Keepers of the western gate: The 6 Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy
Chumash Values and Future Generations — Wishtoyo Chumash Foundation
by Mati Waiya
Within the Chumash nation, there are northern, southern, and central peoples, who resided along the coasts, on the islands, in the mountains and valleys, and by the rivers. In a village of the old days, everyone played a role. This was how we maintained continuity. Culture was inspired by paying attention to the wisdom of the elders.
The Chumash are known for using an advanced money (bead) system, intricate basketry, cosmic cave paintings, and for being a maritime culture. Every member of the various tribal communities were aware of their roles. There were hunters, gatherers, medicine people, tomol (canoe) makers, basket weavers, money makers, and people who observed the seasons and the stars. The ancestors were aware and observed their affect upon the land and the wilderness. The lessons of nature taught them the balance between the physical and spiritual nature and interdependence they experienced with the natural world and they witnessed the consequences of disrespecting their environment and learned very quickly to live in harmony and balance through some basic laws of nature.
People learned the Three Basic laws first-hand: Limitation, Moderation and Compensation.
Limitation: Realize our limitations; we are going to live and we will die; we can only do so much. Once we identify and accept our limitations, we can better accept who we are as individuals.
Moderation: Harvest from the lands and oceans just what we need; leave some for another day and for others. This applies to our work as well, leave some for tomorrow; don’t try to do everything at once.
Compensation: If you want to do something for your children, for the land, or for another person, do it because it’s inside your heart; don’t expect anything in return. Compensation can come in many forms; it can be a child, or happiness, or health, or wealth. It often comes when you need it most, and you least expect it. That is true compensation.
We can apply these three laws mentally, physically, and spiritually and we can live by them.
Time and Seasons
When we become a part of nature, and let nature become a part of us, we start to understand the time that nature lives by, a natural time. Salmon live by nature’s time; they know when to swim upstream to spawn; the birds know when to fly south, or north – nature tells them.
The Chumash lived by Nature’s time, not man’s time. When we pay attention to the seasons, and the changes, and the helpers and the keepers from each direction, we gain useful lessons about life; they help us understand our role in it. Each season held a special place in relationship with life’s cycles.
People are going against the grain and living by the time of man. If we live by the time of nature, I believe people will become enlightened.
The North is the Winter
It is the color white. This represents the New Sun, and the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. In winter there is a cold wind, and the sun begins its new cycle and a new year begins.
The Eagle and the Bear symbolize the winter season. The eagle represents man’s pride and strength. The eagle, with its great vision observes the land and if it sees danger, warns the Bear. The Bear represents the strength of Mother Earth; no other creature is stronger. The Bear protects the land.
The South is the Summer
It is the color blue, for the warm winds and the soft waves of the ocean. The Chumash thrived as a maritime culture.
The Owl and the Snake represent the Summer season. The Owl represents clarity of mind and spirit, and wisdom. The Snake represents the sensitive side of the Mother. The snake’s body is pressed against Mother Earth, feeling its movements and emotions, moving like waves across its surface. It senses her passion.
The East is the Spring
It is the color yellow, for the Rise of the Sun and the birth of new life.
The Hawk and the Deer represent the Spring season. The Hawk is the Deer’s helper. Chumash legend has it that the Hawk returned the missing sun on its red-tipped tail. The Deer symbolizes Life. Every part of a Deer is consumed: its hide, its meat, its bones and antlers, its hooves – nothing is lost or wasted. There are stories, songs and dances, for the Spring.
The West is the Fall
The color of Fall is Red, for the colors of the sky when the sun sets. This is the direction where life exits the land.
The Fall is a time of Transition, the time of the Dolphin and its helper, the Raven. As the Rainbow Bridge story tells it, when the Chumash crossed over from the islands to the mainland, on the Rainbow Bridge, the Creator told them not to look down, or they would die. However, some could not resist. Instead of letting them die, the Creator saved them, turning them into Dolphins. Hence, the transition – from humans to Dolphins. The Ravens are chatterboxes; they constantly talk and speak names, communicating, carrying messages from one place to another. They watch the spirits exit this world where the sun sets and the Milky Way makes its path.
The Chumash are the Keepers of the Western Gate. We have to pay attention to the seasons, the changes of the land, the language of nature and the voices of its creatures. They give us insight about balance between us and our surroundings. They teach us respect for the plants that heal us, and make our homes. The lessons teach us sustainability, and how to maintain our relationship with nature.
It is a balance of survival.
Balance and Sustainability
We need to respect this balance and be responsible for it, as were our ancestors. The three bodies of life – land, air and water – sustain us; we are dependent on them for our existence and survival. The Chumash tribes came together each year, to share our stories, and meet the newborn, and dance together. We shared our knowledge and our experiences with each other.
Man wants to control everything; this is a problem. Man’s greed interrupts nature’s way of life. We need to incorporate nature’s laws into man’s laws. In today’s world, we have forgotten this balance. We have forgotten our responsibility. Our mind’s eye – our 3rd eye – knows this; one cannot ignore their inner thoughts and visions. It drives our interpretation of what we deem right or wrong. Through our sacred fires, our ceremonies, our dances, we remember: m’uptamai – memory – the visions of our past. This can never be taken away from our people. We carry our ancestors’ thoughts and ways. The prayers and ceremonies teach us to respect our balance with nature. We must listen.
The more we remove ourselves from nature’s role – our natural role – the more we will become obsolete; we won’t be a part of it. What we do in this century will set the stage for future generations. From the strongest to the weakest, we have to remember that we are ALL in this together. As the foreigners saw the frontier as a place to explore new horizons and bring their families, the Indian people see nature and the environmental laws as a frontier.
It is said, without man, this world would flourish. It is true. We have to learn to live in this world in a sustainable way. Life will continue, it will find itself again, with or without us.
We can not justify our way of looking at the world if it’s only to benefit man.
If our children swim in toxic, polluted waters, we pull them out. If a bird drinks from that water, little do we know if it flies away and dies. We don’t want to realize the consequences of what we’ve done. We have become greedy; we consume and we waste our resources.
There was a time when people quenched their thirst with fresh water, they respected and appreciated every drink they took from that water, because it took time and effort to get it; it didn’t just come out of a faucet. We were involved in what we had, what we used. Our food and our resources, as well as our songs and stories, were a gift. The wood, the willow and the tule were gifts. Nature gave us the materials to build our homes. The sacred fire kept us safe and warm.
Little by little people are waking up to the fact that we need to be responsible for the impact of what we do with respect to the environment. We cannot benefit from our luxuries without recognizing that we are going to pay the price for it. Unfortunately, too often Man is oblivious or in denial of the consequences of his actions that are harmful to nature’s system of life.
We are losing that connection to an effort. It is critical to change the standard back to a normal. The standard is a condition that man has made. It is a chosen method of relating what life should be versus what life IS.
When you share nature with a child, you are planting a seed in their minds, of their role. Exposing children to nature will introduce them to their responsibility for it in the future. Nature teaches us. The children need to experience it and they will be empowered by it.
Children are like ‘crystal’, which contains strength and power, if you discover how to use it.
There are many paths from which to choose. We need to put the children on the right path, without influencing them with current beliefs that are harming us, our wildlife and our planet.
Three Important Phrases:
1. Planting a Seed
Plant a seed in a child’s mind that will give them a stronger understanding for the future.
2. The Eyes of the Children
Children’s eyes do not lie. Pay attention to them. We can learn from them.
3. Building a Foundation
Build a foundation for a new world, which consists of better choices. Leave behind a legacy of knowledge. The ongoing practice of customs and traditions secures our survival in the modern world.
There are sounds that can break through stone, and there are words that can give us understanding. There is no difference between the two, if we pay attention. Sometimes we need to be out in the sun, sometimes we need to be in the mountains, or in the oceans or the rivers. We need to stop and listen to the wind, the voices of the past, the breath of life. We need to feel nature, our wilderness, and be cleansed.
Listen to the songs – whether from a bird, or from a coyote. We also make sounds that are not words. Learn to pay attention to the elements; they have a body and a strength of their own. Wind, water and fire have their own life and spirit; we can’t control them. That’s why floods, earthquakes and fires put man in check.
We need to stop and listen to the voice of the past. If we open our minds and pay attention, we receive the knowledge that nature is trying to give, like waves crashing on the shore: we can look at them like hands reaching out for help, because the sea creatures are dying. Once again, we can’t justify our way of looking at the world, if it is only for the benefit of Mankind.
Within ancient stones lies the memory of the past and the knowledge of the future. Sometimes we awaken the stones, through ceremonies, when we heat them up. When we water the heated stones, the steam coming from the stones is the breath of the ancestors, the breath of life that gives us insight and allows us to share our dreams and prayers.
Death has beauty; death brings birth. When we talk about life, we don’t talk about death. But they go hand in hand. There is a beautiful side to death: the songs for remembering, the stories and messages people left to us. We carry the spirits of those we love who have passed away. We can feel their presence; they live on inside of us.
When we think of the life of a human, where does that life lie – in the body, or in the heart and mind? The feelings we feel are not physical; they are internal, like our personalities. Within all of us lies the spirit, the sacredness.
When you have lost your loved ones – your family and friends, and you find yourself with the memories they left behind, it gives you the understanding that you too will pass.
When someone dies, they are remembered by songs and stories. They live in a memory; their spirit, their identity, their power, and their sacredness exist within us.
