The TerraCotta Warriors

#52 - Xian, China
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It's the only time you'll face 8,000 soldiers and not have to run for your life.
It's hard to imagine what it feels like to stand in front of such an unsettling crowd; you have to go there to really get it. That's why it's our #52 AbsoluteVisit. Other than the many, many warriors - there are over 600 horses in the collection to protect your from the dangers of afterlife. The figures date back to the 3rd century BC and are made out of clay. Even more impressive is that they are life-size, so it's like walking through a crowd of warriors when you visit.
Slide 1
Warrior Faces
#1 TerraCotta Warriors Photo - Brad Harbach
Slide 2
The Main Pit 1 View
#2 TerraCotta Warriors Photo - Brad Harbach
Slide 3
Horses Resting for Battle
#3 TerraCotta Warriors Photo - Brad Harbach
Slide 4
The Quieter Pit 3
#4 TerraCotta Warriors Photo - Brad Harbach
Slide 5
Staring at a Wall Forever
#5 TerraCotta Warriors Photo - Brad Harbach
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Quick Facts & History

  • The Terracotta Warriors and Horses were discovered in March 1974 by a farmer near the tomb of the emperor Qin Shihuang. The army had been buried for 2,200 years.
  • Over 7,000 soldiers, horses, chariots and weapons have been excavated from the pits, most of which have been restored and now reside in one of three pits in a museum.
  • The museum in which the terracotta warriors are held is 16,300 square meters (53,477 feet) and separated the findings into three sections. The museum opened in 1979 on Chinas National Day.
  • The warriors were made for several reasons for emperor Qin Shihuang, such as: to show his glory, to remember his army that won and united China, and most importantly, because in that time it was believed that statues can come to life in the afterlife, and the emperor felt that he needed an after-death army.

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Photos from The TerraCotta Warriors

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Warrior Faces
Ranked #1 by Brad Harbach
The Main Pit 1 View
Ranked #2 by Brad Harbach
Horses Resting for Battle
Ranked #3 by Brad Harbach
The Quieter Pit 3
Ranked #4 by Brad Harbach
Staring at a Wall Forever
Ranked #5 by Brad Harbach

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When we got there, we learned that there were three separate pits of the warriors, which we would see in increasing impressiveness, followed by a movie describing the historical events of the construction of the tomb. The first pit, Pit 2, was mind-blowing. Much bigger than I had expected, it really just looked like a giant hole of clay with some broken pieces of pottery. On closer inspection however, one could see the shards of soldiers, whole faces and limbs, still encased in the surrounding dirt. Apparently the pits were active sites, constantly being uncovered and excavated. Also in Pit 2 ...  read more
Submitted By: Brad Harbach
Submitted On: May 1, 2012

Places That Are Nearby

TerraCotta Warriors
Great Wall of China
Forbidden City
Yangtze River Cruise
Shanghai Skyline

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# 1

Warrior Faces

# 2

The Main Pit 1 View

# 3

Horses Resting for Battle

# 4

The Quieter Pit 3

# 5

Staring at a Wall Forever


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