Xi’an has an incredibly long-standing history. Along with Rome, Athens, and Istanbul, it is one of the four major ancient capitals of the world. Xi’an was the first of the six ancient capitals of China, and was the capital city for a total of thirteen dynasties.
Xi’an sits in the middle of the Guanzhong plain, at the intersection of the Jing river and the Wei river. The sediment concentration in the two rivers change in accordance with seasonal shifts, and results in the famous scene of “clear distinction between the Jing river and the Wei river” in winter. Xi’an is characterized by a sharp altitude contrast, meaning you can find both lofty mountains and open plains. From north to south, Xi’an extends some 116 kilometers, facing the Loess Plateau in the north and neighboring the Qinling Mountains in the south. From east to west, Xi’an extends some 204 kilometers. To Xi’an’s east is the Linghe river and Mount Bayuan, and to its west is Mount Taibai.