Xi'an, anciently known as Chang'an (meaning "eternal peace"), is the capital of Shan'xi Province and the biggest city in the northwest of China.
Xi'an has a long history. During its 3,100 years of development, 12 dynasties made their capitals here for over 1,100 years, leaving abundant legacies to the city. It was also the first stop on the Silk Road, linking up the oriental and western civilizations. The saying "In the west, there is Rome, in the east, Chang'an," best described the position of Xi'an at that time. Nowadays, Xi'an enjoys an equal fame with Athens, Cairo, and Rome as "one of the four major capitals of ancient civilization".