Story – The Birth of a Rainbow
When a seed of water falls from a cloud in the sky, and lands upon Mother earth, the Mother gives birth to a Rainbow. The Rainbow reaches up from the earth and goes around in the sky. It brings us a promise, for the past and for the future. There is beauty at both ends of life; the Mother’s love inspires us and touches our hearts at both ends of the Rainbow.
Chumash Word: tuhuy – rain
The Rainbow Bridge
Wishtoyo is a bridge connecting the past and the future. The creator told the Chumash people on Santa Cruz Island to cross over the rainbow bridge to the mainland, where there was an abundance of land and food for their families. Wishtoyo Foundation is building a bridge to bring an understanding about the relationship between nature and man. And this education and knowledge will hopefully bring a sense of security and abundance for the future and allow us to look through the eyes of our ancestors…who nurtured and respected our planet.
Wampum | Ganondagan
The Two Row Wampum Treaty, Guswhenta, is the 1613 agreement made between the Five Nations of the Haudenosaunee and the representatives of the Dutch government in what is now New York State. The Haudenosaunee consider this treaty to be the basis of all their subsequent treaties with European and American governments, including the 1794 Canandaigua Treaty.
The belt consists of two rows of purple wampum beads set on a background of white wampum beads. The purple beads signify the course of two vessels – a Haudenosaunee canoe and a non-Native ship that are traveling down the river of life together, side-by-side but never touching with each people in their own boat with their own laws, religion, customs, and sovereignty. Though the customs followed are different, each people are equal. The three white stripes symbolize friendship, peace, and respect between the two nations.
Haudenosaunee tradition records the following as the Haudenosaunee reply to the initial Dutch treaty proposal:
You say that you are our Father and I am your son. We say, We will not be like Father and Son, but like Brothers. This wampum belt confirms our words. These two rows will symbolize two paths or two vessels, traveling down the same river together. One, a birch bark canoe, will be for the Indian People, their laws, their customs and their ways. The other, a ship, will be for the white people and their laws, their customs and their ways. We shall each travel the river together, side by side, but in our boat. Neither of us will make compulsory laws or interfere in the internal affairs of the other. Neither of us will try to steer the other’s vessel. The agreement has been kept by the Iroquois to this date.
Further Haudenosaunee tradition states the duration of the Two Row Wampum agreement to be:
As long as the Sun shines upon this Earth, that is how long OUR Agreement will stand; Second, as long as the Water still flows; and Third, as long as the Grass Grows Green at a certain time of the year. Now we have Symbolized this Agreement and it shall be binding forever as long as Mother Earth is still in motion.
The Chumash Indians were some of the first people to inhabit North America. Evidence was found, showing that they have had settlements on the Channel Islands and Santa Monica Mountains as far back as thousands of years ago.
Ironically, the Chumash are now a people without land to call their own, as most Chumash bands have not, with the exception of the Santa Ynez Samala band, yet made the list of federally recognized tribes.
Once a thriving culture, the Chumash, as did other Native American tribes, succumbed to Spanish conquistadors and American colonists.
There were at one time over 20,000 Chumash living along the California coastline. The prehistoric and historic Chumash were a maritime culture, using long wooden canoes called tomols to fish and travel between different villages along the Pacific coast. The Chumash were a hunter-gatherer tribe, and even though they were sedentary, they did not farm the land.
The Chumash were physically and spiritually united with nature, and did not waste any part of any animal they killed, or any plant they pulled from the earth. They lived according to “nature’s time”, and believed that man’s greed and desire for supremacy could eventually lead to his downfall.
The Chumash were a matriarchal society, meaning their lineage was traced from the mother’s side of the family, and that the Chief could be either a man or a woman. They were also considered to be the keepers of the Western Gate, and took this responsibility very seriously, which is probably why knowledge of their respect of nature is remembered as one of their defining traits.
The Chumash had a rich spiritual heritage, most of which has been documented through their magnificent pictographs and petroglyphs, songs, dances, and legends. The Chumash also enjoyed games and they often played against other tribes in friendly Shinny Hockey tournaments. In addition of sports, the Chumash also gambled, having developed several variation of dice games. Gaming was as educational as it was entertaining, as it served to teach the young about diplomacy, ethics, and life skills.
Recently, we have discovered a Mastodon kill site in San Luis Obispo County. In this kill site are Native American Chumash weapons and tools. We believe that this site could be dated beyond 20,000 years. Currently pollen dating is being done on the pollen located around the bones, because it has gone beyond the capabilities of carbon dating of 47,000 years, and pollen dating can date much older items.
When we walk back in time and space to a time 25,000 years ago when we were in the last ice age, the coast line was located 6 to 13 miles to the west from it’s current position and 300 feel lower. Saber Tooth Tigers roamed the land with the mega Lions, Mastodons, Mammoths, Buffalo, Eagles, Bears, Whales, Seal Lions, and many more animals that were very incredibly large. The Chumash people lived with these animals – they were part of our family. The land was covered with giant Redwoods and Oaks, the temperatures were cooler, and the land was lush with all types of flora and fauna.
Culture and History | Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe
In the 1750s, to relieve crowding at Kahnawake and to move closer to the Iroquois homeland, the French Jesuits established a mission at the present site on the St. Regis River. The Mohawk people had continually used this site at the confluence of the St. Lawrence River Valley as part of our fishing and hunting grounds prior to the building of the first church. “Akwesasne” as it is known today, translates roughly to “Land where the partridge drums” has always been a prime location due to the confluence of several small rivers and the St. Lawrence River. The Catholic Church records date back to the late 1600’s. Oral history states the church was built on traditional ceremonial grounds.
The community became more populated as Mohawks left the Mohawk Valley under distressed conditions in the mid 1700’s. In 1759 a band of Abenakis sought refuge with the Mohawk people during the French and Indian War, with some remaining behind after their party returned to their own village. In addition, also as a result of the dislocation caused by the war, a number of refugees from the Oswegatchie Mission (near present day Ogdensburg, NY) settled at Saint Regis. After this immigration, the culture at Saint Regis stayed predominately Mohawk. In 1796 the Seven Nations of Canada, which included Christian Mohawks living in St. Regis asserted rights to their lands and were eventually confined to a small parcel of land through a treaty signed by representatives of the Seven Nations of Canada and the State of New York. Today the Mohawk people of Akwesasne still rightfully claim territory outside the confines of the current boundaries of the reservation and exercise guardianship over these lands through National Historic Preservation Act, Section 106 and Environmental Protection Act processes.
In 1888, at a Grand Council of the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy (Haudenosaunee Confederacy), the Mohawk Nation formally rekindled their fire and responsibilities to the Confederacy as the successor of the descendents of Mohawks who had left the Mohawk Valley a hundred years earlier.
After the American War of Independence, the Mohawk people found it necessary to deal with the government of the State of New York. In order to protect themselves and their best interests, the Mohawks decided to select representatives to interact with New York. In the 1930s the Federal Government proposed the Indian Reorganization Act (IRA). Each Tribe was given the opportunity to reject the IRA and the Saint Regis Mohawks did reject the Act of 1935. In 1953, a Federal task force arrived at Saint Regis to prepare termination legislation but the chiefs and Saint Regis people rejected the termination. Despite this, the Bureau of Indian Affairs proposed bill was presented to Congress where it died in committee without serious consideration.
Administrative termination of Tribes continued throughout the 1950s. In the mid-1960s, however, the Federal Government was reminded that there had been no official termination of the Federal relationship with the New York State Iroquois. The acknowledgment of the Federal relationship was slow to manifest itself. Following preliminary findings, the leaders of the Iroquois Tribes, including those of the Saint Regis, were invited to Washington to explore the establishment of a viable relationship.
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Keeper of the Plains
The Keeper of the Plains is a 44-foot tall steel sculpture standing at the point where the Big and Little Arkansas rivers join together in downtown Wichita. This land between the two rivers is sacred ground to the Native American people and is also home to the Mid-America All-Indian Museum. The American Indian sculpture was created by Wichitan and Native American artist Blackbear Bosin (1921-1980). This icon of Wichita was erected on May 18, 1974 to celebrate the United States Bi-centennial and has kept a watchful eye on the city ever since.
Decades later, the Keeper of the Plains now has an even larger view of Wichita. A complete renovation of the sculpture and installation of the Keeper of the Plains Plaza now brings people out each evening to see the Keeper and the lit fire pots that surround it, known as the Ring of Fire. The 5-ton Keeper of the Plains statue is now 30 feet higher than before with it’s new pedestal. There are also two suspended foot bridges allowing people to cross from the north and south directions to the plaza at the base of the Keeper. Part of the $20 million dollar river corridor improvement project, the statue can now be seen over the trees and buildings that have sprung up over the years along the river.
RING OF FIRE HOURS
The Ring of Fire around the Keeper of the Plains will burn for 15 minutes during the following schedule:
|Daylight Saving Time
(spring & summer)
(fall & winter)
For added public safety, the Ring of Fire fire pots are manually turned on. All schedules are weather depending, including river levels. The Ring of Fire will not be turned on in high winds, rain or other inclement weather. If the river is too high, or if a person is too close, they will not be turned on.
Because of the public investment, surveillance cameras have been installed throughout the area, including at the Keeper Plaza and on the Pedestrian bridges. If anyone vandalizes any part of the facility, the City of Wichita could prosecute to recover its losses.
The entire area, including the Keeper of the Plains Plaza, is accessible to all citizens, even those that may be wheelchair-bound.
The cascading stream moves water from the Keeper of the Plains, over boulders to the River. It is not for public entry.
