Xi’an şehrindeki ilk durağımız, Hua Ging Kaplıcaları. Bu kaplıcalar, Türkiye’de de örneklerini çok gördüğümüz doğal kaplıcalardan birisi. Xi’an’ın başkent olduğu dönemde, zamanın imparatorları ve ailelerinin faydalanmaları için inşa edilmiş. Geleneksel Çin mimarisinin güzel bir örneği olan bu kaplıcalar; banyo ve dinlenme yerleri, havuzları, gezi alanları, kafeteryaları ve hatıra eşya satan dükkanları ile bir park şeklinde herkesin gezip görebileceği bir yer.
HUA GING POOL
Our first stop in the city of Xi’an is Hua Ging Pool. The pool is one of the natural pools which we have seen many of them in Turkey. However this is not a public one like ours. It is built during when the capital was Xi’an for the emperors and for their families. The pool as a good example of traditional Chinese architecture; it is a park with a spa and recreation areas, pools, leisure areas, cafes and souvenir shops where everyone could visit.
İkinci göreceğimiz yer, Vahşi Kaz Pagodası. Geniş bir alana yayılmış bu pagodada da artık alıştığımız Çin mimari tarzının bir örneğini görüyoruz. Gökyüzüne doğru yükselen bir mabet şeklinde inşa edilmiş. Etrafta bir çok bina ve bahçe var. Ziyaret edenlerin sayısı da küçümsenmeyecek kadar çok. Bunların bir kısmı yabancı ve yerli turist, ama ibadet için gelenler de var. Bakımlı ve güzel bir yer. Kapalı alanda yüksek bir yere konmuş çok güzel bir Buda heykeli var. İnsan bu heykele bakmaktan gözünü alamıyor.
Second place we will see is the Wild Goose Pagoda. Now, we could see a familiar example of Chinese architecture style within this Pagoda spread over a large area. It was built as a temple rising towards the sky. There are many buildings and gardens around. The number of visitors is very much to be underestimated. Some of them are foreign and domestic tourists but some also come to worship. It is a well maintained and beautiful place. A very beautiful Buddha statue placed in a high spot in the closed area, it is remarkable. People are amazed by this statue. It is dominantly coloured with yellow, blue and tinged with a bit of red colour and put in a very magnificent place. However, as we walk around and in the gardens we come across many Buddha statues. They are colourful and very cute, they are constantly smiling. That is not all with the Buddha statues. We see a large statue of Buddha in the middle of the square outside the building.
Bundan sonraki gezimiz, Ulu Cami ve müslümanların yaşadığı mahalle. Burada Ulu Cami’den biraz fazla söz etmek istiyorum. Bunun da nedeni, caminin çok etkileyici olması. İnsan Çin’deki camiyi ziyaret etmeden evvel, minareleri, kubbeleri ile her zaman görmeye alıştığımız normal mimari yapıda bir cami göreceğini hayal ediyor. Ulu Cami’yi görünce durum tamamen farklı. Çünkü cami, tamamen geleneksel Çin mimari tarzında, daha ziyade Budist tapınaklarına benzer şekilde inşa edilmiş.
The Great Mosque and the Muslim neighbourhood is our next trip. I want to write a bit more about the Great Mosque here. The reason for this is that the mosque is very impressive. People dream about an usual mosque with a normal architectural structure with minarets and domes before visiting the mosque in China. Seeing the Great Mosque is completely different, as the mosque is built entirely in the style of traditional Chinese architecture, but rather in a similar way to Buddhist temples. When entered in the courtyard of the Mosque, we completely feel like in a Chinese Temple, until reached to the building where they pray. You need to pass through the door, courtyard and pavilions built in a style of Chinese architecture in order to reach the building where they pray. This distance is about 200 meters. The width is almost 50 metres. These measures could give you an idea of how big is the total area of the Mosque with all its facilities. One of the most important facts that impress me is the fact that the restoration is not exaggerated. Since I believe all the restorations we see in China is made exaggerated. This situation in the Mosque is better and more impressive in terms of seeing the originality. When the sound of prayer from the mosque mixes with the sound of the drum from the city which is to herald the sunrise and sunset, an unusual environment is created. Where else could you see something like this except for China? You need to travel and see the differences. The Mosque is built 13 centuries ago. Also here, there are really different worship places of other religions. The reason is that the city of Xi’an was the capital those days and most importantly, it is the starting point of the Silk Road. Visiting rich merchants not only spread the information about silk but also good and bad information about China. So it is the world door of China.
As soon as we enter the Mosque, we come across with a gorgeous wooden arch which is 10 metres high. The Mosque looks like complexes. Complexes are composed of five bays. After the arch, in order to ensure the Mosque faces towards Mecca, as we follow the axis extending from east to west, passing through the modest doors, we reach the bays where there are pavilions lined on the right and left. Service buildings where daily needs are provided are to the south, educational buildings such as madrasa are mainly to the north. In the middle of the complex there is a minaret which was built completely in Chinese architecture. When we see this building we don’t even understand weather it is a minaret of the mosque. A modest three-storey building of a Chinese architectural style… We are stunned to see this kind of a minaret since we were expecting a minaret rising metres up towards the sky which you will be able to see wherever you are. But this is the difference. We are here to see this difference. After passing through the fifth door, we reach to the praying building. This place is all made of wood and it is a pretty big place. With a single roof and a ceiling… The columns of the ceiling are also made of wood and they are standing there for centuries regardless. There are verses carved on the walls. The prayer`s room is not very luminous. There is a sense of calmness and serenity in the air. In general, this place is a very good combination of a complex of buildings, stone, wood and garden ornaments where a pleasing and calming work of art is in the forefront, an impressive venue. It has been standing for 1300 years challenging the passing years with its beautiful, gorgeous and very different look. The Great Mosque is certainly one of the best monuments in China and deserves to be one of the `must see` places.
There is a Muslim neighbourhood located somewhere around the Mosque. Here are souvenir shops, convenience stores, restaurants, street vendors, crepe sellers, and whatever comes to your mind. Certainly, this is not interesting at all. There is nothing special about it. We wish to get out of this place without spending much time. We just had a quick walk in between the streets just to have a look and got into our vehicle taking a deep breath.
Xi’an’da son görülecek yer, caminin hemen civarındaki müslüman mahalllesi. Burada hediyelik eşya satan dükkanlar, kuruyemişçiler, lokantalar, seyyar satıcılar, gözlemeciler, aklınıza ne gelirse var. Emin olun hiç enteresan değil. Hiçbir özelliği yok. Fazla oyalanmadan kendimizi buradan dışarıya atmayı arzu ediyoruz. Sokak aralarında yalnızca görmek açısından hızlı bir yürüyüşten sonra derin bir nefes alarak aracımıza biniyoruz. Çin’in başka bir bölgesinde buluşmak üzere. Zai Jian. Hoşça kalın.