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Xian City Wall (Chengqiang)

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Xi’an has one of the most extensive and best-preserved defensive walls in the world. This colossal structure was started under the Ming Dynasty in 1370, a few years before the Drum and Bell Towers, and replaced an earlier wall which encompassed a much larger area.

You can get an idea of the Xian City Wall's - or Chengqiang - extraordinary thickness on the wide terrace which surmounts it. There are 98 ramparts, each with its own sentry house, as well as 18 gateways, of which the most impressive is the South Gate. The huge rectangle is further encompassed by a moat, showing the builders were leaving nothing to chance. This is now complemented with charming landscaped gardens.