The Western Gate | Catherine Auman
07 Oct The Western Gate
When I heard there was a portal for souls passing through to the other world north of Santa Barbara, I had to go. The Western Gate (Humquaq) is a sacred place for the Chumash – a gateway where the dead enter the heavens on their way to paradise (Similaqsa). I trust 100% that when Native people identify a place as sacred, it will be a powerful energy vortex.
The Western Gate sticks out as the farthest point west on the Western Hemisphere, and is the natural divide between northern and southern California. The location is so important to the Chumash that they identify themselves as “The Keepers of the Western Gate.” At the eastern-most point of the continent on Long Island, NY, is Montauk, the Eastern Gate.
Chumash souls went to what is now called Point Conception and ascended to the Milky Way. As the soul entered the gate of heaven, it is said that a loud noise was heard. The entire 100-square mile area is sacred and mysterious: There are rumors of Chumash ruins under the water below the Point, where the sea is teeming with schools of dolphins, seals, sea lions, whales, and sharks, all communing together.
Turns out it’s not so easy to get to. At the time I heard about it, The Western Gate was a private ranch, fenced off so you can’t get there by car. The closest you can drive is Jalama County Beach, so I drove the almost 3 hours it takes to get there, parked, and walked the 10-mile round-trip on the beach toward the lighthouse at Point Conception.
On the drive up, I fantasized about this place with so much sacred power, this portal to another dimension. Were the people who owned it ignorant of its identity? Were they Black Magicians harnessing the power for personal and/or nefarious use? What if the landowners were instead powerful White Magicians, standing there at the farthest west point of the Western Hemisphere, performing rituals to keep the loving world turning?
The area has long been contentious for developers as have many locations once belonging to Native people. Over the years the land has been owned or fought over by Spanish and Mexican ranchers, real estate developers, gas and oil companies, and of course, someone who wanted to build a golf course. The Federal Government confiscated the furthermost tip and built the light house in 1856. In 1978, hundreds of Chumash and their supporters staged a year-long occupancy to prevent the building of a natural gas facility. (They were successful.) In 2007, the land was bought by a hedge fund which was really scary, but when real estate prices nose-dived in the 2008 crash, they sold it and got out.
Turns out I was right – the land today is controlled by powerful white magicians doing good with their money and the metaphysical power of the Western Gate. In 2017, Jack and Laura Dangermond, tech billionaires, bought the land for $225 million and donated it to the Nature Conservancy to be permanently protected. Their mission as a couple is to encourage other 1% -ers to leave their wealth to conservation efforts. When I watched their interview on YouTube I realized, this is what angels look like: Baby Boomer gazillionaires — who knew? The stewardship of the Nature Conservancy may be a step toward eventually creating public access to Point Conception and thus, the Western Gate.
Personally, I had strange, inexplicable, metaphysical experiences at the Western Gate. I considered sharing them with you, but decided I’d lose my credibility. Suffice it to say, the Western Gate is without a doubt a portal to another reality. I’m cautious about going back, but I will. Maybe you and I will see each other on the trail. Burn some sage, leave some tobacco, and say a prayer for all.
© 2020 Catherine Auman
This is an excerpt from Catherine Auman’s book Guide to Spiritual L.A.: The Irreverent, the Awake, and the True90,000 PSI, or the Empire Gate Investigation ::: Keepers of the Heritage
PSI, or Inquiry about the Empire gate
The Moscow City Heritage Board has shared with the editors of the Heritage Keepers the interim results of an investigation into the gates of Lobkova’s house in Bolshoy Tolmachevsky Lane, carried out after of our August publication . Recall that the white-stone pylons of the Empire gate, restored in 2013, were replaced (presumably in the spring of 2019) with a crude “remake”.
“The building at the address: Tolmachevsky per., 5, bldg. 7 is a cultural heritage site of federal significance” House, XVIII-XIX centuries. ” (hereinafter referred to as the Object), the Moscow City Heritage Agency writes to us. – By order of the Moscow City Heritage Agency dated January 27, 2019 No. 34, the protective obligation of the owner or other legal owner was approved.
The owner of the Object is LLC “Pushkinostroyindustriya” (formerly LLC “Kombinat Pushkinoselstroyondustriya”) (hereinafter – LLC “PSI”) record of state registration of rights dated March 26, 2015 No.
The Moscow City Heritage Agency approved the project documentation for the Object:
In January 2013 – scientific and project documentation “Project of restoration with adaptation for administrative purposes”; in October 2015 – working documentation “Project of restoration with adaptation for administrative purposes. Coloristic solution of interiors, stair railings, carpentry filling of doorways ”.
Moscow City Heritage Site on December 29, 2018LLC “SpetsStroyUniverse” issued a permit to carry out restoration work and adaptation for modern use until December 20, 2020.
The design documentation for the fence provides for: to restore the general compositional solution of the fence for the 1830s; preserve the existing white stone pylon, restore the masonry; preserve the brickwork spun the walls of the 1830s; to recreate the lost second white stone pylon; to recreate, by analogy with the western strand of the wall, the eastern strand (plastering works on the pylons of the Object’s fence are not provided).
On August 8, 2019, the employees of Mosgonaslediya carried out a visit to the Object, during which the work was recorded without the implementation of field supervision with a deviation from the design documentation in terms of the fence of the Object.
In this regard, the Moscow City Heritage Committee initiated an administrative offense case under Part 1 of Art. 7.13 of the Code of Administrative Offenses of the Russian Federation.
August 8, 2019The Moscow City Heritage Agency “SpetsStroyUniverse” issued an order to suspend the work and to bring the work performed in accordance with the agreed project documentation.
At the request of the Moscow City Heritage Agency to the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia for the city of Moscow, a procedural check is being carried out on the fact of causing damage to a part of the Object on the grounds of an attack under Art. 243, 243.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation.
October 3, 2019information on the implementation of architectural supervision at the Facility was provided to the Moscow City Heritage Site by PSI LLC.
So, so far, the state agency has achieved architectural supervision at the federal monument.
We would like to emphasize that our publication was not just about “deviating” from the project, but about the destruction of the original gate pylons, which were part of the subject of protection of the cultural heritage site. That is, about a direct criminal article.
We hope that the Moscow City Heritage Police have given appropriate explanations, and the case will not be “put on the brakes.”90,000 The project of restoration of the Church of St. Nicholas Mokroi will be discussed in Yaroslavl ::: Keepers of Heritage
The project of restoration of the Church of St. Nicholas Mokroi will be discussed in Yaroslavl
In Yaroslavl, on September 27, a regular scientific and practical seminar dedicated to the legacy of St. Nicholas began.
Such meetings have been held since 2017 , without a break for pandemic and quarantine, they have already shown their practical usefulness and interest.The participants of this conference are waiting for photo presentations related to the veneration of Nikolai the Ugodnik, reports on some studies of his legacy.
According to the organizers: “In 2021, the emphasis is on the need to protect the identity of the Russian people and strengthen interethnic and interfaith relations in the Yaroslavl region under the slogan“ St. Nicholas is the dominant of the culture of the Russian people ”.
With the support of the Department of Public Relations of the Yaroslavl Region, a collection was published on the results of last year’s conference.
As always, the central topic of the conversation was the state of one of the most valuable temples in the Yaroslavl land – the church of St. Nicholas the Mokry. And this time there is something to discuss.
The project for the conservation, restoration and adaptation of the Church of St. Nicholas the Mokroi in Yaroslavl has not only been developed by the TsNRPM, but also received a diploma from the Union of Architects of Russia at the Arch Heritage festival (section “Project”, nomination “Objects of civil architecture (including religious buildings)”) …The team of authors – I.V. Kalugin, D.E. Yakovlev, A.A. Kalugin, S.I. Baranova, O. N. Belyaevskaya.
Especially for the conference participants, the CNRPM staff prepared information on the key points of the restoration project. We have also received this material for publication and are presenting it to our readers, thereby starting a public comment.
Central Scientific Restoration Design Workshops are glad to welcome all participants of the scientific and educational project “St. Nicholas.Yaroslavl heritage “. We present to your attention the project of restoration and adaptation of the object of cultural heritage of federal significance” Church of St. Nicholas the Wet with a bell tower, 1677 “. In this case, due to time constraints, we will talk about the main stages of the restoration of the Church of St. Nicholas Mokry, from the Soviet period to the present day.
– The Church of St. Nicholas the Wet has survived to our time practically unchanged, that is, before the restorers APM-6 (workshop of I.V. Kalugina), it appeared in almost its original form (with the exception of the loss of two porches of the 17th century – northern and southern).
– There was no comprehensive restoration at the site. In the 1920s. emergency work was carried out after the events of 1918, when the building of the temple was subjected to shelling and had a number of damages (a breach in the bell tower, demolished chapters and traces of shells in brickwork and tiles).The following repair and restoration works were carried out in the 1950s, when they were completed – fragmentary restoration of brickwork (in places of damage), the roof covering of the quadrangle was replaced and the lost chapters were restored. During this period, the tiles were not restored.
– Since its construction in the 1660s, the building of the temple has already had a number of engineering and structural problems. The most basic is the roll of the bell tower to the west, which arose due to the subsidence of the soil and foundation during construction.The second drawdown is in the southwestern pillar of the four. And finally, the superstructure of the western vestibule with a tent in the 1690s. led to deformations of the foundation and significant cracks in the brickwork of the walls and tiled decor.
