The site of the imperial city of Chang’an was expanded and moved south of the original site it occupied during the Han dynasty. When construction of the new city began during the Sui dynasty in 582, it was briefly renamed Daxing; the first emperor of the T’ang dynasty reverted back to the name Chang’an in 618. The city was constructed on an enormous scale even by today’s standards and was surrounded by an 18-ft-tall (5-metre) main fortified wall. By 750 the city is said to have housed around one million inhabitants spread across nine main districts and 108 separate walled wards. As the imperial city, Chang’an was home to people of many different ethnicities and faiths, which meant that a variety of foreign places of worship were required. The vast majority of these were located in the northwestern sector whilst traditional Chinese places of worship were spread around the city.
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