Shanxi Provincial (History)Museum Xian
Shanxi Provincial (History) Museum is located in the east Xiaozhai Road, south of Xi'an city, it is a massive modern museum and a magnificent architectural complex in the Tang-Dynasty style. It covers 65,000 square meters, with a building area of 60,000 square meters.
Shanxi Provincial (History) Museum is a splendid
national museum with modern facilities. It houses the culture heritage
of Shaanxi Province and shows the development of Chinese civilization.
The first Han (206 B.C.-220 A.D.) emperors built upon the foundations of the Qin and expanded their territory enormously. Unlike the Qin, however, they allowed the cultures of the new territories to remain intact and encouraged trade and commerce among the various parts of the empire. One envoy reached India, but the ruling king of India thought it impractical to form a defensive alliance at such a distance. Instead, a multinational trade agreement emerged, for when the envoy returned to Xian with detailed reports of the western states, he was sent back with a large delegation and items to trade. Silk was an immediate hit. (Over time, silk exports reached as far as Rome, where it was a highly valued commodity.)
Walking through the exhibits in the Provincial Museum is like walking through the history of what came to be known as the Silk Road. First, there are items from the Xia (2200 B.C.-1700 B.C.) and then the Ming and Qing dynasties. The collection from the Han through the Tang (618 A.D.-907 A.D.) and Song (960 A.D.-1279 A.D.) dynasties shows the changes of art and craftsmanship. It is not just that the skills have developed and changed (many of the early pieces are detailed and executed to perfection), it is also the viewpoint that has changed. The later works have a stronger reality base--a knowledge of an expanded world experience.
Exhibited in the main exhibition hall are 2,700 works of art, with
an exhibition line that extends 2,300 meters. The exhibition space
is divided into an introductory hall, permanent exhibitions, special
exhibitions, and temporary exhibitions, as well as one that has
been named the National Painting Hall.
Shanxi Provincial Museum's permanent exhibition primarily displays Shaanxi's ancient history. Representative pieces from all periods have been selected to show the development of civilization in this region. The exhibition space of this display is 4,600 square meters. It includes three exhibition rooms, divided into seven parts (Pre?history, Zhou, Qin, Han, Wei-Jin-North and South dynasties, Sui-Tang, and Song-Yuan-Ming-Qing). The superlative 2,000 selected objects include: painted Neolithic ceramics reflecting early people's living conditions and their pursuit of vibrant art forms, bronzes reflecting the rise of Zhou people, bronze weapons including swords, and statuary of horses and soldiers, reflecting the way in which Qin unified all under heaven, Tang-dynasty gold and silver objects and Tang sancai ceramics, reflecting the most flourishing period of feudal glory. All of this is accompanied by models of archaeological sites, and drawings, and photographs.
These works systematically exhibit the anient history of Shaanxi from 150,000 years ago to the year 1840. Since several historical periods all based their capitals on Shaanxi territory, such as Zhou, Qin, Western Han, Sui and Tang, the exhibits emphasize these periods and these places. This not only expresses the extent of culture in ancient Shaanxi, it also displays the highest level of cultural development of China's social economy.
The temporary exhibits hall, located on the east side of the museum, has had a variety of exhibitions including Tang-tomb wall paintings, that is to say 39 of the actual paintings. Shaanxi's wall murals of this kind rank first in the entire country. They are fluid in concept and line, they have marvelous details, and they both depict Tang customs and are superb works of art.
The special exhibition hall is located on the west side of the museum. Its first two exhibitions were a Shaanxi bronzes exhibit (260 were on display) and a Shaanxi-through-the-dynasties terracotta masterpieces exhibit (341 objects were exhibited). The area of this hall is around 2,600 square meters.
Shanxi Provincial (History) Museum contains 115,000
objects in its collections. The more representative of these include
bronzes, Tang-dynasty tomb wall paintings, terracotta statuary,
ceramics (pottery and porcelain), construction materials through
the dynasties, Han and Tang bronze mirrors, and coins and currency,
calligraphy, rubbings, scrolls, woven articles, bone articles, wooden
and lacquer and iron and stone objects, seals, as well as some contemporary
cultural relics and ethnic objects.
Admission Fee: RMB 50
Opening Hours: 8:30 to 18:00
Recommended:Time for a Visit: Two hours
Bus Route: 5, 19, 24, 26, 27, 30, 34, 400, 401, 521, 527, 701, 710, 721, 722, Tourist Bus No.6, and No. 8 (610)