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The History of Xian (4)

Guanzhong College Xian and was not the capital of the Mongol ruling Yuan Dynasty, but they managed well of the city. Kublai Khan's third son was the Anxi King there, and he lived in the palace located in the northeast of Xian. This palace had been destroyed at the end of the dynasty, but the relic site could still be seen today.

Another mass construction of Xian had been done during the Ming Dynasty. In 1369 Xian had become the official name of the city. The city walls had been tremendously expanded and repaired several times in mid-Ming Dynasty.

The biggest natural disaster was occurred on January 23, 1556, a powerful earthquake rocked Xian in deep darkness when everyone was sleeping. As a result, about a half of the houses in Xian had been collapsed with one-third of the population died. The roof of the famous Big Goose Pagoda was dropped the ground too.

The established of the Guanzhong College (关中书院) was in 1609. At that time Xian was divided into two parts, one was administrated by Xianning (咸宁) County and another Changan (长安) County. Originally it was a garden located on Shuyuanmen Street (书院门街) near the South City Wall. Retired officials became lecturers in Guanzhong College, which attracted many young people here to further their study.

The peasant militia leader Li Zicheng (李自成, 1606 – 1645) devoted his life to anti-government movement. His forces invaded Xian in 1643 and self declared as the emperor of China, which was called Dashun (大顺). Xijing (西京, The Western Capital City) was the name used for Xian. The following he was driven out from the city.

In 1869 Zuo Zongtang (左宗棠, 1812 – 1885), a high ranking official of the Qing Dynasty, established Xian Machinery Bureau, which manufactured guns, bullets and gunpowder. The bureau is the earliest modernized industry in Xian. About four decades later, the first modernized school had been founded.

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