Terracotta Warriors Part 3

Restoration of the Warriors is still taking place.  these pictures show the state in which almost all the warriors were found; broken to bits and all over the place (in part due to raids and vandalism of General Xiang Yu less than five years after the death of the First Emperor - whom they were placed to protect).

After excavation, they Warriors are re-assembled in the upright position my China's leading architects and other invited to participate.  They will then be placed in battle formation with the rest of the Army.

Terracotta Warriors Part 4

Details of the Warriors.  Some closer sots of the warriors to let you see the detail of the unique statues - all of which have a different face (provided they have a head at all - one of the raids seemed to be to decapitate the statues).

Discovered in late 1980, the last 3 pictures show a four horse war chariot with mounts - one of two objects not to scale.  This is likely because of the expense of making these objects in bronze.

Warrior replicas for tourists

Of course no wonder of the world is complete without a gift-shop.  Here are some photos of replica models being made.  Available from 10cm in hight to 'actual size'.  If you are tacky enough, you can even have a replica of your own head used to top the larger statues off!

Xi'an's Great Mosque

There is a nice, peaceful Mosque in the busy centre of Xi'an - it was given special protection during the Cultural Revolution, so it was not destroyed. Unusually, it is completely Chinese in design and construction, apart from some Arabic lettering.  

Just outside the Mosque grounds is the busy street market of the Islamic section of the city.

Tienanmen Square

Tienanmen Square is a bit of a strange place. The square itself is crawling with police, army, and security agents, and as your guide is talking, you see what appear to be Chinese nationals sidling up to the group and listening-in on what is being said. Some suggested this may have a sinister objective...

Anyway, here are some snaps of this odd, and vast public square (the largest in the world).

The Forbidden City

The Forbidden City is where the Emperor, the Empress, and many of the hundreds of Concubines lived back in the Dynastic ages.

It was called the Forbidden City because apart from staff, common people were Forbidden to enter.

It is an impressive scale, and seems mostly to be defensive, until you get right to the centre where the living quarters are. The paving stones you see on the ground everywhere go 15 layers deep in a criss-cross formation to prevent marauders from tunneling under and into the courtyard.

The large colanders you see were used to store water in case of fire, and are all over the Forbidden City. Of course, they have sprinklers now, so they lye empty. They were raised in stone with a gap in order to burn a fire below them in winter to prevent the water turning to ice, as it can get as low as -20°C in a cold Beijing winter.

The small creatures you see on the up-turned eves (which, incidentally, are up-turned to allow more light into the buildings) represent the importance of the building and, therefore, how wary anyone should be before blundering in! They are mythical beasts led by a human, and chased by a dragon. There can be from one to 10 (excluding the human and dragon), with 10 being reserved for the most important buildings.