XI'AN, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- A scenic moat area along the city wall in northwest China's Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi Province, opened to the public for free on Thursday after renovation.
The 14.6-km-long moat is an artificial water barrier surrounding the 13.7-km-long wall of the city, a well-preserved structure built during the early Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and used as a fortification for military defense.
A comprehensive renovation and upgrading project was launched for the moat and its adjacent area in 2003, which got completed in late September. The moat area has a water body of 362,000 square meters and 1.05 million square meters of green area.
"While improving the moat environment, we took into account the aspects of flood control, relics protection, water quality and people's livelihood," said Nong Xiaoying, chief engineer of the renovation project.
So far, 29 relic sites have been found along the moat area, including an ancient moat relic site and two ancient wells. Xi'an served as the capital of 13 ancient dynasties.