“My home, Shaanxi province in China, is the starting point of the Silk Road.” – Xi Jinping, President, People’s Republic of China
The Tang West Market has been at the centre of the ancient Silk Road linking the East and West through commerce over centuries. It reached its apogee under China’s Tang Dynasty (681—907 AD), the most prosperous and stable period in Chinese history. The Tang Dynasty capital, Chang’an City – today known as Xi’an – was the largest metropolis in the world at that time, with more than 1 million inhabitants.
The thriving Chang’an City West Market was the commercial engine of world trade in its time, attracting merchants and investors, as well as artists, intellectuals and artisans from across the then-known world. Its vitality and position at the centre of China enabled the exchange of goods, technologies and cultures and helped shape our modern world.
The ancient West Market boasted impressive statistics:
- 1 million m² of commercial space
- More than 40, 000 merchants and 220 different fields of commerce
- A daily flow of at least 150,000 visitors
- A total area of 264 acres
- Merchandise covering every aspect of daily life: clothing, foodstuffs, restaurants and hotels, medicine, funeral supplies, ironware, pottery, stone carving, spices, jewellery, fish, oil, candles, pawnshops and of course – silk!