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Xi’An: “Capital” of China

Mar 25, 2009

What?! It’s not Beijing? Yes, and No.

Yes: Beijing is the current capital of P.R.China, and was capital of Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasty for over 700 years, which is the second longest time.

No:  in some sense, P.R.China is only the current dynasty along with over fifty previous ones recorded in the official historic books. Capital city has kept changing from one dynasty to another, due to political, economical or climate reasons. Among ~3,000 years of China history, over a dozen of cities had served as capital of China.

Which city had been serving as capital for the longest time?


Xi’an had been the capital of West Zhou, Han, West Wei, Sui and Tang dynasties, for over 1,000 years! Of these, Han and Tang are two of the most famous and respected dynasties in China history. Till now, the ethnic group of the majority of Chinese people is  called as Han, and all the Chinatowns overall the world are called as Tang Ren Jie (the street where people from Tang dynasty live) in Chinese.

In Xi’an, you could enjoy a lot of historic relics from Chin, Han, Tang dynasties. Emperor Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum and the Terra-cotta Warriors and Horses Museum are the most famous one, which is called as “the eighth wonder of the world”.

Xi'an Center of China

Xi'an Center of China

Geographic center of China

Besides historic reason, Xi’an is also located in the geographic center of China, as you can see on the map. Therefore, in some sense, Xi’an can be called as “Capital” of China.

[Further Reading]
Xi’An wikipedia

[Chinese Keywords]

[Image Sources]
1. folkw.com | 2. 517-029.com | 3. 51766.com

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  1. August 13th, 2009 at 00:16 | #1

    thanks for this history lesson – makes me want to go visit!

  2. August 13th, 2009 at 08:28 | #2

    My knowledge of China is so minimal, this was truly interesting to read!

  3. October 15th, 2009 at 11:12 | #3

    I wish I had the money to visit China. But thanks for all the interesting facts.

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