Chang'an ([ʈʂʰǎŋ.án] (listen); simplified Chinese: 长安; traditional Chinese: 長安) was an ancient capital of more than ten dynasties in Chinese history, today known as Xi'an. Chang'an means "Perpetual Peace" in Classical Chinese since it was a capital that was repeatedly used by new Chinese rulers. During the short-lived Xin dynasty, the city was renamed "Constant Peace" (Chinese: 常安; pinyin: Cháng'ān); the old name was later restored. By the time of the Ming dynasty, a new walled city named Xi'an, meaning "Western Peace", was built at the Sui and Tang Dynasty city's site, which has remained its name to the present day.

Chang'an had been settled since Neolithic times, during which the Yangshao Culture was established in Banpo in the city's suburb. Also in the northern vicinity of the modern Xi'an, Qin Shi Huang of the Qin dynasty held his imperial court, and constructed his massive mausoleum guarded by the famed Terracotta Army.

From its capital at Xianyang, the Qin dynasty ruled a larger area than either of the preceding dynasties. The imperial city of Chang'an during the Han dynasty was located northwest of today's Xi'an. During the Tang dynasty, the area to be known as Chang'an included the area inside the Ming Xi'an fortification, plus some small areas to its east and west, and a major part of its southern suburbs. The Tang Chang'an hence, was 8 times the size of the Ming Xi'an, which was reconstructed upon the premise of the former imperial quarter of the Sui and Tang city. During its heyday, Chang'an was one of the largest and most populous cities in the world. Around AD 750, Chang'an was called a "million people's city" in Chinese records, while modern estimates put it at around 800,000–1,000,000 within city walls.[1][2] According to the census in 742 recorded in the New Book of Tang, 362,921 families with 1,960,188 persons were counted in Jingzhao Fu (京兆府), the metropolitan area including small cities in the vicinity.[3]

Prince Yide's tomb, towers
Que towers along the walls of Tang-era Chang'an, as depicted in this 8th-century mural from Li Chongrun's (682–701) tomb at the Qianling Mausoleum in Shaanxi
Chang'an is located in China
Chang'an is in north central China.
Simplified Chinese长安
Traditional Chinese長安
Literal meaning"Perpetual Peace"
Standard Mandarin
Hanyu PinyinCháng'ān
Gwoyeu RomatzyhCharng-an
Yue: Cantonese
Yale RomanizationChèuhng-ōn
Southern Min
Tâi-lôTn̂g-an (col.)
Tiông-an (lit.)
Middle Chinese
Middle Chineseɖɨang-'an

Strategic and economic importance of ancient Chang'an

The strategic and economic importance of ancient Chang'an was mainly due to its central position. The roads leading to Gansu, Sichuan, Henan, Hubei and Shanxi all converged there. The mountainous country surrounding the Wei River basin led to the existence of only two practicable roads through to the south, and two through mountainous Gansu to the west, forming the beginning of the ancient Silk Routes. Chinese itineraries gave the following distances:

  • Chang'an to Chengdu (Sichuan), 2318 Tang era li (766 miles or 1233 km)
  • Chang'an to Lanzhou (Gansu), 1180 Tang era li (390 miles or 628 km)
  • Chang'an to Hami (Xinjiang), 4518 Tang era li (1493 miles or 2403 km)
  • Chang'an to Yining (Xinjiang), 8087 Tang era li (2673 miles or 4302 km)
  • Chang'an to Yarkand (Xinjiang), 9329 Tang era li (3083 miles or 4962 km)
  • Chang'an to Beijing, 1645 Tang era li (544 miles or 875 km).[4]

Han period

A terracotta horse head from the Han dynasty.

The site of the Han capital was located 3 km northwest of modern Xi'an. As the capital of the Western Han, it was the political, economic and cultural center of China. It was also the eastern terminus of the Silk Road, and a cosmopolitan metropolis. It was a consumer city, a city whose existence was not primarily predicated upon manufacturing and trade, but rather boasted such a large population because of its role as the political and military center of China. By 2 AD, the population was 246,200 in 80,000 households.[5] This population consisted mostly of the scholar gentry class whose education was being sponsored by their wealthy aristocratic families. In addition to these civil servants was a larger underclass to serve them.

Initially, Emperor Liu Bang decided to build his capital at the center of the sun, which according to Chinese geography was in modern Luoyang. This location was the site of the holy city Chengzhou, home of the last Zhou emperors. The magical significance of this location was believed to ensure a long-lasting dynasty like the Zhou, whom the Han sought to emulate. However, in practice the strategic military value of a capital located in the Wei Valley became the deciding factor for locating the new capital. To this end, it is recorded c 200 BC he forcibly relocated thousands of clans in the military aristocracy to this region.[5] The purpose was twofold. First, it kept all potential rivals close to the new Emperor, and second, it allowed him to redirect their energy toward defending the capital from invasion by the nearby Xiongnu. His adviser Liu Jing described this plan as weakening the root while strengthening the branch.

After the necessary political structure was set up, the area of the capital was divided into three prefectures and construction began. At its founding in 195 BC, the population of Changan was 146,000.[5] During the reign of Emperor Wu of Han, the diplomat Zhang Qian was dispatched westward into Central Asia. Since then, Chang'an city became the Asian gateway to Europe as the point of departure of the famous Silk Road. On 4 October 23 AD, Chang'an was captured and sacked during a peasant rebellion. The emperor, Wang Mang was killed and decapitated by the rebels two days later.[6] After the Western Han period, the Eastern Han government settled on Luoyang as the new capital. Chang'an was therefore also sometimes referred to as the Western Capital or Xijing (西京) in some Han dynasty texts. In 190 AD during late Eastern Han, the court was seized and relocated back to Chang'an by the notorious Prime Minister Dong Zhuo, as it was a strategically superior site against the mounting insurgency formed against him. After Dong's death (192) the capital was moved back to Luoyang in August 196, and to Xuchang in autumn 196.[7] By this time, many dynasties came to regard Chang'an as the symbolic site of supreme power and governance.

City walls

History of Xi'an
Map showing the history of city walls of Xi'an from Zhou dynasty to Qing dynasty.

The 25.7 km long city wall was initially 3.5 m wide at the base tapering upward 8 m for a top width of 2 m.[8] Beyond this wall, a 6.13 m wide moat with a depth of 4.62 m was spanned by 13.86 m long stone bridges. The wall was later expanded to 12–16 m at base and 12 m high. The moat was expanded to 8 m wide and 3 m deep. The expansion of the wall was likely a solution to flooding from the Wei River. The entire city was sited below the 400 m contour line which the Tang Dynasty used to mark the edge of the floodplain.[5]

Twelve gates with three gateways each per the ritual formulas of Zhou dynasty urban planning pierced the wall. These gates were distributed three per a side and from them eight 45 m wide main avenues extended into the city.[8] These avenues were also divided into three lanes aligned with the three gateways of each gate. The lanes were separated by median strips planted with Pine, Elm, and Scholar trees. Bachengmen Avenue was an exception with a width of 82 m and no medians.[5] Four of the gates opened directly into the palaces.

City structure

The overall form of the city was an irregular rectangle. The ideal square of the city had been twisted into the form of the Big Dipper for astrological reasons, and also to follow the bank of the Wei River. The eight avenues divided the city into nine districts. These nine main districts were subdivided into 160 walled 1×1 li wards.[5] About 50-100 families lived in each ward. Historically, Chang'an grew in four phases: the first from 200-195 BC when the palaces were built; the second 195-180 BC when the outer city walls were built; the third between 141-87 BC with a peak at 100 BC; and the fourth from 1 BC-24 AD when it was destroyed.

