Have you ever wanted to visit a major archeological site China but couldn’t afford the fare?
If so, you are in luck because there is a place in Katy, Texas where you can see a replica of what has been touted as one of the most significant, Chinese archeological finds to date; the terra cotta army and mausoleum of China’s first Qin Emperor.
What follows is a succinct summary of what visitors to the “Forbidden Gardens” in Katy can expect to find as well as a brief history of the terra cotta army.
The “Forbidden Gardens” contains two large exhibits and seven smaller ones that focus on Chinese heritage.
Museum highlights include replicas of the terra cotta army, the Imperial Dragon throne and several buildings native to the “Forbidden City.”
Some of the buildings found in the “Forbidden City” are the “Hall of Supreme Harmony”, “Hall of Middle Harmony”, “Hall of Preserving Harmony”, “The Palace of Heavenly Purity”, “The Hall of Unity”, The Hall of Literacy Glory”, “The Hall of Worshiping Ancestors” and the “Hall of Tranquil Longevity.”
The “Forbidden Gardens” also includes a gift shop filled with attention-grabbing facsimiles as well as other keepsake items.
Brief History of Qin Shin Haung Di’s Terra Cotta Army
Considered to be the first emperor of China, Qin Shin Haung Di spent a great deal of his life preparing for his death.
Ancient records indicate that an estimated 70,000 Chinese workers spent decades constructing the Emperor’s mausoleum site.
The mausoleum site, grand even by modern day standards, was a faithful replica of the Emperor’s palace and the world as he knew it in 210 B.C.
In addition, the Emperor also commissioned a series of life-sized terra cotta warriors and their accouterments to be buried around the buildings themselves.
It is believed that the purpose of the 8,000 plus warriors, horses, carriages and such was to protect the Emperor in the afterlife.
Perhaps what is most striking about the site, other than its’ sheer depth and breadth, is the incredible detail found in the statues.
Each terra cotta warrior is distinct, with detail so intricate it looks as if it were cast from the body of a real warrior.
The mausoleum site was first uncovered 22 miles east of the Xi’an, Shaanxi Province in 1974. Excavations and further cataloging of the site are ongoing.
Hours of Operation and Admission
As of 2010 the “Forbidden Gardens” is open Friday through Sunday from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm.
Admission is $10 per adult and $5 per child between the ages of 6 through 18. Children between the ages of 3 through 5 are admitted into the gardens for $3 and children under the age of 2 are admitted for free.
Would-be visitors should note that the “Forbidden Gardens” is a completely outdoor venue and as such is subject to close during periods of inclement weather. As such, visitors should contact the “Forbidden Gardens” staff in advance of their trip to confirm hours of operation, admission prices and exhibit details.
Those planning a trip to the Katy, Texas can find out more about other area attractions and lodging by logging onto the “Katy Area Chamber of Commerce” website.
23500 Franz Road
Katy, TX 77493
Forbidden Gardens “The Terra Cotta Army of Qin Shin Huang Di” Forbidden Gardens
Global Mountain Summit, “Terra Cotta Warriors: The Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor” Global Mountain Summit
Wikipedia, “Terra Cotta Army” Wikipedia
Travel Guide China “Quin Shin Huang Mausoleum” Travel Guide China