Sunday, December 31, 2006
Xi'an: The West

Western Xi'an consists of less famous attractions but nevertheless interesting. The Famen Temple not only houses dead bodies, but also an extensive collection of relics reputed to hold more historical value than all of Hong Kong. The pagoda holds in its vaults, four of Buddha's finger bones (sarira) and the crypt possess over 1000 sacrificial objects preserved for over 1000 years. The downstairs vault lined with white stones and gold decorations is quite beautiful.

The Tomb of Princess Yongtai. A rather simple tomb for the young princess who was reportedly beaten to death on the order of her grandmother Wu Zetian because she was gossiping about the empress's indulgent lifestyle. Wu Zetian was the only female emperor and her bloody ascend to the throne was filled with controversy and heads.

Qian Tomb (乾陵). The burial ground of the third Tang emperor and more famous, for his wife Empress Wu Zetian. The long but pleasant walkway is lined with sculptures of lions, animals and people. From afar the mountainside mausoleum resembles the shape of a sleeping beauty, of Wu herself. The Tomb lies in the interior of the mountain and is yet to be excavated. A Wordless tablet placed before her tomb is so later generations could be her judges.


posted by Y> @ 9:00 a.m.  
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