A Night on the City Wall

A Lunar New Year in China means family gathering, good foods, fun and shinning lights.

The city of Xi’an is surrounded by a city wall, which was initiated around 1,400 years ago and completed around 600 years ago.  It’s the most complete city wall that has survived in China, as well being one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world.

The city wall now stands 12 meters (40 feet) tall, 12-14 meters (40-46 feet) wide at the top and 15-18 meters (50-60 feet) thick at the bottom.  It covers 13.7 kilometers (8.5 miles) in length with a deep moat surrounding it.  Every 120 meters, there is a rampart which extends out from the main wall.  All together, there are 98 ramparts, which were built to defend against the enemy climbing up.  Each rampart has a sentry building, in which the soldiers could protect the entire wall without exposing themselves to the enemy.  Besides, the distance between every two ramparts is just within the range of an arrow shot from either side, so that they could shoot the enemy, who wanted to attack the city, from the side.  On the outer side of the city wall, there are 5,948 crenellations, namely battlements. The soldiers can outlook and shoot at the enemy.  On the inner side, parapets were built to protect the soldiers from falling off.

Even though growing up in Xi’an, I barely had any experience on its city wall.  During this past Lunar New Year, I insisted on visiting the city wall, especially at night in order to see the light display on the wall and to feel the State of Mind of whom built the rich histories at my hometown.  On the fourth day of Lunar New Year, my sister drove me there at night.

The weather was nice and warm, it was really crowded on the wall.   With the help of my sister (by carrying my tripod), I managed to snap some photos on the wall, its surroundings and the lantern display.


It was a truly fun journey to see the treasures left from ancient time, which are timeless and Resilient, to re – visit the part of Chinese history and to do solo photography.

11 thoughts on “A Night on the City Wall

  1. Gorgeous, Yan. Did you go home again this New Year? Happy New Year of the Monkey to you and your family.
    I love the old city wall in Xian – its wonderful it is so intact. I’ve read in some places that the layout of the Xian was supposedly constructed to represent Qian – the first hexagram of the Yi Jing. Who knows?


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