The Terra Cotta Warriors, the guardians of China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang, will be on display at the National Geographic Museum in D.C. from November 19 through March 31. Since their discovery in 1974 by farmers digging a well, over 1,000 life-size terra cotta soldiers, wearing full armor, have been unearthed and an estimated 7,000 additional warriors remain, waiting to be exhumed. Each warrior is unique, with his own hairstyle, facial features and expression. Since the discovery of the first warriors, life-size chariots and horses, servants, musicians, acrobats and animals have also been uncovered. It is believed that the warriors were made in order to protect the emperor during the afterlife, one example of his obsessive quest for immortality.
National Geographic Museum’s exhibit highlights a number of artifacts from Qin Shihuangdi’s tomb, including fifteen life-size warriors, weapons, armor and coins. Destination DC’s package includes two nights at the Fairmont Washington, two adult tickets to see the Terra Cotta Warriors exhibit at the museum and a continental breakfast for two. Other items, such as tickets to the Newseum, Madame Tussaud’s, or various walking tours through the capital are available as optional add-ons. In addition, several excellent restaurants in the city, like TenPehn, Mie N Yu, and the Ritz-Carlton’s Lobby Bar, are also participating by creating Chinese-themed tea services, cooking classes, and special menus while the warriors are in town.
National Geographic will also be hosting a special NG Live! event
on November 21, featuring historian Albert Dien discussing the tumultuous era of Chinese history 2,200 years ago, which saw the construction of the terra cotta army. Some blackout dates apply, be sure to check here for more information on how to see the warriors before they’re packed up and shipped back to China.
Photo by O. Louis Mazzatenta (for a photo gallery of the Terra Cotta Warriors, click here)