E-Pang Palace(The First Palace under Heaven)


Regarded as a famous palace in the Qin Dynasty(秦朝Qíncháo), E-Pang Palace was initially built in 212BC, with the site located in E-Pang Village, western suburb of Xi’an City, Shaanxi.

After Emperor Qin Shi Huang united China, the national power as well as the population in its capital Xianyang was undergoing continuous growth. In 212BC, Emperor Qin Shi Huang commanded to build E-Pang Palace. However, due to the huge scale of the project, only a front palace was completed during the reign of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. According to the calculation performed in line with the recordation in Historical Records • Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s Biography, the front palace of E-Pang Palace is 690m wide, 115m long, covering an area of approximately 80,000 square meters. Legend has it that there were over 700 palaces of various sizes, which contained huge quantity of treasure and accommodated numerous beauties. The palace was burned down in the late Qin Dynasty when Xiang Yu (a leader of a rebel army at that time) led the insurgents to attack Xianyang. This fact is reflected in Rhapsody on E-Pang Palace(阿房宫ēpánggōng), a famous work written by Du Mu, a renowned poet in the Tang Dynasty.

A large earth podium built by rammed earth is still seen in the south of E-Pang Village. It is approximately 310m long and 20m high, being named by the locals as “Heaven Approaching Roof of Emperor Qin Shi Huang”. Close to the southwest of the village stands a rectangle mesa with an area of approximately 260,000 square meters, which is named “Meiwu Mountain”. These two locations are the most prominent architectural vestiges on the relics of E-Pang Palace. In 1994, relics of E-Pang Palace was confirmed by the UNESCO to rank the first among all ancient buildings in the world in terms of scale and intactness, and thereby was confirmed as one of the famous miracles and relics in the world and crowned as “The First Palace under Heaven” by the Chinese.

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