The Xuanpingmen gate was the main gate between the city and suburbs. The district north of the Weiyang Palace was the most exclusive. The main market, called the Nine Markets, was the eastern economic terminus of the Silk Road. Access to the market was from the Northeast and Northwest gates, which were the most heavily used by the common people. The former connect with a bridge over the Wei River to the northern suburbs and the latter connected with the rest of China to the east. An intricate network of underground passages connected the imperial harem with other palaces and the city.[9] These passages were controlled by underground gatehouses and their existence was unknown.

First Phase

In 200 BC after marking the boundaries of the three prefectures, which comprised the metropolitan region of Xianyang, Liu Bang appointed Xiao He to design and build the new capital. He chose to site the city on ruins of the Qin Dynasty Apex Temple (formerly, Xin Palace). This old Qin palace was meant to be the earthly mirror of Polaris, the apex star, where the heavenly emperor resided. This site, thus represented the center of the earth lying under the center of heaven with an axis mundi running upward from the imperial throne to its heavenly counterpart. The ruins were greatly expanded to 7×7 li in size and renamed Changle Palace (长乐宫; 長樂宮; Chánglè Gōng). Two years later, a new palace called Weiyang Palace (未央宮; Wèiyāng Gōng) was constructed 5×7 li.[5] Prime minister Xiao He convinced Liu Bang that both the excessive size and multiplicity of palaces was necessary to secure his rule by creating a spectacle of power.

Second Phase

In 195 BC, his son, Emperor Hui of Han began the construction of the walls of Chang'an and finished them in September 191 BC. The grid north of the palaces was built at this time with a 2° difference in alignment to the grid of the palaces.[5] The city remained quite static after this expansion.

Third Phase

Wu-ti began a third phase of construction which peaked on 100 BC with the construction of many new palaces. He also added the nine temples complex south of the city, and built the park. In 120 BC, Shanglin Park, which had been used for agriculture by the common people since Liu Bang was sealed off, was turned into an imperial park again. In the center of the park was a recreation of the three fairy islands in Kunming Lake.


  • Changle Palace (长乐宫; 長樂宮; Chánglè Gōng) Also called the East Palace. It was built atop the ruins of Qin Dynasty Apex Temple (Xin Gōng). After Liu Bang it was used as the residence of the Empress Regent. The 10,000 m wall surrounded a square 6 km2 complex. Important halls of the palace included: Linhua Hall, Changxin Hall, Changqiu Hall, Yongshou Hall, Shenxian Hall, Yongchang Hall, and the Bell Room.
  • Weiyang Palace (未央宮; Wèiyāng Gōng) Also known as the West Palace. The official center of government from Emperor Huidi onwards. The palace was a walled rectangle 2250×2150 m enclosing a 5 km2 building complex of 40 halls. There were four gates in the wall facing a cardinal direction. The east gate was used only by nobility and the north one only by commoners. The palace was sited along the highest portion of the ridgeline on which Chang'an was built. In, fact the Front Hall at the center of the palace was built atop the exact highest point of the ridge. The foundation terrace of this massive building is 350×200×15 m. Other important halls are: Xuanshi Hall, Wenshi Hall, Qingliang Hall, Qilin Hall, Jinhua Hall, and Chengming Hall. Used by seven dynasties this palace has become the most famous in Chinese history.
  • Gui Palace (桂宫 Gui gōng)Built as an extension of the harem built in 100 BC
  • North Palace (北宮 Běi Gōng) A ceremonial center built in 100 BC
  • Mingguang Palace (明光宫)Built as a guesthouse in 100 BC
  • Epang Palace (阿房宮; ē-páng gōng)
  • Jianzhang Palace (建章宫) Built in 104 BC in Shanglin Park. It was a rectangle 20×30 li with a tower 46 m high. The name means palace of establishing eternal rules.
  • Boliang Terrace

Jin, Sixteen Kingdoms and Northern Dynasties period

Chang'an was briefly the capital of the Western Jin dynasty from 312 to 316. It was also the capital of Former Zhao (318–329), Former Qin (351–385) and Later Qin (384–417). In 417, a century after the Western Jin lost Chang'an, the city reconquered by Liu Yu of Eastern Jin, who founded the Liu Song dynasty in 420. The city was lost to Northern Wei by 439. When Northern Wei split in two, Chang'an became the capital of Western Wei (535–557), and also of its successor state Northern Zhou (557–581).

Sui and Tang periods

Chang'an of Tang
Map of Chang'an in Tang Dynasty

Both Sui and Tang empires occupied the same location. In 582, Emperor Wen of the Sui dynasty sited a new region southeast of the much ruined Han Dynasty Chang'an to build his new capital, which he called Daxing (大興, “Great Prosperity”). Daxing was renamed Chang'an in year 618 when the Duke of Tang, Li Yuan, proclaimed himself the Emperor Gaozu of Tang. Chang'an during the Tang dynasty (618–907) was, along with Constantinople (Istanbul) and Baghdad, one of the largest cities in the world. It was a cosmopolitan urban center with considerable foreign populations from other parts of Asia and beyond. This new Chang'an was laid out on a north-south axis in a grid pattern, dividing the enclosure into 108 wards and featuring two large marketplaces, in the east and west respectively. Everyday, administrators of the two marketplaces would beat gong for three hundred times in the morning and evening to signify the start and stop of business. People lived in the wards were not allowed to go outside after curfew. Officials with higher-ranking had the privilege to live closer to the central avenue. Chang'an's layout influenced city planning of several other Asian capitals for many years to come. Chang'an's walled and gated wards were much larger than conventional city blocks seen in modern cities, as the smallest ward had a surface area of 68 acres and the largest ward had a surface area of 233 acres (0.94 km2).[10] The height of the walls enclosing each ward were on average 9 to 10 ft (3.0 m) in height.[10] The Japanese built their ancient capitals, Heijō-kyō (today's Nara) and later Heian-kyō or Kyoto, modelled after Chang'an in a more modest scale yet was never fortified.[11] The modern Kyoto still retains some characteristics of Sui-Tang Chang'an. Similarly, the Korean Silla dynasty modeled their capital of Gyeongju after the Chinese capital. Sanggyeong, one of the five capitals of the state of Balhae, was also laid out like Chang'an.

Much of Chang'an was destroyed during its repeated sacking during the An Lushan Rebellion and several subsequent events. Chang'an was occupied by the forces of An Lushan and Shi Siming, in 756; then taken back by the Tang government and allied troops, in 757. In 763, Chang'an was briefly occupied by the Tibetan Empire. And, in 765, Chang'an was besieged by the alliance of the Tibetan Empire and the Uyghur Khaganate. Several laws enforcing segregation of foreigners from Han Chinese were passed during the Tang dynasty. In 779, the Tang dynasty issued an edict which forced Uighurs in the capital, Chang'an, to wear their ethnic dress, stopped them from marrying Chinese females, and banned them from pretending to be Chinese.[12] Between 783 and 784, it was again occupied by the rebels during the Jingyuan Rebellion (涇原兵變). In 881, Chang'an was occupied by Huang Chao. In 882, Chang'an was taken back by Tang dynasty, however, the Tang forces, although welcomed by the inhabitants, looted Chang'an before being driven back by the forces of Huang Chao shortly afterward. In revenge Huang Chao conducted a systematic slaughter of the inhabitants after retaking the city. Chang'an was finally retaken by the Tang government in 883. However, in 904, Zhu Quanzhong ordered the city's buildings demolished and the construction materials moved to Luoyang, which became the new capital. The residents together with the emperor Zhaozong were also forced to move to Luoyang. Chang'an never recovered after the apex of the Tang dynasty, but there are still some monuments from the Tang era that are still standing.

