National Museum of China
The Museum of Chinese History developed from The National History Museum which was constructed in 1912 at the site of Beijing Guozijian originally. Later it moved to the Meridian Gate (Wumen) and the Upright Gate (Duanmen) of the Forbidden City. After the founding of the People Republic of China, the government decided to build a new museum to the east of Tiananmen Square in August, 1958. Thereby, a new structure named The Museum of Chinese History was born in the next September.
The Museum of the Chinese Revolution grew out of the Preparatory Office of Central Revolution Museum that came into existence in March, 1950. The Preparatory Office was set in Circular City (Tuancheng) of Beihai Park at the beginning and moved to the Hall of Martial Valor of the Forbidden City before long. In October, 1958, a new building took shape to the east of Tiananmen Square. August, 1959 saw the completion of the building. August of the next year was the time when The Museum of the Chinese Revolution was presented and the Preparatory Office was eliminated. Its official opening was on July 1st, 1961.
In September, 1969, The Museum of Chinese History and The Museum of the Chinese Revolution were combined as the Revolution and History Museum of China. Later they went back to their separate buildings in the early years of the 1980s. On February, 28, 2003, The National Museum of China was inaugurated.
The National Museum of China was closed again for renovation and rebuilding in 2007 and reopened on March 1, 2011. The new one is two times larger than the previous one. The exhibition themed The Road to Rejuvenation once inaugurated in celebration of the 60th birthday of the PRC in 2009 is the first display in the new National Museum. The northern exhibition area was unveiled firstly to the public.
Main Exhibits and Facilities
Picture of Founding Ceremony
of People's Republic of China
The National Museum is devoted to display of treasured collections in form of various thematic exhibitions, such as the Arts of bronze, porcelain, jade, Chinese calligraphy and paintings, Buddhist statues, Ming & Qing furniture, coins, etc in ancient China; to display feature culture relics, significant archeological discoveries and ethnic culture and folk customs in the form of exchanges and cooperation with local museums; to display different civilizations and artistic creations in the world in the form of loan and exchange exhibitions. There are temporary exhibition halls to display modern art.
New buildings during the latest renovation project include several banquet rooms respectively decorated with wood, brick, bronze and stone carvings. In order to provide a variety of services, the new National Museum has shops offering tea, coffee, souvenirs, as well as an auditorium and a 700-seat theater.
The National Museum of China houses the most cherished and topmost level cultural relics of the whole nation, which can be seen in history schoolbook. The oldest exhibit is the teeth of Yuanmou Man 1.7 million years ago. There are also the stone tools and ancient jade ritual objects of prehistoric times. Simuwu Rectangle Ding, whichis the top treasure of the museum is the biggest piece of bronze ware in China. It was discovered in the Yin Ruins Royal Tomb of the Shang Dynasty. The image in the emblem of the National Museum is Simuwu Ding. In addition, the 34.5kg bronze Four Ram Zun Vessel of the Shang Dynasty, the Tang Dynasty Tricolor Pottery with Musician and Dancing Figures on Camelback excavated in Xian in 1957 and the Jade Shroud Sewn with Gold Thread for the emperor and nobility of the Han Dynasty are also top treasures of the museum.
Permanent and Regular Exhibitions
The Road to Rejuvenation (North Galleries N1 – N4): from Opium War of 1840 - attempts and achievements at national rejuvenation
Ancient China (Galleries N20-N25, S15-S18, S20): a complete picture of Chinese history from the prehistoric times to the late Qing Dynasty
Ancient Chinese Buddhist Sculpture (Central Hall 2): including buddhist sculptures once lost overseas, bestowed by the State Bureau for Preservation of Cultural Relics, borrowed from Qingzhou Museum and new collections of National Museum
Ancient Chinese Bronze Art (Central Hall 2): 103 pieces (sets) of ancient bronzes from the Xia, Shang, and Western Zhou Dynasties to the Spring and Autumn and the Warring States Periods
Ancient Chinese Jades (Gallery S13): some of the finest jade objects dating from the Neolithic times to the Qing Dynasty to be displayed
Ancient Chinese Money (Gallery S11): more than 1,700 objects, including early cowrie shells, coins in different shapes that were used for over 2,000 years, and machine-made copper or silver coins inlate Qing
Classical Paintings of Ancient China (Gallery S12): wide range of subjects and styles featuring two of the most celebrated pieces: 12 scrolls of Qianlong Emperor’s Southern Inspection Tour and Strange Tales of Liaozhai composed of wooden plates and silk scrolls.
Chinese Qing and Ming Furniture (Gallery N9): about more than one hundred pieces of furniture made of lacquered wood or hardwood of Ming and Qing Dynasty
Exhibition of Selected African Sculptures (Gallery N8): about 600 pieces of African masks, sculptures and daily necessities
Highlights of Chinese Modern Masterpieces (Central Hall 1): 68 pieces of paintings and 14 sculptures about historical and revolutionary themes
Stone Sculptures of Song Dynasty (Public Area): 30 pieces of embossments of Song Dynasty unearthed in Sichuan Province showing the ancient people’s life and funeral custom
State Gifts: Historical Testament to Friendly Exchanges (Gallery 18): 611 exhibits gotten from diplomatic activities
Collection of Architectural Design of the Museum (Gallery S9)
Rubens, Van Dyck and the Flemish School of Painting: Masterpieces from the Collections of the Prince of Liechtenstein: 100 oil paintings, woodcut, tapestries, including themes on religion, legend and history, selected from Liechtenstein collection are on display. (Nov 5, 2013 – Feb 15, 2014)
The Mediterranean World from the Collections of the Musée du Louvre: 280 pieces of collections from Musée du Louvre are there. (Oct 29, 2013 - Feb 9, 2014)
Exhibition for Fan Painting of Ming and Qing Dynasties: About 90 fan covers designed in Ming and Qing Dynasties (Mar 29, 2013 - Mar 29, 2014)
Heyday of the Late Shang Dynasty Discovered from Yin Ruins: cultural relics from Yin Ruins including bronze, jade articles excavated from royal tombs of Shang Dynasty (Apr 27, 2013 - Apr 8, 2014)
|Admission Fee:||Free for basic exhibitions (The Road to Rejuvenation and History of Ancient China) |
Notes: 3,000 visitors permitted every day, including 2/3 group visitors and 1/3 individual visitors. Visitors need to pay for some special exhibitions.
|Open Hours:||9:00 to 17:00, closed on Monday |
(Tickets issued until 15:30; Last entry at 16:00)
|Reservation:||Call 010-65116400 for group reservation |
Individual visitors can go to the National Museum's ticket center at the North Entrance, showing an ID certificate for an admission ticket.
|Subway:||Subway Line 1 to Tiananmen East, the museum is to the south; |
Subway Line 2 to Qianmen, the museum is to the north.
|Bus Route:||1, 2, 4, 10, 20, 37, 52, 120, 728, 802, Special Line 1 to Tiananmen; |
2, 5, 7, 9, 17, 20, 22, 44, 48, 53, 54, 59, 66, 110, 120, 337...to Qianmen; the museum is to the east of Tiananmen Square.
Beijing Bus / Subway Search
Other Attractions around Tiananmen Square:
Tiananmen Tower Memorial Hall of Chairman Mao Monument to the People's Heroes