Once the terminus of the Silk Road and a melting pot of cultures and religions, as well as home to emperors, courtesans, poets, monks, merchants and warriors, the glory days of Xī’ān (西安; pronounced ‘see-an’) may have ended in the early 10th century, but a considerable amount of ancient Cháng’ān, the former city, survives behind the often roaring, modern city. Xī’ān’s Ming-era city walls remain intact, vendors of all descriptions still crowd the narrow lanes of the warren-like Muslim Quarter, and there are enough places of interest to keep even the most amateur historian riveted. Xi’an was once the start of the indispensable Silk Road that made commerce between many countries in Eurasia possible. It was also the imperial seat for no fewer than eleven dynasties, before the unification of China between 1000 BC and 1000 AD making it one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China. Its most famous attractions is the rather recently discovered Terracotta Army.