Xi'an was once called “Chang'an” in the Han Dynasty. The meaning of this name is “permanent peace”. Xi'an marked the starting point of the world famous Silk Road. It obtained its present name in the year 1369. Xi'an ranks first on the list of the country's seven largest ancient capitals. From 11th century B.C. onwards, Xi'an or its vicinity has been established as the capital city by 15 kingdoms or feudal dynasties successively, including the Western Zhou, the Qin, the Han, the Sui and the Tang. It serves as an ancient capital city beyond comparison with regard to the number of dynasties and span of time. It was also regarded as one of the “Four Ancient Civilizations of the World”, the other three being Rome, Athens, and Istanbul.
Within Xi'an one can find a large number of historic attractions, 34 of which have been listed among the national monuments, such as the remains of Banpo Village, a Neolithic matriarchal clan community, the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor, which has been listed in “the World Cultural Heritages”, the Big Wild Goose Pagoda and Small Wild Goose Pagoda built in the Tang Dynasty, and the time-honored Forest of Stone Tablets. Walking around this old city is like going through thousands of years in history. It's no wonder why foreigners always say “He who has not visited Xi'an can not be said to have visited China.”