Terracotta Army
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Terracotta Army

Xian Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum
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The Terracotta Army, aka Terracotta Warriors and Horses, are the most significant archeological excavations of the 20th century. Work is ongoing at this site, which is around 1.5 kilometers east of Emperor Qin Shi Huang's Mausoleum in Lintong, Xian, Shaanxi Province. It is a sight not to be missed by any visitor to China.

Upon ascending the throne at the age of 13 (in 246 BC), Qin Shi Huang, later the first Emperor of all China, had begun to work for his mausoleum. It took 11 years to finish. It is speculated that many buried treasures and sacrificial objects had accompanied the emperor in his after life.

A group of peasants uncovered some pottery while digging for a well nearby the royal tomb in 1974. It caught the attention of archeologists immediately. They came to Xian in droves to study and to extend the digs. They had established beyond doubt that these artifacts were associated with the Qin Dynasty (211-206 BC).

 Museum of Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses

The State Council authorized to build a museum on site in 1975. When completed, people from far and near came to visit. The Museum of Qin Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses have become landmarks on all visitors' itinerary.

Life size terracotta figures of warriors and horses arranged in battle formations are the star features at the museum. They are replicas of what the imperial guard should look like in those days of pomp and vigor.

The museum covers an area of 16,300 square meters, divided into three sections: No. 1 Pit, No. 2 Pit, and No. 3 Pit respectively. They were tagged in the order of their discoveries. No. 1 Pit is the largest, first opened to the public on China's National Day - Oct. 1st, 1979. There are columns of soldiers at the front, followed by war chariots at the back.

Warriors standing in battle array
Terra cotta army stand in battle array.
Our Group Tour to the Museum
Our Tour Group to Terra-cotta Warriors
No. 2 Pit, found in 1976, is 20 meters northeast of No. 1 Pit. It contained over a thousand warriors and 90 chariots of wood. It was unveiled to the public in 1994.Archeologists came upon No. 3 Pit also in 1976, 25 meters northwest of No. 1 Pit. It looked like to be the command center of the armed forces. It went on display in 1989, with 68 warriors, a war chariot and four horses.

Altogether over 7,000 pottery soldiers, horses, chariots, and even weapons have been unearthed from these pits. Most of them have been restored to their former grandeur.

Since Oct. 1st, 2010 the Museum of Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses and the Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum have been combined into one large attraction area, Emperor Qinshihuang's Mausoleum Site Museum, which also includes three other small sites opened in 2011. The Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum and the nearby three unopened sites (namely the Museum of Terracotta Acrobatics, the Museum of Terracotta Civil Officials and the Museum of Stone Armor) constitute the so-called Lishan Garden. Besides, 30 free shuttle buses have been available for visitors' convenience to travel between the Lishan Garden and the Museum of Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses from then on.

The Terra Cotta Army is a sensational archeological find of all times. It has put Xian on the map for visitors. It was listed by UNESCO in 1987 as one of the world cultural heritages.

  Pit 1
  The Third Excavation of Pit 1
  Pit 2
  Pit 3 
  Accessory Pits
  Lifelike Terra Cotta Figures
  Green-Faced Terracotta Warrior
  Dressing of Terracotta Warriors
  Bronze Chariots and Horses

  Bronze Cranes & Acrobatics Figures
  Exquisite Weaponry of Terra Cotta Army
  Military Formation of Terracotta Army 
  Qin Artisans
  How the Terracotta Warriors were Made
  Stories of Terracotta Warriors

 Terracotta Army Facts


How to get to Terracotta Army Museum from downtown Xian

 How to get to the Terracotta Warriors from Xian Xianyang International Airport?
Visitors can take Airport Shuttle Line 2 to Xian Railway Station. The bus departs every hour from 10:15 to 19:15 at 1F of T2 and the ticket costs CNY 25. After, take tourism bus no.5 (306), bus no.914, 915 and get off at the final station.

Visitors can also hire a taxi from the airport. Remember to take the legitimate green colored taxies and the fee is about CNY 200. Please make it clear to the taxi driver that you only go to the Museum of Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses and refuse to go to other scenic sites including souvenir shops.

Xian Tourism Bus Line 5
Tourism Bus No.5 (306) at Railway Station

 How to get the Terracotta Army from Xian Railway Station or downtown?
You can go to the the east square of Railway Station to take tourism bus no.5 (306) for reaching destination. The whole journey takes about one hour. The bus fare for tourism bus no. 5 (306) is CNY7 per person. Or one can take bus no.307 from the south gate of Tang Paradise. It costs CNY8 per person.

 How to get to the Terracotta Army from Xian North Railway Station?
There are free shuttle buses between North Railway Station and the museum. They are scheduled from the railway station from 08:00 to 16:00 and return from the museum during 10:30 and 19:30. The whole journey takes around an hour.
Note: To take the free shuttle bus, you will get a boarding pass/card by showing your train ticket on the arrival day and the entrance ticket to any attraction of Lintong. Upon arrival, you can buy the tickets of Lintong attractions at the Tourists Service Center on the underground floor of the railway station.

 From Lintong District:
Take bus 914, 915 or Speical Line 101 and get off at Terracotta Warrior Museum. The whole journey takes about 15 minutes.

 Getting Around:
30 shuttle buses are traveling between the Museum of Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses and the Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum for tourists' convenience. One can take them for free by showing the entrance ticket. 
Operating hours: 08:30-18:30
 Xian Bus / Subway Search

Admission Fee:

March 1 to November 30: CNY150
December 1 to end of next February: CNY120
 The fare is for the Emperor Qin Shi Huang's Mausoleum Site Park Through Ticket including the Museum of Qin Terracotta Warriors and Horses, Lishan Garden and shuttle buses inside the scenic area.

Guide Services: The exhibits are so well explained in both Chinese and English. However, visitors can also enjoy the guide services. It costs around CNY 100 to hire a guide.
Opening Hours: March 16 to November 15: sell ticket from 08:30 to 17:00, stop check-in at 18:00; 
November 16 to March 15: sell ticket from 08:30 to 16:30, stop check-in at 17:30
Time for a Visit:
It usually takes around three hours in the museum.

Tip: The museum is crowded in the morning because there are too many group visitors. Therefore, independent visitors may visit it in the early afternoon to avoid the crowds. However, they should not miss the last bus that returns from the museum to Xian at 19:00.

 On March 1, 2016, the opening ceremony of the largest Qin Terracotta Army Exhibition in North America so far was held in the Field Museum in Chicago. More than 170 pieces of genuine antiques are on exhibit, including the rarely-seen figurines of civilian officials and acrobats. The exhibition will be open to the public from March 4, 2016 to January 8, 2017.