Home : City Guide: Xian: Attractions: Terracotta Warriors

Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum

Museum of Qin Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses, Xian

 Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum

In 1974 when a group of peasants was digging a well, they surprisingly unearthed fragments of life-sized terra cotta warriors made in the Qin Dynasty (221BC-206BC), which became the greatest archaeological discovery of the 20th century. The great excavation revealed thousands of warriors and their horses - an entire army buried for safeguarding the eternity of Emperor Qinshihuang. Hence, the Qin Terra Cotta Army is now over 2,200 years old.

The site is located 1.5 kilometers (1 mile) east of the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor. The emperor's terra cotta army was found in three underground timber lined vaults. The Pit 1 contained chariots and six thousand figures of soldiers; the Pit 2 had fourteen hundred figures of cavalrymen, horses and infantrymen, along with ninety wooden chariots; whilst the Pit 3 contained about seventy figures of warriors. Excavating them has been a massive undertaking.

The Qin Terra Cotta Army Museum, built at the original excavating place, is a hangar-like construction over Pit 1 and was officially opened in 1979. Later in October 1994, Pit 2 opened to the public. Now the museum is a stunning attraction that every visitor to China should see.

Bronze Chariots and Horses in the Exhibition Hall

 Bronze Chariots and Circamara Theater

Two bronze chariots housed in the Multi-Exhibition Hall were unearthed twenty meters east of the mausoleum. The chariots, which are half size of real ones, were made of bronze with some golden and silver decorations. The No. 1 Chariot is 225 centimeters (7.38 feet) long and 152 centimeters (4.99 feet) high, with a weight of 1,061 kilogram (2,399.1 pounds). The four horses drawing the square chariot are muscular and vivid. A big umbrella situated in the chariot shelters the lifelike wagoners. The No.2 Chariot is 317 centimeters (10.4 feet) long and 106.2 centimeters (3.48 feet) high. Weighing 1,241 kilogram (2,735.9 pounds), the chariot consists of two parts: the wagoner who sits outside the carriage and a carriage where the master could sit inside. Each of the two chariots is made of more than 3,000 accessories and decorated with geometrical images or clouds.

Besides visiting the pits and exhibition hall, visitors can also go to the Circamara Theater, where visitors can 'travel' back to the past. By watching it one can have a better understanding of the history of Emperor Qin Shihuang as well as the discovery, repair and protection of the terra cotta warriors. A shopping center nearby also provides visitors with copies of the warriors, horses and chariots as souvenirs.

Admission Fee(including the Terracotta Army Museum and the Emperor Qinshihuang's Mausoleum Site Park):
CNY120 (Dec.1 to the end of Feb.)  
CNY150 (Mar. 1 to the end of Nov.)
Opening Hours (ticket purchasing hours):
08:30 to 17:00 (Mar. 16 to Nov. 15)
08:30 to 16:30 (Nov. 16 to Mar. 15)
Recommended Time for a Visit:
Three hours
Bus Route:

Take Tour Bus No. 5 (306) at Xian Railway Station;
Take Bus No. 307 at Tang Paradise or the Big Wild Goose Pagoda Square

 Recommended China Tour with Xian Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum
3 Days Xian Tour: Luxury tour to visit Terracotta Worriors and Horses Museum, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Xian City Wall, Shaanxi Provincial History Museum and the Great Mosque
4 Days Xian Tour: Visit Hanyangling Museum, Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum, Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Qianling Museum, Famen Temple, Maoling Mausoleum and Great Mosque 
11 Days China Tour: Small group tour to visit Beijing, Xian, Chongqing, Yangtze River, Yichang and Shanghai