a taxi or little bit longer, less comfortable but much cheaper choice – bus. There are several buses starting from Xi’an bus station. It’s not very hard to find the right bus. First, they usually have some sign on the windscreen (surprisingly sometimes in English) but there is ALWAYS conductress who makes sure that no tourists will miss their bus.
When we went to see Terracotta army we choose to take a bus. Walking towards the bus station I suddenly heard some scream from passing by bus. It was the conductress shouting if we are going to Terracotta army. I confirmed and next second we were jumping into the bus in motion. So we were actually caught 🙂
Tickets are sold in the bus so you don’t need to look for ticket office