After Zhu Quanzhong moved the capital to Luoyang, Youguojun (佑國軍) was established in Chang'an, with Han Jian being the Youguojun Jiedushi (佑國軍節度使). Han Jian rebuilt Chang'an on the basis of the old Imperial City. Much of Chang'an was abandoned and the rebuilt Chang'an, called "Xincheng (lit. new city)" by the contemporary people, was less than 1/16 of the old Chang'an in area.[13]

Layout of the city

The Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, built in 652 AD, located in the southeast sector of Chang'an.

During Tang, the main exterior walls of Chang'an rose 18 ft (5.5 m) high, were 5 miles (8.0 km) by six miles in length, and formed a city in a rectangular shape, with an inner surface area of 30 square miles (78 km2).[14] The areas to the north that jutted out like appendages from the main wall were the West Park, the smaller East Park, and the Daming Palace, while the southeasternmost extremity of the main wall was built around the Serpentine River Park that jutted out as well. The West Park walled off and connected to the West Palace (guarded behind the main exterior wall) by three gates in the north, the walled-off enclosure of the Daming Palace connected by three gates in the northeast, the walled-off East Park led in by one gate in the northeast, and the Serpentine River Park in the southeast was simply walled off by the main exterior wall, and open without gated enclosures facing the southeasternmost city blocks. There was a Forbidden Park to the northwest outside of the city, where there was a cherry orchard, a Pear Garden, a vineyard, and fields for playing popular sports such as horse polo and cuju (ancient Chinese football).[15] On the northwest section of the main outer wall there were three gates leading out to the Forbidden Park, three gates along the western section of the main outer wall, three gates along the southern section of the main outer wall, and three gates along the eastern section of the main outer wall.[16] Although the city had many different streets and roads passing between the wards, city blocks, and buildings, there were distinct major roads (lined up with the nine gates of the western, southern, and eastern walls of the city) that were much wider avenues than the others.[17] There were six of these major roads that divided the city into nine distinct gridded sectors (listed below by cardinal direction). The narrowest of these streets were 82 ft (25 m) wide, those terminating at the gates of the outer walls being 328 ft (100 m) wide, and the largest of all, the Imperial Way that stretched from the central southern gate all the way to the Administrative City and West Palace in the north, was 492 ft (150 m) wide.[18] Streets and roads of these widths allowed for efficient fire breaks in the city of Chang'an. For example, in 843, a large fire consumed 4,000 homes, warehouses, and other buildings in the East Market, yet the rest of the city was at a safe distance from the blaze (which was largely quarantined in East Central Chang'an).[18] The citizens of Chang'an were also pleased with the government once the imperial court ordered the planting of fruit trees along all of the avenues of the city in 740.[19]

Pools, streams, and canals

The Small Wild Goose Pagoda, built in 709 AD, damaged by an earthquake in 1556 but still standing, in the central sector of Chang'an.

Within the West Park was a running stream and within the walled enclosure of the West Palace were two running streams, one connecting three ponds and another connecting two ponds. The small East Park had a pond the size of those in the West Palace. The Daming Palace and the Xingqing Palace (along the eastern wall of the city) had small lakes to boast. The Serpentine River Park had a large lake within its bounds that was bigger than the latter two lakes combined, connected at the southern end by a river that ran under the main walls and out of the city.[16]

There were five transport and sanitation canals running throughout the city, which had several water sources, and delivered water to city parks, gardens of the rich, and the grounds of the imperial palaces.[19] The sources of water came from a stream running through the Forbidden Park and under the northern city wall, two running streams from outside the city in the south, a stream that fed into the pond of the walled East Park, which in turn fed into a canal that led to the inner city. These canal waterways in turn streamed water into the ponds of the West Palace; the lake in the Xingqing Palace connected two canals running through the city. The canals were also used to transport crucial goods throughout the city, such as charcoal and firewood in the winter.[19]

Locations and events during the Tang dynasty

Southwestern Chang'an

Locations and events in the southwest sector of the city included:[16][17][20]

South Central Chang'an

Gilt hexagonal silver plate with a feilian beast pattern
A Tang era gilt hexagonal silver plate with a Fei Lian beast pattern, found from a 1970 excavation in Xi'an.

Locations and events in the south central sector of the city included:[16][17][20]

  • 20 walled and gated wards
  • 3 Buddhist monasteries
  • 7 Daoist abbeys
  • 11 Family shrines
  • 1 Inn
  • An event in 815 where assassins murdered Chancellor Wu as he was leaving the eastern gate of the northeasternmost ward in south central Chang'an; the event took place just before dawn.
  • An event in 849 where an imperial prince was impeached from his position by officials at court for erecting a building that obstructed a street in the northwesternmost ward in south central Chang'an.
  • The infamous rebel An Lushan's garden
  • A garden with a pavilion where graduate students of the Advanced Scholar's Exam could hold 'peony parties'.
  • A walled ward with an empty field; in the 7th century it was originally a place where slaves, horses, cattle, and donkeys could be sold, but the entire ward was eventually transformed into a military training ground for crossbowmen to practice.
  • A special garden that provided food for the imperial crown prince's household.
  • A government garden that supplied pear-blossom honey, amongst other natural goods.

Southeastern Chang'an

Locations and events in the southeast sector of the city included:[16][17][20]

  • 13 walled and gated wards
  • 9 Buddhist monasteries
  • 3 Daoist abbeys
  • 5 Family shrines
  • 2 Inns
  • 1 Graveyard
  • The Serpentine River Park, which had one of the Buddhist monasteries and one of the family shrines of the southeastern sector of the city within its grounds.
  • A medicinal garden for the heir apparent was located in a northern walled ward of this southeast sector of the city. A pastry shop stood by the north gate of the same ward, along with the site of an ancient shrine where citizens came every third day of the third moon and ninth day of the ninth month.
  • A ward to the north of this southeast city sector had half of its area designated as a graveyard.
  • A purportedly haunted house
  • A large monastery with ten courtyards and 1897 bays; this monastery was home to the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda (built in 652), which still stands today at a height of 64 m tall. Graduate students of the Advanced Scholars Exam would come here to this monastery in order to inscribe their names. This same city ward also had a large bathhouse, an entertainment plaza, an additional monastery which had its own pond, and a mansion that had its own bathhouse.
  • A ward with another garden pavilion for graduate students to hold their 'peony parties'.
  • An inn that was attached to the rapid relay post office.
  • An apricot grove where graduate students could celebrate their success with feasts.

West Central Chang'an

Gilt silver eared cup
A Tang era gilt-silver ear cup with flower design, found from a 1970 excavation in Xi'an.

Locations and events in the west central sector of the city included:[16][22][23][24]

  • 11 walled and gated wards (including the large marketplace ward)
  • 22 Buddhist monasteries
  • 2 Daoist abbeys
  • 2 Family shrines
  • 3 Large water ponds
  • The West Market (西市); its surface area covered the size of two regular city wards, and was divided into 9 different city blocks. It sported a Persian bazaar that catered to tastes and styles popular then in medieval Iran. It had numerous wineshops, taverns, and vendors of beverages (tea being the most popular), gruel, pastries, and cooked cereals. There was a safety deposit firm located here as well, along with government offices in the central city block that monitored commercial actions.
  • The offices for Chang'an County, the western half of the city.
  • The mansion of a Turkic prince.
  • The main office of Chang'an City's mayor.
  • A bureau for managing the households of princes.
  • An event in 613 where a family threw their gold into the well of their mansion because they feared the city government would confiscate it.
  • A firm that rented hearses and other equipment for funerals, along with hiring exorcists.
  • An event in 813 where a sow in a pig sty gave birth to a deformed piglet that had one head, three ears, two connected bodies, and eight different legs.[25]
  • An event every day where the West Market (and East Market) would open at noon, announced by the 300 strikes on a loud drum, while the markets would close one hour and three quarters before dusk, the curfew signaled by the sound of 300 beats to a loud gong.[26] After the official markets were closed for the night, small night markets in residential areas would then thrive with plenty of customers, despite government efforts in the year 841 to shut them down.[26]