– In the 1980s. Rybnikov A.S., engineer YASNRPM a project was developed for strengthening the soils of the base and foundations of the bell tower, the western vestibule and the south-western pillar. This project was carried out only in 2009-2010, to the 1000th anniversary of the city of Yaroslavl. Unfortunately, the work was carried out with violations of the project.The reinforcement of the boulder foundations of the bell tower is now a concrete frame that crawled out to the surface to a height of 70 cm and protrudes 1.5 m beyond the dimensions of the bell tower walls. The base of the western vestibule and the south-western pillar was also concreted, but this did not completely eliminate the problem of deformations.
– After the conducted engineering studies (summer 2020), it became obvious that it would not be possible to completely disassemble the concrete frame of the bell tower. In the project, according to the recommendations of the design engineer, it was proposed to remove only a part of it that does not capture the drill-injection metal piles.
– Repair and restoration work in 2016-17 (LLC “AK-Project, contractor LLC” Yaroslavl Restorator “). The south porch has been recreated. Fragmentary restoration of brickwork on the facades has been done, floors of ceramic slabs in the interior of the quadrangle and galleries have not been laid at the historical level. A new roof covering was made for the quadrangle and the eastern and central chapters. During the restoration of the tiled decor, the method of replacing the partially preserved original with new samples was applied, instead of additional layouts.In general, the restoration was in the nature of repair.
– After the conducted field studies in the summer of 2020, the construction periodization of the temple was clarified. 1 period. 1665-1672 construction of the main volume of the temple, including the quadrangle, side-altars, gallery-porch and bell tower. Decorating the widths of galleries with terracotta (stove) tiles.
2 period. 1670s Extension of the north, west and south porches to the porch-galleries, the construction of the holy gates.Decoration of porch and bell tower widths with single polychrome tiles. Painting of walls and vaults of the interior of the temple and tympanum zakomar and the porch of the temple outside.
3 period. 1690s The unification of the western holy gates and the porch into the western vestibule and the superstructure of the gate part with a tent on the quadrangle. Abundant decoration with tiled carpet compositions of the western vestibule, including the decoration of the tent with ceramic tiles. Decoration with tiled compositions of platbands of apse windows and windows of the 2nd tier of the quadrangle.
4 period. 1690s – no later than 1740s The superstructure of the central drum and the painting of its walls from the outside. Replacing the pozakomarny covering with a pitched roof, replacing the rafter system of the quadrangle and galleries with a metal one.
5 period. 1840s The dismantling of the dilapidated northern and southern porches and the construction of brick parapets in place of the old foundations, crowned with pinnacles and white-stone steps and platforms. The first engineering survey of the temple.Construction of buttresses to the western wall of the bell tower, the western vestibule, the northern and southern porches.
6 period. Second floor. XIX- early. XX centuries. Installation of carpentry fillings in the arched openings of galleries. The first classification and fixation of terracotta and polychrome tiles by Filippov in the 1910s.
Photo: Interior of the quadrangle of the church of St. Nicholas the Wet
Photo: Inte Rier Hama of Nikola Mokroi
History of restoration by the Federal State Unitary Enterprise “Central Scientific Restoration Design Workshops”.
– Studies in the summer of 2020 revealed the surviving fragments of the original painting of the temple – whitewashing on brick, as well as polychrome painting of the architectural details of the temple. The largest fragment is preserved in the attic of the western vestibule; it represents the original upper part of the facade of the western porch. This fragment can be used to determine the first color scheme of the facades of the temple. The white surfaces of the walls were accented with polychrome painting of details in the form of geometric or floral ornaments.To this we need to add the brilliance of the tiled decor and the rich monumental painting in the tympanum zakomar – and then the picture of the integral image of the 17th century temple rises before our eyes! Fragments of paintings found on the slopes of the window openings of the apses and the windows of the side-altars and the bell tower of the 2nd tier also serve as confirmation of this. The coloristic solution of the facades presented in the project shows the original finish – whitewash on brick. Restoration of the polychrome painting seems possible only in the most preserved places – the window frames of the 2nd tier of the side-chapels.The rest of the fragments – on the slopes of the apses and the attic of the western vestibule – are subject to conservation.
– The restoration project provides for a full range of restoration work on the facades of the temple – from clearing to scraping and re-arrangement. Recommendations for the finishing coating of brick walls and methods of its protection are given.
– One of the fundamental aspects of the restoration project is the reconstruction of the south porch of the temple by analogy with the west porch – that is, on the basis of field and historical archival research.The project has developed masonry drawings for the porch.
– For the church of St. Nicholas the Wet, one of the important issues was to identify the initial level of the floors. Such studies were carried out in the summer of 2020, and thus it was possible to find out the initial level of the ceramic tile floor in the southern gallery. The original fragments of the floor from ceramic red and black-polished slabs of the sec. floor. XVII century, restored and preserved for display (in the form of an exposure probe).For the design level of the floor in the galleries, the level of the restoration ceramic floor was taken. XIX – early. XX centuries. The floor covering shall be made of ceramic floor slabs according to the historical model. Ceramic floors made during the repair and restoration work in 2009-2010. and laid in the galleries and the four, are subject to dismantling, since their level is too high, covers the lower part of the painting, the slabs do not correspond to the historical size.
In the altar, the original floor has been preserved – it is laid out of slabs of gray marbled limestone, the brick base of the syntron has been preserved.Such a floor has been preserved in the central and northern apse. These floors are subject to restoration and conservation. These slabs, according to archaeological research, were originally laid out and the floor of the quadrangle. The project proposes the restoration of the floor of the quadrangle of marbled limestone slabs at the historical level.
– The project proposes a number of measures to ensure the temperature and humidity regime to preserve the wall paintings of the 1670s, namely: In all the premises of the temple, a heating system “warm floor” is arranged.The existing backfill of the subfloor, which is of a secondary, largely restoration nature, and consisting of sand and construction debris, is removed and replaced by a “warm floor” cake (17 cm) with a new drainage backfill (up to 60 cm) made of gravel of different fractions (decreasing to the floor level). A “warm wall” system is arranged along the perimeter of the temple walls at the floor level and below (up to 60 cm). Here we plan to apply the Tempering method, which has long been proven on European monuments and is now being introduced by us on Russian monuments (the system is approved and recommended by the Federal Scientific and Methodological Council).This technology is carried out through the organization of limited heating of floor structures and the lower part of the walls with the control of standard parameters.
– Of course, the project solves the problem of drainage from the walls of the monument and the improvement of the adjacent territory. A broken drainage system and the absence of a blind area create a number of major negative problems associated with wetting the walls and the penetration of moisture into the structure of the base of the building.
– A separate part of the research was devoted to the unique tile decor of the temple.In general, the tiles have come down to us in their original form. The not very successful restoration in 2017 led to the loss of some of the original fragments and their replacement with remakes, instead of cold re-assembly on site. During the research, it was revealed that after the research of the 1910s, no scientific work was carried out. It was also revealed that in the 1950s. the Yaroslavl ceramist Egorov did not restore the tiles, as was previously thought. Thus, on the temple we have a larger percentage of genuine tiles, and not their restoration copies.According to the results of laboratory studies, defects in the preserved tiles were identified, and methods of their elimination were proposed in the restoration technique.
Photos from the project materials are provided by TsNRPM.
The Heritage Keepers warmly support the Nikolskaya conference and thank the TsNRPM for the material provided.
We very much hope that next year we will already discuss the progress of the restoration. However, this does not seem very likely. The money was allocated for the design. Now we need to seek funding for the work itself, otherwise the project will remain a project, and in five years everything will have to start from the very beginning.
Pskov | The film about the 6th company received a special prize of the Western Gate Film Festival
The film about the soldiers of the 6th company “Eternal Light” by Maria Popritsak received a special prize from the Western Gate Film Festival, the correspondent of the Pskovskaya Lenta Novosti reports.
During the closing ceremony of the film festival, its general producer Eduard Pichugin spoke about the decision to introduce an additional nomination – “Keepers of History” and to mark in it films that convey the most important events of Russian history to subsequent generations.
So, in this nomination a special prize was given to the paintings “ Eternal Light ” by Maria Popitsak and “The Tram Is Going to the Front” by Andrey Yegorov. Receiving the award, the director of the second film noted that it was a great honor and great responsibility for him.
At the end of the award ceremony, General Producer of the film festival “ Western Gate ” Eduard Pichugin thanked the administration of the Pskov region, Governor Mikhail Vedernikov and his team for organizing the festival.
“I am grateful to the festival for the fact that, in spite of everything, we continue to be united by art and cinema. The past festival is a small life. This year we decided to surprise guests with surprises, and some of them were obtained only for you all over the world – I’m talking about special screenings of some paintings.We are already thinking about the next festival and will be glad to see you in a year! ”Concluded Eduard Pichugin.
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History of Izborsk
Millennial Izborsk is mainly known in the history of Russia as a fortress city that has preserved its landscape features and medieval architecture. Standing on trade routes, near the border with the Baltic states, the city was a center of handicrafts and international trade.
Iron-smelting furnaces for processing bog ore and a large number of molded clay ceramics, discovered in the Slavyanskoye field, testify to the development of crafts.Developed trade relations are also confirmed by archaeological finds: jewelry, weapons. Until now, archaeologists find Arab coins of the 8th century, items from Byzantium brought to Izborsk in the 9th century, coins and medals of German and Anglo-Saxon origin. The Izborians traded with the Peipsi land, with which they were connected by a system of rivers and lakes. The Chudskoy reservoir was part of the famous trade route “from the Varangians to the Greeks.”
