Tuesday, March 29, 2011

China - Ancient Capital City Xi'an

Ancient Capital City - Xi'an.

Sent by Grace, a postcrosser from Nanjing in China.

This is from Wikipedia : Xi'an (Chinese: 西安; pinyin: Xī'ān) is the capital of the Shaanxi province, and a sub-provincial city in the People's Republic of China. One of the oldest cities in China, with more than 3,100 years of history, the city was known as Chang'an before the Ming Dynasty. Xi'an is one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China, having held that position under several of the most important dynasties in Chinese history, including Zhou, Qin, Han, Sui, and Tang. Xi'an is the eastern terminus of the Silk Road and home to the Terracotta Army.

Since the 1990s, as part of the economic revival of interior China especially for the central and northwest regions, the city of Xi'an has re-emerged as an important cultural, industrial and educational centre of the central-northwest region, with facilities for research and development, national security and China's space exploration program.

The two Chinese characters "西安" in the name Xi'an literally mean "Western Peace", whilst the pronunciation in the local Xi'anese dialect is almost the same as the Standard Mandarin pronunciation based on Hanyu Pinyin. Throughout history the city's name has often changed. At the time of the Zhou Dynasty, from around 1046 BCE it was called "Fenghao" (沣鎬) then renamed Chang'an, meaning "Perpetual Peace", during the Han Dynasty (206 BCE - 220 CE). It changed in 581 CE to Daxing (大興) during the Sui Dynasty then again became Chang'an from 618 CE during the Tang Dynasty. During the Yuan Dynasty (1270-1368 CE), the city was first given the name Fengyuan (奉元), followed by Anxi (安西) then Jingzhao (京兆). It finally became Xi'an in the year 1369 CE at the time of the Ming Dynasty. This name remained until 1928, then in 1930 it was renamed Xijing (西京), or "Western Capital". The city's name once again reverted to its Ming-era designation of Xi'an in the year 1943.

Xi'an is abbreviated in Chinese to either Hao or Tang (唐). The former abbreviation is derived from the Zhou Dynasty name Haojing, whilst the latter comes from the name of the Tang Dynasty.

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