Central Chang'an

Locations and events in the central sector of the city included:[16][23][24]

  • 16 walled and gated wards
  • 17 Buddhist monasteries
  • 6 Daoist abbeys
  • 1 Official temple
  • 3 Family shrines
  • 3 Locations for Provincial Transmission Offices
  • 3 Inns
  • 2 Graveyards
  • A court for imperial musicians
  • A minister's mansion that had a 'pavilion of automatic rain', that is, air conditioning by the old Han Dynasty invention of technician Ding Huan's (fl. 180 AD) rotary fan.[27]
  • An event where a scholar was once injured on the head here by a cuju football, and out of pity for his plight, the emperor gave him a personal gift of twenty-five pints of drinking ale.
  • An event in 720 where the walls of one ward partially collapsed during a heavy storm.
  • A mansion belonging to Princess Taiping (died 713).
  • An event where a dwarf lady magician was said to provide the illusion of changing herself into a bamboo stalk and a skull.
  • The main Capital Schools, which were the Sons of State Academy, the Grand Learning Academy, and Four Gates Academy.
  • An assortment of other colleges for law, mathematics, and calligraphy.
  • A ward that had the largest number of entertainment plazas in the city.
  • A mansion home that was valued at 3 million Tang-era copper coins in the 9th century.
  • Another mansion that had a pavilion of plastered walls covered with an aromatic herb from Central Asia
  • The Small Wild Goose Pagoda, which still stands today.
  • A shop that sold fancy pastries
  • The Pavilion of Buddha's Tooth, located in a monastery where graduate students of the Advanced Scholars Exam could enjoy their 'cherry feasts' in honor of their academic success.
  • A government-run mint for casting copper-coin currency
  • A small field for playing horse polo

East Central Chang'an

Gilt silver jar with pattern of dancing horses
A gilt-silver jar with a pattern of dancing horses, found from a 1970 excavation in Xi'an.

Locations and events in the east central sector of the city included:[16][17][23][24]

  • 11 walled and gated wards
  • 11 Buddhist monasteries
  • 7 Daoist abbeys
  • 1 Family shrine
  • 1 Foreign place of worship (church, synagogue, mosque, etc.)
  • 4 Locations for Provincial Transmission Offices
  • 3 Inns
  • 1 Graveyard
  • 1 Large water pond
  • The East Market (東市); like the West Market, this walled and gated marketplace had nine city blocks and a central block reserved for government offices that regulated trade and monitored the transactions of goods and services. There was a street with the name "Ironmongers' Lane", plenty of pastry shops, taverns, and a seller of foreign musical instruments.
  • The North Hamlet (the Gay Quarters); the homosexual community of Chang'an was concentrated here in a ward to the northwesternmost area of the city sector. Homosexuality in China was often called 'pleasures of the bitten peach', the 'cut sleeve', or the 'southern custom'. Along with the concentration of Chang'an's gay community here, the North Hamlet was also heavily concentrated with many of the city's entertaining courtesans, as well as its notorious brothel houses for prostitution.[28] Aside from the prostitutes, the Chinese courtesans were more or less similar to the Japanese geisha, and unlike the bar and tavern maids they had excellent table manners, polite mode of speech and behavior, and were reserved for entertaining the elite of society.[29]
  • The Offices of Wannian County, the eastern half of the city
  • The main office of the City Archives
  • The government bureau of the Directorate for Astronomy
  • An event in 775 where an Uyghur Turk stabbed a man to death in broad daylight in the East Market before being arrested in the marketplace shortly after. However, his Uyghur chieftain named Chixin (赤心) or Red Heart broke into the county prison and freed the murderous culprit, wounding several wardens in the process.
  • A mansion of a princess with a large polo playing field in the backyard
  • An event where Emperor Gaozong of Tang (r. 649-683) once held the wedding feast here for the marriage ceremony of his daughter Princess Taiping.
  • The beer brewery of Toad Tumulus Ale.
  • An event in 788 where a gang of four thieves killed their arresting officer and fled the city.
  • An event where the assassins of Chancellor Wu hid in the bamboo groves of a mansion in this sector of the city after the murder.
  • A Buddhist monastery with an entertainment plaza
  • A home of a 'face reader' (physiognomist) where daily flocks of people came to have their fortunes told.
  • A mansion bestowed by the emperor to An Lushan (who became the most infamous rebel during the Tang era) in 750 that was converted into a Buddhist abbey after his demise. There was also a garden in a separate ward designated for An Lushan.
  • A mansion of a high-ranking general in the mid-8th century that was recorded to have 3,000 inhabitants of the extended family living on the premises.
  • A Zoroastrian Fire-Temples from Iran
  • An event where the imperial court demoted an official because it was discovered that he had assembled a large number of female entertainers here in a dwelling that was not his home.
  • An event in the 9th century where three maidservants committed suicide by leaping into a well and drowning once they heard the rebel Huang Chao was ransacking their mistress's mansion.

Northwestern Chang'an

Locations and events in the northwest sector of the city included:[15][16][22]

  • 12 walled and gated city wards
  • 27 Buddhist monasteries
  • 10 Daoist abbeys
  • 1 Official Temple
  • 1 Family shrine
  • 6 Foreign places of worship (Church, synagogue, mosque, etc.)
  • 1 Inn
  • 1 Graveyard
  • The military barracks for the Divine Strategy Army.
  • A shrine for Laozi's father
  • Three Zoroastrian Fire-Temples
  • Three Persian Nestorian-Christian churches of worship
  • The office of the Inexhaustible Treasury
  • An event in 828 where a eunuch commanded fifty wrestlers to arrest 300 commoners over a land dispute, whereupon a riot broke out in the streets.
  • The home of An Jinzang, who cut his belly open with a knife in order to defend Emperor Ruizong of Tang against charges of treason.
  • A mansion of Princess Anle
  • The Inexhaustible Treasury; in 713, Emperor Xuanzong liquidated the highly lucrative Inexhaustible Treasury, which was run by a prominent Buddhist monastery in Chang'an. This monastery collected vast amounts of money, silk, and treasures through multitudes of anonymous rich people's repentances, leaving the donations on the premises without providing their name. Although the monastery was generous in donations, Emperor Xuanzong issued a decree abolishing their treasury on grounds that their banking practices were fraudulent, collected their riches, and distributed the wealth to various other Buddhist monasteries, Daoist abbeys, and to repair statues, halls, and bridges in the city.