In the 10th century Izborsk turned into a suburb of Pskov, but it retained its independent administration, and in military terms its role was still great.In the Middle Ages, the history of Izborsk was a series of wars and defenses.
The first time Izborsk was captured by the knights of the Order of the Swordsmen in 1223, but the Pskovites came to the rescue, and Izborsk was liberated. In 1240, violating the peace treaty with Pskov, the knights of the Livonian Order captured Izborsk, and then marched unhindered to Pskov. In 1242, after the famous Battle on the Ice, in which the Izborsk soldiers also participated, the knights were expelled from the Russian lands.
The constant threat from the German knights required the strengthening of the fortifications.In 1303 “Izboresk was put in a new place”. The place was chosen on Zheravya (Zhuravlinnaya) Hill, and until the 15th century the new fortress successfully withstood eight sieges. The German poet Zuchenwart, who took part in the siege of 1349, called Izborsk the “iron city”. And in 1368, large forces of the Germans with numerous battering guns hammered the walls for 18 days, but withdrew without having achieved success. The Pskov chronicler noted with pride that the Germans “had a lot of insanity in the sow, who had gone hard,” but “they did not do anything evil”.
With the advent of firearms, the fortress was rebuilt: the towers were strengthened and the walls thickened. At the beginning of the 16th century, after the annexation of Izborsk and Pskov to Moscow, a fortress of the Pechersky Monastery appeared, and it was she who began to take the first blows of enemies.
In the era of Peter I, as a result of the Northern War, the border was moved to the west. Izborsk lost its border position, and in the 18th century its garrison was abolished. At the end of the 17th century, Izborsk from a suburb of Pskov turned into a small town, and then into a village, which became part of the Pechora district.
Even before the Great Patriotic War, the head of the local school A.I. Makarovsky created a small school museum. In 1964, on the initiative of the inhabitants of Izborsk, a larger assembly was opened. After a series of reorganizations, the expanded museum in 1996 was transformed into the State Historical-Architectural and Natural-Landscape Museum-Reserve “Izborsk” with an area of 7734 hectares.
There are 194 monuments of history and culture in the reserve. It includes the Museum-Estate of the Seto people in the village of Sigovo – the only museum in Russia of the small Finno-Ugric Seto people (Seto), which has preserved a unique culture.The museum is located on the territory of the Panikovskaya volost of the Pechora district of the Pskov region, on the border of three countries – Russia, Estonia and Latvia, where the features of the Russian Orthodox, Estonian Lutheran, Catholic and Seto Orthodox cultures are intertwined.
The attendance of the museum-reserve is about 130 thousand people a year. Every summer there are festivals of early medieval culture “Isaborg” and military-historical reconstruction “Zhelezniy Grad”, the international ethnocultural festival “Setomaa. Family meetings ”.Mass events dedicated to the holidays of the national calendar are regularly held: “Izborskaya Maslenitsa”, “Paraskeva-Friday”, “Green Christmastide”, “Christmas meetings”, etc., as well as a craft fair within the walls of a medieval fortress.
For 40 years in the museum-reserve on the last Friday of each month, meetings of the historical amateur association “Izborskaya Friday” have been held.
Natural and historical site “Izborsk” is included in the preliminary list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and registered at the World Heritage Center on February 5, 2002.
In front of the entrance to the settlement there is a stone cross, which is named Truvorov. The height of its ground part is almost 2.5 m. The inscription on the cross: “King of Glory, Jesus Christ, Nika” is traditional for stone crosses of the Russian north-west.
According to legend, under it is the grave of Truvor, who came in 862 with the brothers Rurik and Sineus to reign in Russia. However, in terms of paleographic features and shape, the cross dates back to the 14th – 15th centuries.
Church of St. Nicholas from the Settlement of the 17th – 18th centuries
In the 15th or 16th centuries, a stone church of St. Nicholas was erected on the Izborsk settlement, in the 17th – 18th centuries it was significantly rebuilt. The Church of St. Nicholas on the hill fort is a small, one-domed, one-apse, pillarless church stretching from west to east. In the 16th-18th centuries, there was a small men’s monastery at the church, called Nikolsky. The last service in this church was held on Trinity in 1961.
Slovenian keys.Holy springs
Slovenian springs are located on the slope of the Izborsko-Malska valley and represent groundwater outlets from limestones and dolomites. Passing through a layer of sand, clay, limestone, water is well filtered and purified. Slovenian Keys are not only a unique natural object, but also an Orthodox shrine. Every year in the light week, on the day the Orthodox Church celebrates the Life-Giving Spring icon of the Mother of God, the keys are consecrated.
The ensemble of the Izborsk fortress of the XIV-XVII centuries
In 1330, the Pskov mayor Sheloga completed the construction of a powerful stone fortress, which withstood dozens of enemy sieges and has survived to this day, being an outstanding monument of the defensive architecture of Ancient Russia.The chronicle says about this succinctly: “In the summer of 6838 (1330) Seloga the mayor from Pskov and Izboryana set up the city of Izborsk on Mount Zheravia of the same summer and a stone wall with an uchinish slab and ditches under the city …”. The average thickness of the walls of the towers and fortress walls is from 3 to 4 meters. On the territory of the fortress there are seven towers, two habs and other buildings.
Church of Sergius of Radonezh and Nikandr of the 18th century
A wooden church in honor of Sergius of Radonezh was built inside the Izborsk fortress after 1510, as a sign of support for the entry of the Pskov land into the Moscow state.But the church burned down during one of the fires; according to other sources, it fell into disrepair after the plague of 1703. A new, already stone church, which was given the names of two saints, Sergius of Radonezh and Nikandr of Pskov, was erected outside the fortress walls.
Not far from the Church of St. Sergius of Radonezh and Nikandr of Pskov, there is the Nikolsky spring. In ancient times, there was an underground passage to this spring from the fortress. Perhaps more than once the spring saved the defenders of the fortress from thirst during long sieges.Every year, on the feast of the Epiphany of the Lord (January 19), a procession of the cross goes to the Nikolsky well. The water in the spring is blessed with a special Great Order. Epiphany water is a shrine that people treat with unparalleled reverence.
Church of the Nativity of the Virgin of the 17th century
This church is associated with the story of two bells of Ivan the Terrible, which he ordered to be cast specifically for the Nativity nunnery in Izborsk, returning to Moscow from the Pskovo-Pechersky monastery.One of these bells, marked in 1575, was kept in the church for many years as a precious relic.
Scene of the wedding of Ivan Annenkov from Vladimir Motyl’s film “The Captivating Star of Happiness” was filmed in the Church of the Nativity of the Virgin.
Between two fires. Chapter Twenty-one. Western Gate | Jade rain
Leaving Mr. Ferdi, Sagar went down the stairs to the street and only then realized that he had absolutely nowhere to go. There was still a couple of hours before the arrival of the crew, and he did not want to stand on the street at all.So Sagar headed down the road towards his home. Driving there every time, he saw many taverns, shops and shops. The silver coin was with him, and Sagar was thinking of spending it.
Choosing a tavern farther from the center, he entered it, and, taking a seat by the window, called the owner. When he approached, he thrust a coin into his hand and asked him to prepare something to eat.
The owner was surprised, but after a couple of minutes he brought him fried chicken with potatoes and a mug of wine. The few visitors to the tavern watched Sagar with curiosity.But he didn’t take an eye. Putting the handkerchief on his knee, Sagar tore off the leg of the fried chicken with his hands and bit into it with his teeth.
“Great taste,” he growled, drinking wine over his meal.
Gradually they stopped looking at him, and he was able to eat peacefully. Sagar was pleased to note that ordinary food has its own delights. There was no need to follow etiquette, but this did not make the food less tasty. Half an hour later, the guards fell into the tavern. Glancing sideways at Sagar, they took tables next to each other.Soon more warriors came up. They were followed by women with painted eyelashes and lips. Joyful voices were heard. It became clear that everyone here knew each other well. The tavern was getting crowded. Sagar looked out the window. There was still no crew. Realizing that it was time to leave, he drained a mug of wine and, taking a handkerchief from his knee, began to wipe his hands.
At this moment, more soldiers entered the tavern. Looking around, they turned towards Sagar and froze. Only now did he recognize two of them.These were the same guards who were guarding the senator. Suddenly one of them put her hands on the table and glared at him.
“This is our table,” she said.
The voices in the tavern fell silent. Realizing that something needs to be answered, Sagar got up from his seat and, putting his hands on the table, looked at the speaker.
– Since when? – said Sagar.
– Will we brush it off? The elder snapped.
– Come on! – Sagar did not concede.
– What’s going on here? – said another guard who entered the tavern.
– Kaina grappled with the boy. Now let’s have some fun, – answered the second.
– That’s it. It’s good to be rowdy, – the last who entered the conversation cut in.
– Come on. I have to go, – smiled Sagar, as if nothing had happened.
He tried to squeeze to the exit, but the newcomer and the one who was trying to squeeze the table caught him by the jackets.
– Where are you going kid? One of them asked.
– My wallet is already empty. Yes, and I ate, – replied Sagar.
– Well, then we will treat you, – the guard grinned. – You borrowed a table for us.
– Master, wine to our friend! The second barked.
Sagar was put back on the chair. The strong physique of the warrior sat on both sides and looked at him, smiling.
Sagar arrived home tired. Entering the room where Minora was sitting, he leaned his back on the doorway.
– Will you have dinner with me? She asked.
