Army of Terracotta Warriors

May 6, 2008

Tom – We were picked up at 8:30 and taken to a factory where they make terracotta products and shown the production process. 

This was accomplished quickly and we were then lead into a huge showroom with crafts from around China.  Of course we were expected to buy something – we didn’t bite and asked our guide to continue to the burial mound and tomb of Qin Shi Huang the man that united China and became the first Emperor in 221 BC.  This is the location of the famous Army of Terracotta Warriors.

There are three pits that have been excavated so far unearthing the remains of over 7000 life size terracotta figures.  Pit 1 is the largest and is covered by an airplane hanger sized building.  The soldiers, archers, horses, chariots, etc. are in battle formation and no two are alike!


Pit 2 (building 2) contains over 1300 figures and they have placed five in glass containers for close-up viewing – a kneeling archer, standing archer, officer, general and cavalryman with his horse. 

Appears to be something amiss here

The famous “Kneeling Archer”

Pit 3 (building 3) contains 72 figures and is believed to be the headquarters due to the high-ranking officers discovered there. 

There is also a small museum near the entrance where they have an extraordinary pair of half sized bronze chariots.

Chariot 2


We had lunch on site (did not try the “Three Snake Wine”)

and then asked to be taken to the Forest of Stelae Museum (our extra cost!).  It was not on our agenda, however, we told the guide that we did not want to go on the scheduled herb market tour and endure another sales pitch.  The museum (indoor and outdoor) has over 1000 stone stelae (inscribed tablets), maps and paintings. 

The tablets have been brought here from throughout China and have inscribed on them the historical events (battles, public records, architectural designs, Confucian classics, etc.) of the period. 

The Nestorian tablet (781) contains the earliest record of Christianity in China.

 Stelae Garden



In the late afternoon we asked to be dropped off at the City Wall to do our own bike tour. 

The walls were originally built during the Ming Dynasty (1370) and are about 55 feet thick at the base and 36 feet high. 

We rented bikes and covered the 9 mile rectangular route on top of the walls in an hour and a half. 

The first side of the rectangular


A center entrance

Carry Me

Another corner

Final leg – notice the kites

Afterwards we went to the De Fa Chang restaurant for their famous dumplings


Shared a Chinese beer with our dumplings

We then took a city bus to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda for the light and music show.  Note the picture of Helen standing among the fountains.

It was a good day!            

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