In 1974, row upon row of clay soldiers were discovered by peasants digging a well near Xi'an, China. The terra cotta army of more than 7,000 life-size officers, infantrymen, bowmen, horses, and charioteers were all arranged as a protective escort for Qin Shihuangdi's journey to the afterlife. Qin was the first emperor to truly unify China, and has the Great Wall among his many credits.
This 40-acre outdoor museum, a miniature replica of the original site, is impressive in itself. Each figure is handmade and imitates the precision of the original artisans: Each soldier in the army is unique. The museum also has a scale model of the Forbidden City, which was the Imperial Palace in the Ming and Qing Dynasties, and an exhibit featuring examples of the architecture and weapons of the dynasties. The gardens are peaceful, and with the pleasant patter of fountains and chiming Chinese music, you might forget you're in Texas.
23500 Franz Rd Katy, TX 77493 281-347-8000