Terracotta Army Facts

Bronze Chariots and Horses

Bronze horses on Qin chariot
Bronze Horses Standing Side by Side
  Bronze Chariots and Horses Pictures
How Discovered: Two large scale-models of bronze chariots and horses came unearthed in December, 1980, about 20 meters east of the mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. They were tagged Chariot No. 1 and No. 2 respectively. Both required extensive restorations, over two and half years, before displayable in public. No. 2 was unveiled first -- in 1983, then No.1 -- in 1988.

These were encased in a wooden box measuring 6.8 x 2.1x 2 meters for over two thousand years. And the box was buried 8 meters down in a trench. The trench runs 7 meters east to west, with a width of 2.3 meters.

These are half size scale-models of real chariots and horses, faithfully copied down to the last detail, complete with horses and people. They are constructed with bronze and cast bullion. There are 1,720 gold and silver pieces, weighing 7 kilograms. No. 1 chariot is in the lead, with a four-horse team. It has been painted white by conservation workers. The two are a must-see by visitors.

Originally buried 20 meters west of the Emperor's mausoleum, two chariots faced west in large 7-meter-long (23 feet in length) and 2.3 meters wide (7.54 feet in width) wooden coffins. They were thought to be half the actual size and were supposed to serve as the vehicle for the emperor's inspection tours in his afterlife. The colorful square carriages are decorated with geometric and cloud patterns. Coachmen armed with swords guard the chariots on both sides.
coachman statue in Terra Cotta Army Museum
Coachman Statue
Qin chariot in Terra Cotta Warriors Museum
Exquisite Bronze Chariot and Horses
No. 1 Chariot : It is the vanguard, a two-wheeled vehicle drawn by a team of four strong horses. There is only one seat for the driver, whose eyes are glued to the road ahead. There is a large umbrella providing shade from the sun.

Measurement: 225 x 126 x 70 cm

No. 2 Chariot : It is larger than the No. 1. The horses are richly adorned with gold and silver gears. There are three windows, one out front, and one on each side in the compartment, and a door opens at the back. One may open and close the windows and the door, and look in at the exquisite interior. The roof is umbrella shaped, said to be symbolic of the round sky.

Measurement: 317 (long) x 106 (high) cm

The bronze chariot models add to the nation's great archeological treasures. These represent the largest finds of earliest delicate fine bronze work anywhere in the world.
Repair the Umbrella of the Chariot
The Umbrella of the Chariot under Repair
The Wheels of the Chariot
The Wheels of the Chariot
 Recommended Tours including the visit to Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses:
Terracotta Warriors Tour: One-day to visit Terracotta Warriors and Horses and more
More Xian Tours

Next: Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum

media recommendationfeatured on media