Results 1-10of 17 Reviews
by Linda Hoernke
St. George, Utah
June 5, 2010
From journal Tracking Dinosaurs in China
Rotherham, United Kingdom
February 13, 2010
From journal China's Ancient Capital
Halifax, Nova Scotia
December 27, 2009
Gravesend, United Kingdom
October 13, 2009
From journal Highlights of China
Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv, Israel
March 11, 2008
From journal Xian: The Western Garden
by Paul Bacon
April 24, 2006
From journal Xi'an
June 1, 2005
It’s a large complex, and being short on time, we took the 5RMB, open-sided bus ride up to the top. This is the cost of the return journey and makes short work of the uphill climb to the museum. Effectively, there are four buildings that you must visit. We went to the museum first, which housed the golden chariots and horses. These have been beautifully restored and are protected from the elements in sealed glass units. The chariots’ parasols look stunning, still protecting the rider from the elements and the lead horse, with its head plume standing proudly, ready to guide the other horses forward. I was less interested in the next section of the museum, which felt more like propaganda, as display cabinets sported photographs of international dignitaries who had visited the site.
Next we were advised to view the panoramic film presentation of the history of the birth and destruction of the Warriors. This did put the whole site into perspective and enabled me to view the "actual" Warriors with a basic knowledge of their place in history. It was a good film and about the right length. Now we were ready to make the journey to the home of the warriors. A short brisk walk and I could feel the excitement rising. We go up some steps and then enter the massive arena that houses the treasured warriors. I could smell the clay and almost feel history as the warriors appeared in my line of vision. Many stood erect, some without heads, and countless figures lay in various states of disarray, having been destroyed by the collapse of the vault’s roof or the mindless vandalism of marauding troops.
We both stand in awe, gazing at the figures, all with their own character and distinguishing marks. It was said that the emperor threatened to kill any of the men if they failed to produce a perfect figure or if there were similarities between the figures. No twins here! It’s best to forget the notion of restoration and just remind yourself that what you see is a small percentage of the whole. A second building contains less well-maintained warriors, although there are some superb horses and clear evidence to support the story of a rampant fire in one of the vault’s corridors – you can clearly see the charred remains of a wooden beam.
Amusingly, our guide had told us, in a hushed whisper, that we might be fortunate enough to see the "old man who found the site." Guess who was at a book signing!
From journal East of Xian
July 29, 2004
There is long brick road that you walk up for quite a distance from the drop off point before reaching the ticket counter. The Y90 was the most expensive entrance fee that I paid anywhere. A billboard with a map of the buildings is just past the kiosk. There is the movie building the 3 pits and the museum. Watching the 360 surround movie for 20 minutes in the souvenir shop is an absolute must. Not only do you watch the events leading to destruction and burial of the warriors, but also how they were discovered by the men working to find well water.
The process for making the soldiers and how the head was placed into the neck was also shown. This explained how easily the heads were chopped off and always came off with the neck. Not only were the faces individual, but uniforms of various rank were also included. I also learned that originally they were painted (yet more work!) and it was a fire that burned the colors off, which occurred after warriors had ravaged the place beheading statues.
The first pit had the most completely recovered warriors that seemed to go on forever in row after row of unique soldiers. There were also a few horses and in the very back you could get much closer to some of the statues that had been recently restored. So far they have uncovered 6000 warriors and the work is ongoing.
The second pit contained partially excavated warriors and horses. Here is where you could see how the layer upon layer was carefully being removed to uncover more warriors. The third pit was pretty much empty in the area where the archeologist work, but along the side was some excellent specimen encased in glass. Here is where I finally got to see the horses and chariots up close, along fully decorated officers. This is also were I could get a better idea of size in relation to myself. The details from moustache to buttons on the leaders to the harness and saddles on the horses showed incredible workmanship.
There is also a museum displaying the smaller items such weapons, medals, belts and such that could not necessarily be fitted to a warrior. Nonetheless pictures indicated what weapons a warrior would be holding based on the position in the line, the way the a hand was held or arm extended.
If all history could be so up close and personal…
From journal HIKE HEAVENS Of XIAN
April 30, 2004
In 1974, a Chinese farmer found the warriors while digging a well. The excavation has been underway since then, and is still not finished today. They are still a ways from the tomb, which, if it has not been plundered, may hold a lot of treasure. The warriors are about 2000 years old.
It costs Y90 ($11) for entrance to the museum, Y65 in the off-season (before March 1.) Summer is the busiest time. Since everything is indoors except walking from building to building, I would recommend going in the winter. I had seen them previously, in January 2003, and it was a lot busier in April. First you may want to see the movie, that tells you a little of the history and how they were made. If you are lucky, outside the theater the farmer who found the warriors may be autographing books. (He is probably now a very wealthy man by Chinese standards.)
There are three excavation pits open to the public. The two smaller pits don't have much, although one has horses that were pulling a chariot.
The large pit is the one you always see in pictures. When you enter, there is an air of reverence. Since they were buried, you look down on them from above. Although their colors are now faded, they seem as if they were alive, rows and rows of life-size soldiers. No two faces are the same; each is unique. It's kind of sad to see them, as some are missing hands or even heads. The wooden chariots are gone now, but the drivers still hold out their arms as if the reins were still in their hands.
In the museum, you can see some artifacts that have been discovered with the warriors. They all had real weapons, which have been removed from the pits. There are a few on display in the museum. There are also a couple of highly detailed bronze chariots and teams of horses. One looks sort of like a hearse, and its purpose was to carry the Emperor's soul. The Emperor had everything he needed for his next life; the chariots even had spare reins!
They say no pictures, however everyone is taking them anyway. I think the flash may be damaging to the warriors. Fortunately, my digital camera can use natural light.
From journal Xian, Gateway to the Silk Road
May 26, 2003
Our mini-bus parked about 100 meters from the museum's entrance. There was a flea market of sorts on the way to the entrance with locals selling everything from animal skins (fox and furs) to little Terracotta Warrior figurines.
Our guide chose a different approach to tackling the information section - she loaded us with details before entering the exhibits and then let us browse around. The disadvantage to this is that you end up asking questions about exactly what she's already told you. Which left her rather unamused.
The Terracotta Warriors were found by accident in 1974 when some peasants started digging a well. The army of Terracotta Warriors was built to protect the tomb of Emperor Qing (who had basically brought China's tribes together into one nation). The Warriors all have unique faces and expressions, which is why it is assumed that the statues were based on Emperor Qing's actual army. The army included standing & kneeling archers, infantry, etc. One can even discern rank by the Warrior's hair style.
What the peasants found turned out to be 3 pits that have been excavated and pit 1 is the largest one with its 6000 soldiers. The Warriors were not originaly found intact. It seems that a jealous army general had discovered the tomb and smashed and set fire to most of pit 1. Those Warriors found intact are displayed in glass boxes. They were also originally colour-painted but expousre to the light and air upon excavation dissolved most of the paint. Since they began excavating, the archeologists have been grappling with the mighty task of putting the Warriors together again.
We saw Pit 3 next - the 'headquarters' of the army. Pit 2 is half the size of Pit 1 and still being excavated.
After a long day and FINALLY getting to see the famed Terra Cotta Warriors ... we were almost crushed on the way out of the museum. The locals were desperately trying to sell their wares - about an inch from our faces. If you do decide to buy something then, don't be afraid to bargain hard - RMB10 for 5 Warrior figurines and a 5-pack of postcards is a good starting point. Just make sure you have the right change ...
From journal A Day in Xi'an