North Central Chang'an

Locations and events in the north central sector of the city included:[15][16][22]

  • Large gated walls connected to the West Palace and the main outer walls of the city
  • 24 walled and gated wards
  • 14 Different armed guard units in 6 different wards
  • The August Enceintes; this large walled compound of 24 wards was the Administrative City, where the various offices and main bureaus of the central government were located (in front of the southern walls of the lavish West Palace).
  • The headquarters for the Service for Supreme Justice (Supreme court).
  • The Imperial factories
  • An event in 713 where a large carnival was held along the main avenue lined against the southern wall of the West Palace
  • The Imperial stables and hay fields for horses
  • The government halls for civil and military examinations
  • The Imperial ancestral shrine

Northeastern Chang'an

Locations and events in the northeast sector of the city included:[15][16][22]

  • 14 walled and gated wards
  • 13 Buddhist monasteries
  • 4 Daoist abbeys
  • 1 Family shrine
  • 3 Locations for Provincial Transmission Offices
  • 1 Inn
  • The Xingqing Palace; once a Buddhist monastery, it was converted to an Imperial palace in the early 8th century. Within the walled and gated grounds there was a large lake, two streams, an aloeswood pavilion, and an archery hall.
  • A large carriage park where officials visiting the Daming Palace could safely leave their horse-drawn vehicles for the day.
  • An entertainment ward in this sector that was considered to have the finest singers in the city, and another with the finest dancers.
  • An event where Empress Wu once donated one of her dressing rooms to a monastery here
  • An event where a eunuch who converted his mansion into a monastery held a feast where he demanded each guest to celebrate by striking the cloister's bell and donating 100,000 strings of cash.
  • An event in 730 where Emperor Xuanzong of Tang had four palace halls dismantled and reassembled as halls and gates for a Daoist abbey, the grounds of which was formally a large garden for the Bureau of Agriculture.
  • A residence for princes in the ward forming the northeast corner of the city
  • An event in 835 where palace troops captured rebel leaders in a tea shop that were planning a palace coup d'état against the chief court eunuchs.
  • An event in the early 9th century where the emperor spent 2 million strings of cash to purchase the former mansion of a venerated minister so that the dwelling could be returned to the minister's pious grandson.
  • A mansion of Princess Tongchang that had a water well lined with a railing made of pure gold and silver.
  • A court for imperial musicians
  • A large playing ground as a horse polo field
  • An event in 756 where the occupying rebel An Lushan ordered Sun Xiaozhe to have eighty three princesses, their husbands, and parties of Yang Guozhong and Gao Lishi murdered at Zongren Fang in reprisal for his already executed son An Qingzong.
  • A workshop for a maker of musical instruments
  • An event where a renowned but drunken artist painted an entire mural in one night at the north gate of a Buddhist monastery in the southwesternmost ward of this city sector.
  • A spot in the south central ward of this city sector where girls often played cuju football under a tree beside the road.
  • A street where the emperor would organize public entertainments to celebrate his birthday

West Palace

Jingyun Bell
The bronze jingyun bell cast in the year 711 AD, measuring 247 cm high and weighing 6,500 kg, now located at the Bell Tower of Xi'an

The West Palace to the north included:[15][16]

  • An archery hall
  • Polo grounds
  • Elaborate Gardens
  • Five large water ponds and three different streams
  • A cuju football field
  • A drum tower
  • A bell tower
  • The residence of the Crown Prince, dubbed the 'East Palace'
  • The Flank Court, where women were incarcerated for the crimes of their husbands and other menfolk of the family they remained loyal to.
  • The school for palace ladies
  • The Seat of the Eunuch Agency

West Park

The West Park grounds included:[15][16]

  • A river stream
  • Three gates leading into the West Palace
  • Ice pits for refrigerating foods during the spring and summer

Daming Palace

The Daming Palace grounds included:[15][16]

  • Double walled gates at the north end leading out of the city, and one walled gate at the south end leading into the city
  • A large lake
  • An archery hall
  • A bathhouse
  • A storehouse for musical instruments
  • A drum tower
  • A bell tower
  • A cuju football field
  • A cockfighting arena
  • Academy of music for the actors and performers in the Pear Garden Troupe
  • A separate entertainment ward

East Park

The East Park grounds included:[15][16]

  • A large pond
  • Two streams (one leading into the park from under the wall, one feeding water into a city canal)
  • A cuju football field


For different buildings and locations in the entire city, the total numbers for each were:[16]

  • 111 Buddhist monasteries
  • 41 Daoist abbeys
  • 38 Family shrines
  • 2 Official temples
  • 10 City wards having one or multiple Provincial Transmission Offices
  • 12 Inns
  • 6 Graveyards
  • 7 Official foreign-religion churches

Citywide events

Citywide events of Chang'an include:[30][31][32][33][34]