– Sorry little sister. I’m so tired.I’ll go plunge into the bath and go to bed, ”he replied.
He really cleaned up quickly and then returned to his room. But Sagar did not have time to sleep. The door to the room opened quietly and Minora entered. Her lace cape adorned her sister’s figure delightfully. Catching his eyes on her, Minora approached him with a mysterious smile. Sagar remembered only her sweet kiss.
In the morning he left her asleep in bed, leaving for service in the palace complex.
That day the morning was fine. The firmament was clear and the sun was shining brightly. The crew drove into the gates of the complex. After driving through the park, he stopped in front of the main staircase. Sagar took a deep breath and left the carriage.
– Sagar! – a woman’s voice called out to him.
Turning around, he saw yesterday’s guards standing at the top of the stairs. Sagar waved his hand at them and began to climb the steps.
– Good morning Sagar, – said the guard who remained waiting for him.
– Good, – he agreed.
The woman watched him closely.
– Come with us in the evening again? She asked.
– If I am not sent somewhere. Yesterday, Mr. Ferdi let me go earlier, so I went to the light, – replied Sagar.
– Sorry. But if you are free, come in. Let’s have some fun, ”she said with a smile.
“Okay,” agreed Sagar.
– Then see you, – the interlocutor smiled with a snow-white smile, not taking her eyes off him.
– See you Marik, – Sagar smiled.
But on this day he did not join them. Mister Ferdi again sent him to the north tower and on the way there they were already waiting for him. They attacked as soon as he left the central quarters of the city. It was a warrior in a light armor. He went up to him and, putting his sword, said that his master wanted to talk to him. As soon as they entered the alley, Sagar rushed to run. Two jumped out to cut him. Sagar knocked them down without stopping. Having reached the bridge over the river, he realized that they were already waiting for him on the other side.Three pairs of legs were catching up behind him. Without waiting for them, Sagar attacked first. Intercepting the hand of the first, he knocked him down with a knee kick in the chest. The second bumped into his fist with his stomach. Sagar grabbed him by the neck and threw him into the pavement in one motion. A warrior with a sword ran after him, and five strong men with sticks were already racing behind him. Sagar jumped onto the railing of the bridge and, turning to his pursuers, stepped back. When they ran to the bridge, Sagar was nowhere to be found.
– Look for him. He shouldn’t have gone far, ”the warrior yelled.
But no matter how hard they tried, they could not find the fugitive.
Sagar returned to the library late in the evening. Exhausted and dirty, he delivered a reply letter to the keeper of knowledge.
In the morning, Mr. Ferdi sent him to an already familiar senator, saying that he had an important task for him. Arriving at the senator’s chambers, he immediately ran into the already familiar guards. This time they looked sullen. The senator himself was alarmed. Sagar stopped three paces from his chair and, bowing his head in a bow, announced that he had arrived on the orders of the keeper of lore.
“Mr. Ferdy says you can be relied on,” the senator said.
“I will carry out his order, even at the cost of my own life,” replied Sagar.
– Strongly said. Deliver this letter to the head of my guards. If you get intercepted, destroy the letter. Do it, I’ll pay you well, ”said the senator.
– As you order.
Having received the letter, Sagar immediately took his leave. He slipped out the door and walked down the hallway to the north wing. It faced the back of the park around the palace complex, and there it was easiest to leave the palace grounds.Footsteps were heard behind. Sagar quickened his pace but almost immediately heard a voice ordering him to stop. Rushing forward, he ran down the corridor.
– Hold it! – behind the echo thundered the stamping of feet.
Running through the bend, Sagar miraculously managed to jump over the spear of the guard who was entrenched there. Having flown over the shaft, he rolled over and, jumping to his feet, ran forward. Having managed to be the first to reach the observation windows, Sagar, having jumped over the railing, flew down. As in the case of the bridge, those who ran up to the railing looked down, not knowing where he could disappear.It was decent to fly down. But there was definitely no one there. The fugitive seemed to disappear into thin air. The sagar, meanwhile, hung under a ledge on the decorative grill of the lower floor. As the guards ran down the stairs, he quickly climbed down the grate and jumped to the ground. It was a matter of technique to cross the park and get over the fence.
Having reached the building where the senator’s guards were renting rooms, Sagar realized that he could not go further. The area was full of warriors, who ostensibly idly staggered through the streets.I had to climb up to the neighboring building, and walk along it from the side of the windows of the guests.
Crouching on the roof so that he would not be noticed from below, Sagar began to throw small pebbles at the window until they paid attention to him. The chief of the guards opened the window and looked around. Sagar clicked his tongue like a small bird of prey. Looking up, the guard met his gaze. Sagar showed her the capsule with the letter and threw it out the window. The guard caught the capsule and immediately closed the window. After a couple of minutes, shouts were heard near the building.From around the corner, several dozen of the senator’s guards poured out and quickly lined up in a line moved somewhere to the south. After completing the assignment, Sagar quietly returned to the library.
– I fulfilled your order, your wisdom, – said Sagar in a low voice
– Did anyone see you as you conveyed his letter? Asked Mr Ferdi.
“Have not seen it, your wisdom,” replied Sagar.
– Okay, – the keeper nodded his head.
On this day, he gave him a few more instructions, after which he said that for today Sagar is free.Having slipped out of the palace complex, Sagar just managed to intercept the carriage following him. That evening, the sister again raged in her desires and Sagar fell asleep only long after midnight. And in the morning he was there, as always. Having prepared the books indicated by the curator, he went to his usual place and waited for him to arrive at the library.
The Guardian walked over to the table and sat down in his chair, suddenly beckoning Sagar to him. Previously, he simply gave him orders and called to him just to hand over a letter.This time, something has changed. When Sagar came closer, the keeper took out a stack of silver coins from the table. Placing them on the edge of the table, he looked at his subordinate.
“Lord Karugu asked me to give you this silver for your service,” said the keeper.
Sagar bowed his head politely.
“Lord Karugi’s generosity knows no bounds,” Sagar said with restraint.
The Guardian looked with a grin at the feigned manner of his assistant.
“I suppose this is a good increase to your salary,” he said.
– Oh yes. It exceeds it exactly by the value of these coins, your wisdom, – replied Sagar.
The Guardian, smiling, nodded, already thinking about something of his own. Suddenly realizing the meaning of what was said, he grimaced and turned his head to Sagar. He, as if nothing had happened, stood in the shadow of a bookcase.
– Today you need to take the letter to the western gate. There you will hand it over to Mr. Irn. He commands the garrison. Ask him to write me an answer as soon as possible, – he said, taking out a capsule with a letter from under his clothes.
“All right, your wisdom,” Sagar replied.
Having received the letter, he immediately left the library. Slipping out the door, unnoticed by anyone, he slipped through the darkness of the corridors to the back of the palace complex. From there he went down the gratings from the third floor and after a couple of minutes jumped over the fence of the palace garden. Sagar could swear that no one saw him leave the ruler’s palace. And, nevertheless, almost all the way he felt that someone was watching him.
Finding the garrison commander at the western gate was not difficult.The guard himself took him to one of the towers at the gate where at a table heaped with papers sat the same middle-aged man as on the north tower. Sagar handed him the capsule with the letter and, stepping back to the front door, began to wait for the addressee to read the message. He reread the letter several times. Something about him apparently confused the commander. Finally folding the letter back into the capsule, he tucked it under his clothes. Rising from the table, he was about to say something when the door to the room opened abruptly and a stoutly built man in the clothes of forest dwellers appeared on the threshold.
– Irn, buddy. How many years, how many winters, – he said with delight.
– Yarmash? What are the fates? – the commander was surprised.
– You won’t believe. I am escorting a distinguished person to the ruler’s palace. So I decided to look at you on the way, – the guest answered.
– What kind of person? – the commander warned.
– Yes, – the guest winced with a wave of his hand. – I’m taking the youngest daughter of the great Faragas to present at the court. These traditions will drive me crazy someday.
“Wait,” the commander stopped him, remembering that there was an outsider in the room. – I have to send a messenger.
Only then did the guest notice Sagar standing behind him. Turning, he looked at him. The commander stepped towards Sagar.
– I cannot make a decision so quickly. Tell Mr. Ferdi that I need time to think things over, ”he said.
– Of course, Mr. Irn. The only thing my lord asked was that you do not delay your answer.It is very important for him to know your opinion, – replied Sagar, bowing his head politely. “With your permission, I will leave you.
– I will write an answer shortly, – the commander assured him.
– I will convey your words, – Sagar once again bowed his head and, taking a step towards the doorway, was about to leave the room.
– Stop, – the guest suddenly stopped him. – We’ve already met somewhere.
“Sorry, I don’t remember your face,” Sagar lied on the move.
It was difficult to forget that.In his first game in the camp of the forest warriors, he encountered this warrior on the site. He was the swordsman that Sagar attacked with knives.
– What is your name? – asked the guest.
– I beg your pardon. My lord, the great keeper of wisdom, forbids me to give my name. But you can ask him yourself, ”Sagar replied, bowing his head.
– What is this nonsense? – the guest was indignant.
– Leave him Yarmash. Everyone in the palace is a little crazy, – the commander stopped the guest.
He waved Sagara out and he, taking a step back, disappeared into the twilight.
– But I remember exactly that I saw him already, – the guest was indignant.
Turning to the entrance, he realized that Sagar was no longer in the room. Looking out into the corridor, the guest looked around. The messenger seemed to vanish into thin air.
