The Xi'an City Wall
Tour Day Eight: Saturday, April 28, 2001
The Fish Bowl
Recall the "fish bowl" story from the Great Wall page? No? Well, here it is.
Walled cities needed a way to admit travelers or to keep them out. In order to gain admission into the city the travelers first had to enter the fish bowl shown above. If the city defenders did not want to admit them they were fish to be shot with the arrows of the city defenders. Or they travelers could be held there until they received instructions from the emperor.
Xi'an was a capital of China in ancient times. It also was the terminus of the famous Silk Road. Many travelers came here to trade for the riches of china. According to many historians, travel on the Silk Road began around 123 BC. Among other things, their spices, silks, jade, and porcelain were in great demand in Europe. Marco Polo of Venice traveled the route about a thousand years ago.
Some of our group mill around the fish bowl.
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