  • Festivals of traditional Chinese holidays celebrated throughout the city (and empire) included:
    • New Year; the grandest of all festivals, and a seven-day holiday period for government officials. Civil officials, military officers, and foreign emissaries gathered first in the early hours of the morning to attend a levee, an occasion where omens, disasters, and blessings of the previous year would be reviewed, along with tribute of regional prefectures and foreign countries presented. It was also an opportunity for provincial governors to present their recommended candidates for the imperial examination. Although festival ceremonies in Chang'an were lavish, rural people in the countryside celebrated privately at home with their families in age old traditions, such as drinking a special wine, Killing Ghosts and Reviving Souls wine, that was believed to cure illnesses in the following year.
    • Lantern Festival; a three-day festival held on the 14th, 15th, and 16th days of the first full moon. This was the only holiday where the government lifted its nightly curfew all across the city so that people could freely exit their wards and stroll about the main city streets to celebrate. Citizens attempted to outdo one another each year in the amount of lamps and the size of lamps they could erect in a grand display. By far the most prominent was the one in the year 713 erected at a gate in Chang'an by the recently abdicated Emperor Ruizong of Tang. His lantern wheel had a recorded height of 200 ft (61 m), the frame of which was draped in brocades and silk gauze, adorned with gold and jade jewelry, and when it had its total of some 50,000 oil cups lit the radiance of it could be seen for miles.
    • Lustration; this one-day festival took place on the third day of the third moon (dubbed the "double-three"), and traditionally was meant to dispel evil and wash away defilement in a river with scented aromatic orchis plants. By the Tang era it had become a time of baudy celebration, feasting, wine drinking, and writing poetry. The Tang court annually served up a special batch of deep fried pastries as dessert for the occasion, most likely served in the Serpentine River Park.
    • Cold Food Festival; this solar-based holiday on April 5 (concurrent with the Qingming Festival) was named so because no fires were allowed to be lit for three days, hence no warmed or hot food. It was a time to respect one's ancestors by maintaining their tombs and offering sacrifices, while a picnic would be held later in the day. It was also a time for fun in outdoor activities, with amusement on swing sets, playing cuju football, horse polo, and tug of war. In the year 710, Emperor Zhongzong of Tang had his chief ministers, sons-in-law, and military officers engage in a game of tug of war, and purportedly laughed when the oldest ministers fell over. The imperial throne also presented porridge to officials, and even dyed chicken and duck eggs, similar to the practice on Easter in the Western world.
    • Fifth Day of the Fifth Moon; this one-day holiday dubbed the Dragon Boat Festival was held in honor of an ancient Chinese statesman Qu Yuan (c. 340-278 BC) from the State of Chu. Ashamed that he could not save the dire affairs of his state or his king by offering good council, Qu Yuan leaped into a river and committed suicide; it was said that soon after many went out on the river in boats in a desperate attempt to rescue him if still alive. This act turned into a festive tradition of boarding a dragon boat to race against other oarsmen, and also to call out Qu's name, still in search of him. The type of food commonly eaten during the Tang period for this festival was either glutinous millet or rice wrapped in leaves and boiled.
    • Seventh Night of the Seventh Moon; this was a one-day festival that was held in honor of the celestial love affair with deities associated with the star Altair (the male cow-herd deity) in the constellation Aquila and the star Vega (the female weaver maid deity) in the constellation Lyra. For this holiday, women prayed for the enhancement of their skills at sewing and weaving. In the early 8th century Tang servitors had erected a 100 ft (30 m) tall hall by knotting brocades to a bamboo frame and laid out fruits, ale, and roasts as offerings to the two stellar lovers. It was during this holiday that the emperor's concubines threaded polychrome thread into needles with nine eyes, while facing the moon themselves (in a ritual called "praying for skill [in sewing and weaving]").
    • Fifteenth Day of the Seventh Moon; this holiday was called All Saints' Feast, developing from the legend Mulian Rescues His Mother. in which the bodhisattva savior Mulian who had discovered his mother paying for her sinful ways while in purgatory filled with hungry ghosts. According to the tale, she starved there because any food that she put into her mouth would turn into charcoal. Then it was said that she told the Buddha to make an offering with his clergy on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, a virtuous act that would free seven generations of people from being hungry ghosts in Hell as well as people reborn as lower animals. After Mulian was able to save his own mother by offerings, Mulian convinced the Buddha to make the day into a permanent holiday. This holiday was an opportunity of Buddhist monasteries to flaunt their collected wealth and attract donors, especially by methods of drawing crowds with dramatic spectacles and performances.
    • Fifteenth Day of the Eighth Moon; this festival (today simply called the Moon Festival or Mid-Autumn Festival), took place in mid autumn, and was designated as a three-day vacation for government officials. Unlike the previous holiday's association with Buddhism, this holiday was associated with Taoism, specifically Taoist alchemy. There was a tale about a hare on the moon who worked hard grinding ingredients for an elixir by using a mortar and pestle. In folklore, a magician escorted Emperor Illustrious August to the palace of the moon goddess across a silver bridge that was conjured up by him tossing his staff into the air. In the tale, on the fifteenth day of the eighth moon, the emperor viewed the performance of "Air of the Rainbow Robe and Feathered Skirt" by immortal maids. He memorized the music, and on his return to earth taught it to his performers. For people in Chang'an (and elsewhere), this holiday was a means for many to simply feast and drink for the night.
    • Ninth Day of the Ninth Moon; this was a three-day holiday associated with the promotion of longevity (with chrysanthemum as the main symbol). It was a holiday where many sought to have picnics out in the country, especially in higher elevated areas such as mountain sides. Without the ability to travel away to far off mountains, inhabitants of Chang'an simply held their feasts at the tops of pagodas or in the Serpentine River Park. Stems and leaves of chrysanthemum were added to fermented grains and were brewed for a year straight. On the same festival the following year, it was believed that drinking this ale would prolong one's life.
    • The Last Day of the Twelfth Moon; on this holiday ale and fruit were provided as offerings to the god of the stove, after having Buddhist or Taoist priests recite scripture at one's own home (if one had the wealth and means). Offerings were made to the stove god because it was his responsibility to make annual reports to heaven on the good deeds or sins committed by the family in question. A family would do everything to charm the god, including hanging a newly painted portrait of the god on a piece of paper above their stove on New Years, which hung in the same position for an entire year. It was a common practice to rub in some alcoholic beverage across the picture of the deities mouth, so that he would become drunk and far too inebriated to make any sort of reasonably bad or negative report about the family to heaven.
  • Grand Carnivals; carnivals during the Tang period were lively events, with great quantities of eating, drinking, street parades, and sideshow acts in tents. Carnivals had no fixed dates or customs, but were merely celebrations bestowed by the emperor in the case of his generosity or special circumstances such as great military victories, abundant harvests after a long drought or famine, sacrifices to gods, or the granting of grand amnesties.[35] This type of carnival as a nationwide tradition was established long before the Tang by Qin Shihuang in the 3rd century BC, upon his unification of China in 221.[36] Between 628 and 758, the imperial throne bestowed a total of sixty nine different carnivals, seventeen of which were held under Empress Wu.[35] These carnivals generally lasted 3 days, and sometimes five, seven, or nine days (using odd numbers due so that the number of days could correspond with beliefs in the cosmos). The carnival grounds were usually staged in the wide avenues of the city, and smaller parties in attendance in the open plazas of Buddhist monasteries. However, in 713, a carnival was held in the large avenue running east to west between the West Palace walls and the government compounds of the administrative city, an open space that was 0.75 miles (1.21 km) long and 1,447 ft (441 m) wide, and was more secure since the guard units of the city were placed nearby and could handle crowd control of trouble arose.[37] Carnivals of the Tang Dynasty featured large passing wagons with high poles were acrobats would climb and perform stunts for crowds. Large floats during the Tang, on great four-wheeled wagons, rose as high as five stories, called 'mountain carts' or 'drought boats'.[38] These superstructure vehicles were draped in silken flags and cloths, with bamboo and other wooden type frames, foreign musicians dressed in rich fabrics sitting on the top playing music, and the whole cart drawn by oxen that were covered in tiger skins and outfitted to look like rhinoceroses and elephants. An official in charge of the Music Bureau in the early 7th century set to the task of composing the official music that was to be played in the grand carnival of the year. On some occasions the emperor granted prizes to those carnival performers he deemed to outshine the rest with their talents.
  • In 682, a culmination of major droughts, floods, locust plagues, and epidemics, a widespread famine broke out in the dual Chinese capital cities of Chang'an and Luoyang. The scarcity of food drove the price of grain to unprecedented heights of inflation, while a once prosperous era under emperors Taizong and Gaozong ended on a sad note.[39]

See also



  1. ^ (a) Tertius Chandler, Four Thousand Years of Urban Growth: An Historical Census, Lewiston, New York: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1987. ISBN 0-88946-207-0. (b) George Modelski, World Cities: –3000 to 2000, Washington, D.C.: FAROS 2000, 2003. ISBN 0-9676230-1-4.
  2. ^ Haywood, John; Jotischky, Andrew; McGlynn, Sean (1998). Historical Atlas of the Medieval World, AD 600-1492. Barnes & Noble. pp. 3.20, 3.31. ISBN 978-0-7607-1976-3.
  3. ^ New Book of Tang, vol. 41 (Zhi vol. 27) Geography 1.
  4. ^ Rockhill (1899), pp. 22-23, and n. 1.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Schinz, 1996
  6. ^ Robert Hymes (2000). John Stewart Bowman, ed. Columbia Chronologies of Asian History and Culture. Columbia University Press. p. 13. ISBN 978-0-231-11004-4.
  7. ^ de Crespigny, Rafe (2006). A Biographical Dictionary of Later Han to the Three Kingdoms (23-220 AD). Leiden: Brill. pp. 35–39. ISBN 9789047411840. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  8. ^ a b Ministry of Culture, P.R.Chin (2003)
  9. ^ Institute of Archaeology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, 2003
  10. ^ a b Benn, 50.
  11. ^ Ebrey, 92.
  12. ^ Edward H. Schafer (1963). The golden peaches of Samarkand: a study of Tʻang exotics. University of California Press. p. 22. ISBN 0-520-05462-8. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  13. ^ 薛平拴(Xue, Pingshuan), 五代宋元时期古都长安商业的兴衰演变
  14. ^ Benn, 47.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h Benn, xiv.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Benn, xiii.
  17. ^ a b c d e Benn, xviii
  18. ^ a b Benn, 48.
  19. ^ a b c Benn, 49.
  20. ^ a b c Benn, xix
  21. ^ Benn, 62.
  22. ^ a b c d Benn, xv
  23. ^ a b c Benn, xvi.
  24. ^ a b c Benn, xvii.
  25. ^ Benn, 54.
  26. ^ a b Benn, 55.
  27. ^ Needham, Volume 4, Part 2, 33, 233.
  28. ^ Benn, 67.
  29. ^ Benn, 64.
  30. ^ Benn, 149.
  31. ^ Benn, 150.
  32. ^ Benn, 151.
  33. ^ Benn, 152.
  34. ^ Benn, 153.
  35. ^ a b Benn, 155.
  36. ^ Benn, 154.
  37. ^ Benn, 156.
  38. ^ Benn, 157.
  39. ^ Benn, 4.


