The Geological Museum of China

The Geological Museum of China is located on Fuchengmen Inner Street in Xicheng District, northwest of the center of Beijing. First opened in 1916, it is one of Asia's leading geological museums. It has a worldwide reputation for its exquisite exhibits with more than 200,000 geological specimens over a floor area of 13,000 square yards (11,000 square meters). The museum covers all fields of earth science. Among the exhibits, fossils of dinosaurs such as Shantungosaurus giganteus and Sinosauropteryx catch visitors' eyes. World-famous ancient human fossils from the Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian are regarded as a national treasure. Mineral rocks and rare gemstones also attract visitors to the Geological Museum of China.

Layout
1F: Earth Hall, Souvenir Shop
2F: Mineral Rock Hall, Gemstone Hall
3F: Prehistoric Creatures Hall, Temporary Exhibition
4F: Land and Resources Hall, Temporary Exhibition

Earth Hall

This hall contains two sections. The exhibits on the east side show geological processes caused by endogenous force of the earth. The typical endogenous forces are crustal movement, magmatic activity, and dynamic deformation resulting in plate movement, folds and faults, volcanoes, and earthquakes. The exhibits on the west side introduce geological processes driven by external forces like wind and water. These kinds of forces are less powerful than the endogenous forces, and add the finishing touches that characterize the different landforms.

There is an auto-revolving model of the earth. It helps visitors get a better understanding of earth's rotational effects. This hall contains many models such as glacial landforms. These models show that how the evolutions of different landforms are influenced by endogenous and external forces. Visitors can witness the change of topography directly. Moreover, this hall has advanced current satellite imagery. In this way, people can see real and vivid mountains, valleys, lakes and oceans on the earth.

Mineral Rock Hall

This hall helps people get a better understanding of basic information and classification of mineral rocks through interactive activities. Visitors can handle different kinds of mineral rocks, while learning about their origins. In addition, this hall incorporates some simulated mines, such as malachite and azurite mines. Beautiful and mysterious crystal geodes also attract people's attention. There is also a special showcase that displays many kinds of carbonate minerals. They are divided into four types: anhydrous carbonates, anhydrous carbonates with compound formulae, carbonates with hydroxyl and hydrated carbonates. Each type contains many minerals. Among these, calcites, aragonites, ankerite and huntite are most familiar to people.

Gemstone Hall

This hall is located to the southeast of the Mineral Rock Hall. The gemstones on display in the Geological Museum of China differ from the many artificial stones in the marketplace; all the exhibitions are of natural gemstones. Visitors will have an opportunity to appreciate these fascinating gemstones through an up-close experience. They can witness the formation, exploration and processing valued gemstones. The exhibits on the south side show many kinds of gemstones, grouped as follows:
The First group: diamonds, rubies and sapphires.
The Second group: beryls, chrysoberyls and garnets.
The Third group: tourmalines, olivines, topazes, spinels and zircons.
The Fourth group: pyroxenes, feldspars, apatites, scapolites and rare gemstones.
The Fifth group: crystal (amethysts, citrines, cairngorms and rose quartz). 
The exhibits on the north side mainly show jades, such as jadeites, calaites and malachites.

Prehistoric Creatures Hall

This hall selects some important events during the process of biological evolution, and illustrates the development process of species. Visitors can see rare fossils from various geological periods and watch a stimulation of the processes biological generation, evolution and extinction.

This hall is divided into two areas. The first small area includes a wall exhibition of fossils, multimedia exhibitions and some brief and basic introductions to fossils. Visitors can inquire into the biological classifications using the multimedia equipment. The second, larger area is divided into 8 units which describe evolutionary history.

Unit 1 : Earliest Lives Unit 5: Origins of Amphibians
Unit 2: Cambrian Explosion Unit 6: Mass Extinction
Unit 3: Marine Invertebrates Unit 7: Dinosaur-Bird Period
Unit 4: Origins of Vertebrates Unit 8: Mammals’ Period

Among these 8 units, Cambrian Explosion, Mass Extinction, Dinosaur-Bird Period and Mammals' Period are the most popular units. In the south passageway, there are models of some ichthyosaurs, anchisaurus and pterosaurs. Ichthyosaurs, gigantic amphibious reptiles, first appeared around 250 million years ago. Their evolutionary processes were similar to those leading to dolphins and whales. During Jurassic period, ichthyosaurs thrived and multiplied until extinguished in the Cretaceous Period. Fossils of anchisaurus were discovered in 1818. However, it wasn't until 1885, that scientists realized this creature could be classified as a dinosaur. Phytophagous anchisaurus is regarded as the most beautiful dinosaur in the world. They have a nearly triangular head and a flexible body. Although they have long and pointed mouths, they only eat leaves. A pterosaur is a class of flying reptiles, which lived during the Triassic and Cretaceous periods. The sizes of species of pterosaurs vary substantially. There are some forest pterosaurs which are just like birds.

Visitors are always willing to stop by a 16 feet (5 meters) long authentic ichthyosaur fossil. It is worth mentioning that it is the best-preserved in the world. The Mammal's Period exhibition contains ancient human fossils from the Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian. These fossils can be dated back to 25,000 years ago. From 1921 to 1927, archaeologists undertook three excavations and discovered three ancient human fossil teeth. In 1929, the skull of Peking Man was discovered. In addition, the discovery of artificial tools and marks from the use of fire were the most significant archaeological findings.

Besides the above permanent exhibitions, there are also some temporary exhibitions in the Geological Museum of China.

How to get there

 By Subway:
Take Subway Line 4 to Xisi Station, take Exit D and you can see the south gate of the museum.
 By Bus:
1. Take bus 3, 13, 42 or 102 and get off at Xisi Lukou Xi Station.
2. Take bus 3, 13, 22, 38, 42, 88, 105, 409, or Special Line 13 and get off at Xisi Lukou Bei Station.
3. Take bus 102, 105 or 332 and get off at Xisi Lukou Nan Station.
Beijing Bus / Subway Search

Admission Fee CNY 30
Opening Time 09:00-16:30, ticket sale stops after 16:00; closed on Monday.

 Recommended Nearby Attractions:
 Guangji Temple
 Temple of Ancient Monarchs
 Miaoying Temple (White Dagoba Temple)
 Church of the Savior (Xishiku Church)

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