The most scary army in clay – the terracotta warriors in Xi’an, China.

You’ve probably seen them in movies and tv-series: the enormous army of terracotta warriors in Xi’an, China. They are one of the top sights in China and with good reason. 

Terracotta_army_5256

We were not allowed to take photographs, so this is from Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 3.0

The site is close to Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s Mausoleum, who became emperor at 13. The warriors are part of the huge burial site and was created to protect the emperor in his afterlife. Each warrior is unique – maybe modelled after actual soldiers. The soldiers and the chariots are life-size, which is awe inspiring and the technical skills are definitely to be admired. All in all, there are about 7.000 soldiers, horses, chariots and weapons. This place is huge. It took 11 years to finish. Along with the mausoleum it took 720.00 builders. It is of course a UNESCO-site.

When I went there in 1999 there weren’t many tourists. We found some students that were very keen to practice their English so they gave us a small tour. This tour stands out as we talked a lot about being young and students in different countries and what their prospects were. They wanted to be the best of their class so they could travel abroad and study.

Legend tells that the tomb contains replicas of the area’s rivers and streams made with mercury flowing to the sea through hills and mountains of bronze. Precious stones such as pearls are said to represent the sun, moon, and other stars. This legend and the fascinating army have inspired many movies. If you want to see the warriors come to life watch “The great wall of china” with Matt Damon (but it’s not good).

We just took the local transportation but there a plenty of planned trips since this is one of the top sights in China. You need plenty of time, since the mausoleum is also worth visiting.

Have you been there lately? Leave a comment if you have more updated knowledge