Further reading

  • Thilo, Thomas (2016), Chang'an - China's Gateway to the Silk Road, in: Lieu, Samuel N.C., & Mikkelsen, Gunner B., Between Rome and China: History, Religions and Material Culture of the Silk Road (Silk Road Studies, XVIII), Turnhout, 2016, p. 91-112
  • Cotterell, Arthur (2007). "The Imperial Capitals of China - An Inside View of the Celestial Empire." Pimlico. ISBN 978-1-84595-009-5. 304 pages.
  • Schafer, Edward H. "The Last Years of Ch’ang’an". Oriens Extremus X (1963):133-179.
  • Sirén, O. "Tch’angngan au temps des Souei et des T’ang". Revue des Arts Asiatiques 4 (1927):46-104.
  • Steinhardt, Nancy Shatzman (1999). Chinese Imperial City Planning. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
  • Xiong, Victor Cunrui (2000). Sui-Tang Chang’an: A Study in the Urban History of Medieval China. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Center for Chinese Studies.

External links

Preceded by
Capital of China
206 BCE-25 CE
Succeeded by

Coordinates: 34°16′N 108°54′E / 34.267°N 108.900°E

Air Chang'an

Air Chang'an (simplified Chinese: 长安航空; traditional Chinese: 長安航空; pinyin: Cháng'ān Hángkōng) is a Chinese domestic airline. Its main operating base is Xi'an Xianyang International Airport, serving several cities in Shaanxi Province. Initially an independent carrier, Air Chang'an merged with Hainan Airlines in 2000 and was later absorbed into that airline. Air Chang'an resumed service as an independent airline in May 2016, providing flights to four Chinese cities with three Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

An Lushan Rebellion

The An Lushan Rebellion was a devastating rebellion against the Tang dynasty of China. The rebellion overtly began on 16 December 755, when general An Lushan declared himself emperor in Northern China, thus establishing a rival Yan Dynasty, and ended when Yan fell on 17 February 763 (although the effects lasted past this). This event is also known (especially in Chinese historiography) as the An–Shi Rebellion or An–Shi Disturbances (simplified Chinese: 安史之乱; traditional Chinese: 安史之亂; pinyin: Ān Shǐ zhī luàn), as it continued after An Lushan's death under his son An Qingxu and his deputy and successor Shi Siming, or as the Tianbao Rebellion (天寶之乱), as it began in the 14th year of that era.

The rebellion spanned the reigns of three Tang emperors before it was finally quashed, and involved a wide range of regional powers; besides the Tang dynasty loyalists, others involved were anti-Tang families, especially in An Lushan's base area in Hebei, and Arab, Uyghur and Sogdian forces or influences, among others. The rebellion and subsequent disorder resulted in a huge loss of life and large-scale destruction. It significantly weakened the Tang dynasty, and led to the loss of the Western Regions.

BBK Electronics

BBK Electronics Corporation (Chinese: 广东步步高电子工业有限公司) is a Chinese multinational firm specializing in electronics such as television sets, MP3 players, digital cameras and cell phones. It markets smartphones under the Realme , OPPO, Vivo and OnePlus brands, and Blu-ray players, headphones and headphone amplifiers under the OPPO Digital division. BBK Electronics' headquarters and production base are located in Chang'an, Dongguan. The latest member of the BBK Electronics group is "imoo".The corporate address is 23 Bubugao Avenue, Wusha Village, Chang'an Dist, Dongguan, 523860 China. It is the highest taxpayer in Chang'an.In Q1 2017, BBK Electronics shipped 56.7 million smartphones, surpassing both Huawei and Apple to become the 2nd largest smartphone manufacturer in the world, just behind Samsung. In September 2017, BBK toppled Samsung to become the largest smartphone seller in India.

Baicheng Chang'an Airport

Baicheng Chang'an Airport (IATA: DBC, ICAO: ZYBA) is an airport serving the city of Baicheng in China's northeastern Jilin Province. It is located in the town of Taohe (洮河) in Taobei District, 16.5 kilometres (10.3 mi) from the city center. The airport received approval from the central government on October 14, 2012, and construction began on October 26, 2012. The total investment is 480 million yuan. The airport was opened on 31 March 2017, the fifth civil airport in Jilin province.

Chang'an, Dongguan

Chang'an Town (Chinese: 长安镇; pinyin: Cháng'ān zhèn) is an industrial town in the southwest of the Dongguan prefecture-level city in the Pearl River Delta of Guangdong Province, China. The population of Chang'an was 594,809 at the 2000 Census, making it the most populous town (zhèn) in China at that count.

Chang'an Avenue

Chang'an Avenue (simplified Chinese: 长安街; traditional Chinese: 長安街; pinyin: Cháng'ān Jiē), literally "Eternal Peace Street", is a major thoroughfare in Beijing, China.

It is often referred to as the Shili Changjie (simplified Chinese: 十里长街; traditional Chinese: 十里長街; pinyin: Shílǐ Chǎngjiē), meaning the Ten Li Long street.

Chang'an is the old name for Xi'an which was the capital of China during the Tang Dynasty and other periods.

Strictly speaking, Chang'an Avenue only encompasses West Chang'an Avenue and East Chang'an Avenue. However, it is also used to refer to the stretch from Fuxingmen on the Western 2nd Ring Road to Jianguomen on the Eastern 2nd Ring Road.

In very broad terms, it refers to the stretch of road (the Extended Chang'an Avenue) as the route from Shijingshan District through to Tongzhou District, including portions of the Jingtong Expressway.

This article, and related articles, consider it to be the road from Fuxing Road through to the beginning of the Jingtong Expressway (E. 5th Ring Road). Others have defined it as the road from Shijingshan Road through to Dawangqiao on Jianguo Road.

In 2009 the road was widened to 10 lanes, as part of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

Chang'an District, Shijiazhuang

Chang'an District (simplified Chinese: 长安区; traditional Chinese: 長安區; pinyin: Cháng'ān Qū) is in the northeast of the urban core of Shijiazhuang, the capital of Hebei province, China. The area is 110.24 km2 (42.56 sq mi). There are 426,500 residents, among which 109,700 residents are farmers. The leading pharmaceutical manufacturer in China, North China Pharmaceutical Group Corp (NCPC) located in Chang'an District, Shijiazhang.

Hebei Airlines has its corporate headquarters in the Shijiazhuang World Trade Plaza Hotel (石家庄世贸广场酒店; 石家莊世貿廣場酒店; Shíjiāzhuāng Shìmào Guǎngchǎng Jiǔdiàn) in Chang'an District.

Chang'an District, Xi'an

Chang'an District (simplified Chinese: 长安区; traditional Chinese: 長安區; pinyin: Cháng'ān Qū; literally: "long peace") is one of nine districts of Xi'an, the capital of Shaanxi province, China. It is the most spacious of the nine districts and third-largest out of all 13 county-level divisions of Xi'an, while it is also the second most-populous. The district borders the prefecture-level cities of Shangluo to the southeast and Ankang to the southwest, Weiyang and Yanta Districts to the north, Baqiao District to the northeast, Lantian County to the east, and Huyi District to the west.

Chang'an University

Chang'an University (Chinese: 长安大学; pinyin: Cháng'ān Dàxué) is a university located in Xi'an, China. Chang'an is the ancient name of Xi'an which means "Perpetual Peace" in Classical Chinese. It is one of the State "211 Project" key development universities and is directly under the administration of the Ministry of Education. The university was formed by the merger of the former Xi'an Highway University, Xi'an Engineering Institute and Northwest Institute of Construction Engineering on April 18, 2000. It has five campuses (The Main, Yanta, Xiaozhai, Weishui and Taibai) in Xi'an.The Weishui Campus is for undergraduates and the other ones are mainly for postgraduates and social practices. Moreover, Chang’an University has the only automobile proving field in Weishui Campus in China. It is a Chinese Ministry of Education Double First Class Discipline University, with Double First Class status in certain disciplines.