Sagar, meanwhile, was running towards the stairs down. Now the main thing was to disappear in time. But as soon as he ran to the stairs, he realized that he was late. Eight pairs of legs climbed the steps. Sagar pressed his back against the wall before turning to the stairs. Voices came from below.Two male and one female.
– Your uncle wants to introduce you to his old friend. He holds one of the most important positions in the city. He is the commander of the western part of the city. Such an acquaintance will certainly be useful to you, – said a voice familiar to Sagaru.
Looking around, he frantically looked for a way to retreat. It was impossible to run back. There was only a way forward, to the open wall. Sagar turned sharply and walked calmly past the stairs. The guests, of course, noticed him, otherwise they would not have been forest dwellers.But when they climbed the steps to the top, there was no one to the right. The wall was empty as far as the eye could see.
– We are here, – the guide pointed to the left to the corridor going through the tower.
When the guests and their guides left, Sagar descended from the teeth of the loophole and slid to the stairs. To his luck, the rest of the guides stopped a little away from the entrance to the tower and Sagar was able to leave it without hindrance. Mingling with the crowd of merchants, he quietly left the square in front of the gate.Then, having made several loops around the city, Sagar confused the tracks. He appeared in the library as imperceptibly as he disappeared from there.
The Loremaster realized that he had come only through the draft, which blazed the flame of the candles.
– What did Mr. Irn say? He asked, as if he already knew that Sagar had no reply letter.
– He promised to write an answer soon, – replied Sagar.
– And that’s it?
“Guests came to him, he couldn’t say more,” replied Sagar.
– What kind of guests?
– His old friend from the family of forest dwellers. From their greeting, I understood that they have known each other for a long time. The name of his friend is Yarmash. He accompanies the youngest daughter of the head of the Faragas clan to the ruler’s palace. From what I was able to hear this is some kind of ancient tradition, – explained Sagar.
– I see. What can you say about Mr. Irna yourself? The keeper suddenly asked.
“He doubts your wisdom,” Sagar replied.
“I thought so,” the keeper shook his head.
– It seems to me that your wisdom is unnecessarily risking its position. It would be much easier to hire a person who would buy everything you need from the merchants directly and bring it to the place you need, ”Sagar said suddenly.
The Guardian looked at him attentively, as if waiting for the continuation of the words. But Sagar said nothing more. Finally realizing that the next step was his, the keeper answered him.
– It is not easy to find a loyal person who is ready to do such a difficult job.
“I share your concerns, Mr. Ferdy,” agreed Sagar.
– Good. Then propose a solution, ”the keeper chuckled.
“You could hire me,” Sagar suggested.
– You? – the keeper was surprised.
– I am a small fry in the palace, and I am unlikely to be suspected of having connections with garrison officers. In the meantime, I could arrange for the delivery of cargo to the transshipment base in the city center. Where it would be easy for you to take everything you need in the right quantities, Sagar suggested.
– Good. And how much do you want for your intermediary services? – asked the keeper.
– I will be glad if your wisdom knocks out my usual salary from the treasury. And, of course, you will need money to hire carriers and rent a building, – replied Sagar.
– Interesting thought, – the keeper grunted.
Shaking his head, he sat down again at his papers. After flipping a couple of pages, the keeper put down his quill and looked at Sagar again. He sat in the corner on a pile of old books and, with his head raised, looked at the painted ceiling.
– How long ago did you realize that I do business myself? The keeper asked suddenly.
Sagar lowered his head and looked at Mr. Ferdi.
– When? – he thought for a moment. – On the second day of my work with you.
– Did you tell anyone this? The keeper asked in a cold tone.
– Why? If you are accused of something, I will lose even this modest place at court. And then my hopes of getting at least a place as a palace guard in time will go to pieces, – replied Sagar.
– What about Mr. Rendor? I thought you were in touch with him, ”said the keeper.
“Mr. Rendor is my uncle,” he said. “But you have nothing to worry about, I am an adopted child in the family, and like everyone else, my uncle hates me.
– How is it? I didn’t know that, – the keeper was surprised.
– Nobody knows this. And so it was conceived. But not at all because I could collect information. No. They are simply afraid that I will disgrace their noble names, – admitted Sagar.
– Why are you telling me this? The keeper asked.
– I want you to trust me. You are the court keeper of wisdom, they listen to your words. Help me to gain a foothold at court, and you will never regret it, – replied Sagar.
– Well, your revelation is commendable. But I can’t promise a quick result, ”said the keeper.
– I am not asking to solve my problems today. I just ask you to remember me at the right moment, your wisdom, – replied Sagar.
– Good. I promise you my protection, – the keeper agreed – You can rest for today.
– As you command, your wisdom, – Sagar rose from his place and, stepping into the shadows, practically disappeared into the gloom.
The Guardian heard the quiet creak of the front door to the library. He sighed heavily and pondered over the messenger’s words. Even he could not imagine that this young man was a relative of Rendor. However, the greed of these noble nobles made all their efforts useless. His own nephew was ready to join the banner of another family in order to obtain the usual position of the guard.The Keeper grinned, shaking his head. As he thought, this world is rotten to the core.
Continued. Chapter Twenty-two. Obsessive Curiosity
The main gate of China – Forbes Kazakhstan
PHOTO: © Depositphotos.com/Imaginechina-Editorial
Of course, everyone is familiar with Chinese goods and cuisine, but looking at the map of the Middle Kingdom, one involuntarily wonders: what is hidden under all these, often very similar, geographical names? To one degree or another, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong are widely known, the city of Urumqi, the closest to us and at the same time the most remote from all seas, the resort island of Hainan and mysterious Tibet.I will try to introduce you to something new, but at the same time forgotten old, namely the ancient capital of China – the city of Xi’an.
In each of my articles about China, I have to focus on the situation with visas for citizens of Kazakhstan. For several years now, this has not been easy. In order not to repeat myself, I will only say that in 2019 the situation has not improved, but somewhat worse. For example, in May I received an individual business visa for a period of 30 days, and since September they began to issue it for a period of no more than 20. However, if you moderate your ardor, then 20 days will be enough for both business and tourism.
It is quite easy to get to one of the largest cities in China, although there are no direct flights from Nur-Sultan and Almaty. The flight is either through Urumqi or through Beijing. For some time, SCAT Airlines operated direct flights from Almaty to Xi’an, then, due to the tightening of the visa policy, it stopped them, but plans to resume in 2020.
Xi’an is an ancient city founded in the XI century BC. e., was repeatedly renamed and rebuilt according to the “political course” of one or another imperial dynasty.The second most famous name was given to him in 202 BC. NS. Liu Bang, the first emperor of the Han Empire (where the self-name of the Chinese people comes from), founded the new capital Chang’an on the site of the old city, which means “long peace”.
The Han Empire collapsed in 190 AD. NS. After several turbulent centuries in 582, the country reunited into the Sui Empire. The emperor ordered to rebuild a new capital to the southeast of the old one, which was named Daxing (literally “great delight”).It consisted of three districts – Xi’an Palace, an imperial city, and a city for the general population; Jingzhao County was raised to the status of Jingzhao County. The main street – Zhuque – was 155 m wide, the entire capital occupied an area of 84 km² (6 times larger than the then Rome), at that time it was the largest city in the world – it was home to about a million people.
PHOTO: © Depositphotos.com/chungking
After the change of the Sui Empire to the Tang Empire, the capital was again renamed Chang’an.In the 7th-9th centuries, according to many researchers, it was the most populated metropolis in the world, with a population ranging from 800 thousand to 1 million inhabitants (after the fall of the empire, the Tang ceded leadership to Baghdad).
During the existence of the Ming Empire (1368-1644), the capital was moved to Beijing, and Chang’an was renamed Xi’an. Under this name, he appears to this day on most maps of the world.
It is not surprising to get confused in all these imperial dynasties, names and titles.But a couple should still be remembered, because not only monuments of antiquity are associated with them, but also the further history of the development, if not of all mankind, then of China, for sure.
Qin Shi Huangdi (literally “great emperor, founder of Qin”, real name – Ying Zheng) – the ruler of the Qin kingdom ( from 245 BC), who put an end to the 200-year era of the Warring States. By 221 BC. NS. he reigned throughout Inner China and went down in history as the creator of the first centralized Chinese state.The Qin dynasty he founded, which he intended to rule over China for ten thousand generations, survived the emperor by only a few years. He seemed to feel that the declared goal was untenable, so a year after ascending to the throne, being 13 years old, he began to build his own tomb. According to the plan, 8100 full-size terracotta statues of warriors and their horses were to accompany him after death and, probably, provide an opportunity to satisfy his imperious ambitions in the other world, as in life.The construction required the efforts of more than .7 thousand workers and artisans and lasted 38 years. The perimeter of the outer wall of the burial is 6 km. Although clay copies were buried together with the emperor instead of living soldiers (contrary to tradition), according to various estimates, up to 70 thousand servants were buried along with their families.
PHOTO: © Depositphotos.com/pwollinga
The statues were discovered in March 1974 by local peasants while drilling an artesian well east of Lishan Mountain.In 1987, at the 11th session of UNESCO, the Terracotta Army was inscribed on the World Heritage List as part of the tomb complex of the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty. The complex became the first of the properties in China included in this prestigious list. Today, of the seven peasants who found the monument, four are still alive, but they are rarely remembered. The only exception is Yang Zhifa, who, thanks to promotion in the media, turned into a local celebrity.
