Terracotta Army,  Xi'an - China  June  2014

My fifth route in China was visiting the emperor's underground army during my Xi'an travel. I stayed in a single room in a nice hostel in Xi'an. Although I asked the reception how I could go to the underground army, we could not agree because they did not speak English. A Chinese girl who listen to me at that time and spoke English clearly said that she also wanted to go there, and if I wanted, we could go together. Her name was Elsa. She said she was 21 years old, had a degree in psychology, and would go to the United States for a master's degree in rehabilitation. It would be a good opportunity for me to go with a Chinese guide. We met in the lobby at 8 o'clock the next morning, and there was another girl who wanted to join us and was studying medicine. First, they learned the bus lines from their phones. First, we took an urban bus to the train station and then transferred to the bus that would take us from there. The 1st gallery in the museum is the most beautiful. Excavations and restorations continue in galleries 2 and 3. We left by setting a clock and meeting point in Gallery 1. This was necessary for me to take pictures comfortably. There were too many tours and visitors. If I had come with a tour, it would be very difficult to take pictures among their running pace and the crowd. I would pay a serious fee. It cost a total of 10 yuan to come with these girls. One arrival, 3.5 Turkish Lira with my money. Since I am over 60, I paid a reduced fee to the museum. On the way back, I invited them to dinner at a street restaurant close to the hostel. They accepted it happily and after dinner put the remaining foods in the table in a plastic bag and bought it for later.

The Terracotta Army is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. It is a form of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210 - 209 BCE with the purpose of protecting the emperor in his afterlife.

The figures, dating from approximately the late third century BCE, were discovered in 1974 by local farmers in Lintong County, outside Xi'an, Shaanxi, China. The figures vary in height according to their roles, with the tallest being the generals. The figures include warriors, chariots, and horses. Estimates from 2007 were that the three pits containing the Terracotta Army held more than 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses, and 150 cavalry horses, the majority of which remained buried in the pits near Qin Shi Huang's mausoleum. Other terracotta non-military figures were found in other pits, including officials, acrobats, strongmen, and musicians. The Terracotta Army is part of a much larger necropolis. Ground-penetrating radar and core sampling have measured the area to be approximately 98 square kilometers.

The necropolis was constructed as a microcosm of the emperor's imperial palace or compound and covers a large area around the tomb mound of the first emperor. The earthen tomb mound is located at the foot of Mount Li and built in a pyramidal shape, and is surrounded by two solidly built rammed earth walls with gateway entrances. The necropolis consists of several offices, halls, stables, other structures as well as an imperial park placed around the tomb mound.

The Qin Shi Huang Tomb and the Terra Cotta Army were included in the World Heritage List by UNESCO in 1987. Today is considered the 8th wonder of the world.  (Source: en.wikipedia.org)