Changan Automobile

Chang'an Automobile (Group) Co., Ltd. is a Chinese automobile manufacturer headquartered in Chongqing, China, and a state-owned enterprise. Its principal activity is the production of passenger cars, microvans, commercial vans and light trucks.Chang'an designs, develops, manufactures, and sells passenger cars sold under the Chang'an brand and commercial vehicles sold under the Chana brand. It operates joint ventures with Ford (Changan Ford), Groupe PSA (Changan PSA), Mazda (Changan Mazda) and Suzuki (Changan Suzuki) which respectively produce Ford, DS Automobiles, Mazda and Suzuki branded passenger cars for the Chinese market. It also has a joint venture with Jiangling Motor Corporation Group (JMCG), which produces SUVs sold under the Landwind marque.

Chang'an is considered to be one of the "Big Four" Chinese automakers, and manufacture of 3 million units in 2016 saw the company rank fourth among China's automakers by production volume. It is China's second most popular car brand, with 1.4 million Changan cars sold in 2016. A subsidiary of Changan, Chongqing Changan Automobile Company (SZSE: 000625), is listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (but is also state controlled).

Changan Ford Mazda

Changan Ford Mazda (officially Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Co., Ltd.) was an automotive manufacturing company headquartered in Chongqing, China and a joint venture between Changan Automobile, Ford Motor Company and Mazda. Its principal activity was the manufacture and sale of Ford and Mazda branded passenger cars in China.

In December 2012 the activities of Changan Ford Mazda were restructured and separated into two new joint ventures: Changan Ford Automobile Co., Ltd. and Changan Mazda Automobile Co., Ltd. Changan Ford was established as a 50:50 joint venture between Changan and Ford incorporated in Chongqing and assumed all of Changan Ford Mazda's Ford-related business. Changan Mazda was established as a 50:50 joint venture between Changan and Mazda incorporated in Nanjing and assumed all of Changan Ford Mazda's Mazda-related business.

Changan Suzuki

Changan Suzuki (officially Changan Suzuki Automobile Co., Ltd.) is an automobile manufacturing company headquartered in Chongqing, China and a joint-venture between Chang'an Automobile Group and Suzuki. Chang'an began assembling subcompact commercial trucks under license from Suzuki in 1990, and in 1993 the two companies formed Chang'an Suzuki to build licensed versions of the Suzuki Alto and Suzuki Cultus.

Emperor Xizong of Tang

Emperor Xizong of Tang (June 8, 862 – April 20, 888), né Li Yan, later name changed to Li Xuan (Chinese: 李儇, changed 873), was an emperor of the Tang dynasty of China. He reigned from 873 to 888. He was the fifth son of his predecessor Emperor Yizong and was the elder brother of his successor Emperor Zhaozong. His reign saw his realm overrun by the great agrarian rebellions led by Wang Xianzhi and Huang Chao, and while both were eventually defeated, by the end of Emperor Xizong's reign, the Tang state had virtually disintegrated into pieces ruled by individual warlords, rather than the imperial government, and would never recover, falling eventually in 907.

Guo Si

Guo Si (pronunciation ) (died 197), also known as Guo Duo, was a military general serving under the warlord Dong Zhuo during the late Eastern Han dynasty of China. He assisted Dong Zhuo in his many campaigns and served as a subordinate of Dong Zhuo's son-in-law, Niu Fu, after Dong Zhuo relocated the imperial capital to Chang'an. He later became one of the de facto regents of Emperor Xian, wherein they occupied the capital and held the emperor and imperial officials hostage. However, his downfall came when he quarrelled with his co-regent, Li Jue. He and Li Jue were ultimately defeated by Yang Feng and Dong Cheng, who assisted the emperor to flee the capital. Guo Si was eventually betrayed and murdered by one of his subordinates.

Huang Chao

Huang Chao (835 – July 13, 884) was a Chinese smuggler, soldier, and rebel, and is most well known for being the leader of a major rebellion that severely weakened the Tang dynasty.

Huang was a salt smuggler before joining Wang Xianzhi's rebellion in the mid-870s. After splitting with Wang, his army turned south and conquered Guangzhou. In 881, his troops captured the capital Chang'an, forcing Emperor Xizong of Tang to flee. Huang proclaimed himself the Qi emperor, but was defeated by the Tang army led by the Shatuo chieftain Li Keyong in 883 and forced to desert Chang'an. Following successive defeats, including to former subordinates Zhu Wen and Shang Rang who had surrendered to Tang, Huang was killed by his nephew Lin Yan.

Li Jue (Han dynasty)

Li Jue (pronunciation ) (died 198), courtesy name Zhiran, was a military general serving under the autocratic warlord Dong Zhuo during the late Eastern Han dynasty of China. He later succeeded Dong Zhuo as the leader of the Liang Province faction after Dong Zhuo was murdered in a coup d'état, and was able to take over the Han imperial capital Chang'an, keeping Emperor Xian as a hostage. Despite being adept in military affairs, he was inept at politics, quarrelling with his fellow generals and making the bad decision to let Emperor Xian escape, greatly decreasing his power and precipitating his downfall.

List of places named after peace

The following is a list of geographic names denoting the concept of peace, in their respective language.

Tang dynasty

The Tang dynasty (; Chinese: 唐朝) or the Tang Empire was an imperial dynasty of China, preceded by the Sui dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. Historians generally regard the Tang as a high point in Chinese civilization, and a golden age of cosmopolitan culture. Tang territory, acquired through the military campaigns of its early rulers, rivaled that of the Han dynasty. The Tang capital at Chang'an (present-day Xi'an) was the most populous city in the world in its day.

The Lǐ family (李) founded the dynasty, seizing power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire. The dynasty was briefly interrupted when Empress Wu Zetian seized the throne, proclaiming the Second Zhou dynasty (690–705) and becoming the only Chinese empress regnant. In two censuses of the 7th and 8th centuries, the Tang records estimated the population by number of registered households at about 50 million people. Yet, even when the central government was breaking down and unable to compile an accurate census of the population in the 9th century, it is estimated that the population had grown by then to about 80 million people. With its large population base, the dynasty was able to raise professional and conscripted armies of hundreds of thousands of troops to contend with nomadic powers in dominating Inner Asia and the lucrative trade-routes along the Silk Road. Various kingdoms and states paid tribute to the Tang court, while the Tang also conquered or subdued several regions which it indirectly controlled through a protectorate system. Besides political hegemony, the Tang also exerted a powerful cultural influence over neighboring East Asian states such as those in Japan and Korea.

The Tang dynasty was largely a period of progress and stability in the first half of the dynasty's rule, until the An Lushan Rebellion and the decline of central authority in the later half of the dynasty. Like the previous Sui dynasty, the Tang dynasty maintained a civil-service system by recruiting scholar-officials through standardized examinations and recommendations to office. The rise of regional military governors known as jiedushi during the 9th century undermined this civil order. Chinese culture flourished and further matured during the Tang era; it is traditionally considered the greatest age for Chinese poetry. Two of China's most famous poets, Li Bai and Du Fu, belonged to this age, as did many famous painters such as Han Gan, Zhang Xuan, and Zhou Fang. Scholars of this period compiled a rich variety of historical literature, as well as encyclopedias and geographical works. The adoption of the title Tängri Qaghan by the Tang Emperor Taizong in addition to his title as emperor was eastern Asia's first "simultaneous kingship".Many notable innovations occurred under the Tang, including the development of woodblock printing. Buddhism became a major influence in Chinese culture, with native Chinese sects gaining prominence. However, in the 840s the Emperor Wuzong of Tang enacted policies to persecute Buddhism, which subsequently declined in influence. Although the dynasty and central government had gone into decline by the 9th century, art and culture continued to flourish. The weakened central government largely withdrew from managing the economy, but the country's mercantile affairs stayed intact and commercial trade continued to thrive regardless. However, agrarian rebellions in the latter half of the 9th century resulted in damaging atrocities such as the Guangzhou massacre of 878–879.

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