One of the most visited archaeological sites in the world is located 45 km from the city center.You can get there either by public transport or by taxi. The entrance ticket costs 150 yuan ( 8300 tenge ).
Behind the fortress wall
Old monuments fit organically into the modern landscape of the city. And the most important of them is the city wall. It has a long history, but specifically the walls that every passenger who arrives by train to Xi’an at the exit from the central station sees were erected during the reign of the Ming dynasty. It was the XIV century, during the reign of Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang . You can climb the wall at any time, but the walk around the perimeter will be quite long. The length of the preserved structure is 13.7 km. Therefore, you can rent a bike right on the wall and make a full circle.
The height of the wall is 12-14 meters, the thickness of the part is 15-18 meters. Fortress ramparts are installed every 120 meters. The towers were built so that soldiers could see enemies trying to climb the wall. The distance between 98 ramparts is approximately equal to the flight of an arrow.This allowed the warriors to defend the wall and at the same time be inaccessible to the arrows of the enemy.
In addition to the ramparts, there are four main gates – on the cardinal points. The current gate was built on the site of the gate of previous empires. The period of the Tang Dynasty was especially interesting. It is the Tang era (618–907) that is traditionally considered in China as the time of the country’s highest power, when it was ahead of all other states in the world in its development. The deeds of the Tang rulers and the history of the empire are worthy of a separate historical essay, but I will limit myself to recalling the unique interweaving of the Great Steppe and Zhongguo (the Middle State, the original name of the Chinese state) at that time.It is thanks to this symbiosis that the Great Silk Road gained world significance.
PHOTO: © Depositphotos.com/kikujungboy
Through the Western Gate from that Chang’an, trade caravans laden with incredible wealth went out to the countries of Central Asia and Europe. Through these gates they returned with a fabulous profit. From here went to Tibet the Chinese princess Wenchen, who became the wife of the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo. Thanks in large part to this dynastic marriage, Tibet was transformed from a savage barbarian country into the cradle of Buddhism.Poet Li Bo entered Chang’an through the West Gate. Known as “the immortal in poetry”, he is one of the most revered poets in the history of Chinese literature and is considered one of the world’s greatest poets, whose name ranks alongside those of Dante and Petrarch, Nizami and Ferdowsi, Pushkin and Shakespeare. Li Bo left behind about 1100 pieces (including about 900 poems ). The poet was born in 701 in the city of Suyab on the western edge of the empire.The ruins of ancient Suyaba are located not far from modern Bishkek.
The Buddhist monk Xuanzang began his journey to India thousands of kilometers long from the Western Gate. He left Chang’an in 629 and returned in 645 with 657 Buddhist texts in Sanskrit. The monk received the support of the emperor and organized a large translation school in Chang’an, attracting numerous students throughout East Asia. Xuanzang translated 1330 works of into Chinese. With his direct participation, the Great Wild Goose Pagoda was built – as a repository of these texts and an educational center, one of the main monuments of ancient Xi’an.
Death Trail and Waterfall Kettle Spout
But do not limit yourself to visiting the city attractions of Xi’an. Shaanxi Province is incredibly rich in both natural and historical monuments. The massif of Huashan Mountain is located 100 km east of the city. It is one of the five Sacred Mountains of Taoism in China. It is here that the “path of death” is located – perhaps the most famous extreme attraction in the country. The famous trail is located on a steep cliff at a height of several hundred meters and consists of three or four boards fastened together.Only the most courageous can take on one of the most dangerous and terrifying routes in the world. The trail is so narrow that any wrong step can lead to an accident. Although official statistics do not confirm tragedies, local residents are confident that they happen periodically. The trail, despite its name and riskiness, attracts more and more tourists every year. You even have to queue up. At the end of the trail, an incredible view from one of the peaks of Mount Huashan awaits the one who has reached.Passing the “path of death” is not recommended for the faint of heart, because on one side there is a colossal rock, on the other – a deep abyss. Of course, you can’t do without equipment. The daredevil is put on a climbing belt with two small cables and carbines. As you move to the top, you must firmly hold on to the chains that are attached to the rock.
The Death Trail did not come about for nothing: it was originally built by monks about 700 years ago. At that time, the trail consisted only of planks, and chains, handrails and equipment were relatively recent.Standing on the edge of an abyss, you can see in a foggy haze how the Weihe River flows into the Yellow River. Directly to the north, 200 km from the confluence, in the upper reaches of the Yellow River is the Hukou Falls – the largest “yellow” waterfall on the planet (the Yellow River is called the Yellow River because of the large amount of clay in the water). The river is the natural border of Shanxi and Shaanxi provinces. The name of the waterfall can be translated as “teapot spout”. The fact is that the Yellow River in this place changes its width from 200 to 50 meters and flows through the “Grand Canyon” of Jinxia.When the Yellow River approaches the canyon, blocked by mountains on both sides, its width narrows to 20-30 meters. The speed of the stream increases and a waterfall 15–20 meters high is formed. Its height and width are seasonal, increasing during floods. Water in a narrow part of the river generates a lot of splashes and fine suspension in the air. Locals call this sight “smoke from the river”.
PHOTO: © Depositphotos.com/andrei-anpo
Due to its remote location, Hukou was inaccessible for a long time.But after the authorities improved the transport and tourism infrastructure, the number of visitors increased. Walking paths lead to the waterfall on both sides. But you should be very careful not to fall into a raging stream, accidents are not uncommon here. Car parks, cafes and restaurants can be found around. About 4 km downstream, there is a bridge connecting the banks of the Yellow River and the two provinces.
In winter, the waterfall is no less picturesque than in the “high water” season.It freezes almost completely, forming bizarre ice pillars and cascades.
Eternal Tao without a name
The Qinling Mountains encircle Xi’an from the south and have historically been the border between North and South China. Stretching from west to east for 1000 km, Qinling is the watershed of the basins of the country’s main rivers – the Yellow and Yangtze. If you go from Xi’an along the mountains to the southwest, then after 60 km you find yourself in one of the most sacred places in China. The Loguantai area is famous for the fact that here one of the founders of Taoism – the legendary Lao Tzu – wrote his treatise “Tao Te Ching” (“The Book of Way and Dignity”).The treatise is the fundamental source of Taoism and one of the outstanding monuments of Chinese thought, which had a great influence on the culture of China and the whole world. The main idea of the work is the concept of Tao, which is interpreted as a natural order of things that does not allow outside interference, “heavenly will” or “pure nothingness.”
The most famous version of Lao Tzu’s biography was written by the historian Sima Qian in Historical Narratives. According to him, Lao Tzu was born in the village of Qu Ren in the Chu kingdom in southern China.For most of his life, he served as curator of the imperial archives and librarian at the state library during the Zhou dynasty, which speaks of his high education. In 517 BC. NS. there was a famous meeting with Confucius. Lao Tzu said to him: “Leave, oh friend, your arrogance, various aspirations and mythical plans: all this has no value for your own self. I have nothing more to say to you! ” Confucius walked away and said to his disciples: “I know how birds can fly, fish can swim, game can run … But how a dragon rushes through the wind and clouds and ascends into the heavens, I do not comprehend.Now I have seen Lao Tzu and I think that he is like a dragon. ”
In old age, Lao Tzu left the country to the west. When he reached the border outpost, which was located in the Loguantai area, its chief, Yin Xi, asked him to tell about the teachings. Lao Tzu fulfilled the request by writing the text “Tao Te Ching”. Then he left, and it is not known how and where he died. According to some historians, he went to India and, paradoxically, gave birth to Buddha Shakyamuni. A Taoist temple was later built on the site of the outpost, which is now a place of pilgrimage.
Three kilometers west of the Loguantai Temple is the local “Leaning Tower of Pisa” – Daqin Pagoda, the oldest Christian church in the Far East. The 32 meter high pagoda was erected by the Nestorian Christians in about 640. In the 8th century, it received the name “Daqin” – this is how the ancient Chinese called the Roman Empire and Byzantium. During the persecution of Christians in China (c. 845), the temple fell into disrepair. In the XIV century, the building was chosen by Buddhist monks, who, however, left it after the earthquake of 1556, which blocked the underground passages and caused great damage to the building.In 1998, the Chinese government recognized the pagoda as one of the few surviving monuments of Nestorian Christianity in China and took it under protection, giving it the status of a national treasure. On the walls, you can still see the images of the Nativity of Christ and Jonah under the walls of Nineveh. Separate inscriptions in the Syriac language have also survived.
It is widely believed that the giant panda, one of the symbols of China and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), can only be seen in Sichuan province.But this is not the case. Until 2016, bamboo bears, which are actually more like giant raccoons, were considered an endangered species. Scientists believe that there are about 2 thousand of them left in the wild. China provides for the death penalty for killing these animals. Their breeding in captivity is extremely rare. It is almost impossible to meet a giant panda in the wild, but it can be done in specialized nurseries (biosphere reserves). One of them, Foping, is located on the southern side of the Qinling Mountains. It is not as popular as the giant panda centers in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan, so the animals can be observed relatively calmly.
PHOTO: © Depositphotos.com/Deerphoto
Thanks to the improvement of the ecological situation in the Qinling Ridge area and the efforts made to protect wild animals, excellent conditions for the life and reproduction of another species of unique animals – takins – have reappeared here. In the Qinling Mountains, there are already more than 4 thousand individuals of of these rare ungulates, which are also under state protection.
I have described just a few reasons to visit Xi’an and Shaanxi Province.In fact, there are many more objects of tourist interest. And if you are interested in the history of China, then Xi’an is a real Klondike.