Ciey Wall, Xian
The city wall is very tall and fortified. It is 12 meters high, 12-14 meters wide on the top, and 15-18 meters wide at the base. Its circumference is 13.7 kilometers and the area earth, rammed layer upon layer. The base layer constituted the blended substance of earth, quicklime, and glutinous rice extract, which made the wall extremely strong and firm. Along the outer ridges of the wall there is a range of crenellated parapets which were built to protest soldiers from falling off while walking around on top of the wall.
Rampart and Watch Tower on City Wall
The watch towers
A watch tower is located on each of the four corners of the wall. The one at the southwestern corner is round, and the other three are square-shaped. On the top of the watch towers there is a corner-rampart, higher and larger than the sentry building on the ramparts. This shows the strategic importance of the corners of the city wall in war times.
The three gate towers
Main Gate Tower on City Wall
Zha Lou stands away from the wall and is used to lift and lower the drawbridge. The drawbridge, once lifted, would cut off the way both in and out of the city. Jian Lou stands in between of the other two. There are square windows in the front and on the two outer sides to shoot arrows from. Zheng Lou is the inner one and is also the formed a compound called Wong Cheng, where the main forces of the guarding army were usually stationed. From Wong Cheng, there are also horse passages leading to the top of the wall. These are gradually ascending steps that make it easy for chargers to ascend and descend. There are altogether 11 horse passages around the city. There is a wide and deep moat running around the city wall. In ancient times, when weapons were primitive, the moat could effectively prevent the enemy from attacking the city. Thus the Ming Dynasty city wall formed a complex and well-organized defense system
Xian City Wall
Opening Hours: Spring & Summer: 08：00－21：30
Fall & Winter: 08：00－19：00
Ticket Price: CNY 40