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Xian — The Terra Cotta Soldiers

From the city of Xian to the site of the Terra Cotta Soldiers was to be a 45 minute bus ride.   In the morning just after having breakfast and coffee, that is an important 45 minutes.   But traffic was terrible.   There was roadwork in progress and the management of traffic trying to get through this construction was nonexistant.   No reducing of the number of lanes prior to the construction, police who did nothing.   The 45 minutes turned into about one and a half hours.   The last 30 minutes or so was not so pleasant.

But we made it and where we stopped to depart from the bus there were no restrooms.   Restrooms were yet another 15 minute walk.   Finally be got to the much needed restrooms and from there it was a cakewalk.  

The Terra Cotta Soldiers are most interesting.   There are thousands of these soldiers, archers, horses and chariots that were buried with the Emperior Qin Shi Huang more than 2,000 years ago.   Reincarnation was a belief and it was believed that when the Emperior returned in another life, he would need an army to protect him.  

It is also interesting that prior to 1974, this was unknown and unthinkable.   In March of that year, the local farmers were drilling water wells when they discovered some pottery fragments and ancient bronze weapons.   The rest, excuse the pun, is history.

This is the main museum building.   You may notice that it seems a little “hazy”, yes the air here was that bad.   So bad that this is a bit improved over the original.  

Once inside we see this huge excavation.   This is Pit Number 1, housed in an steel arched structure with an area of 172,200 square feet, almost 4 acres.   We were but a small number of the 2 million people that visit this museum every year.  

Below is a rendering of the overall museum area.   The entire museum area covers over 49 acres and is nicely designed with plantings and trees and brenches for sitting.   The other photographs are of reproductions available for sale.

We see here Pit Number 2.   It is not excavated to the extent of Pit Number 1 and it appears that some work is still being done in this pit.

About 6,000 pieces of the Terra Cotta Soldiers have been excavated.   It is estimated that there might be another 8,000 still buried but no attempts will be made to uncover them.   This will be left for future generations to discover.   The following photographs were taken of displays in a glassed-in exhibit in the museum.   Finished with the museum, we went directly to the airport.

From Xian we flew to Beijing.   Once in Beijing, we were hoteled in the Beijing Ritz-Carlton.   My, my, what a nice hotel.   To see more of this fine hotel, click here   Then click on “Photo Tour” in the left column.   Within the tab, Guest Rooms and Suites, our room was as shown in photos 6 through 9.   Short of visiting the web site sponsored by Ritz-Carlton, the photographs below were taken for our memory.

The frosted glass is the shower.   Strange but it revealed nothing.

Tomorrow — Beijing