The Buried Army of Terracotta Soldiers
Populated by more than 1 billion people, with an area equivalent to 20 times the size of France, China is a country of excess and contrast.
Discover all our information on China as well as our travel offers on the China Travel Guide
This buried army of terracotta soldiers, each statue of which is life-size (they are all different and measure nearly 1.80 m in height) is one of the major archaeological discoveries of the 20th century and is located a few kilometers from the city of Xi’an in central China.
This army, reinforced guard of the tomb of the Qin emperor, would have been carried out at the beginning of our era under the orders of the emperor who feared that he would no longer be protected during his passage through the kingdom of the Dead. This gigantic work required the work of 720,000 people for thirty-five years. No one really knows why this huge army fell into oblivion and was only rediscovered twenty centuries later.
Even if a large number of statues have been worn down by time, or ransacked by other conquerors under other dynasties, a large part has been faithfully restored and the vision of these thousands of soldiers standing, combatants in arms with frozen faces , offers a striking spectacle.
An army officer buried terracotta soldiers. copyright travel-guide.comVisitors have access to three different sites. The largest brings together 6,000 statues facing east, mainly soldiers and a few officers (these have a different headdress). All of these statues were at the time covered by large beams, the foundations of which can be seen in certain places.
A 360° documentary projected every half hour explains the construction of this army, and how it was rediscovered 2000 years later. This documentary offers a good way to understand how all these statues were built and to imagine the scale of this construction site.
The museum is well laid out, surrounded by a large park and attracts an incredible number of visitors every day. Although it is difficult to visit this place without going through an organized tour, you will however have no difficulty in booking one of these tours, or in finding an English-speaking guide.
With a bit of luck, during your visit you will be able to attend the anecdotal autograph session of the peasant who discovered this buried army.