China Red Sandalwood Museum

China Red Sandalwood Museum in Beijing, is a grouping of architecture in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1912) styles. It covers 9,569 square meters (11,444 square yards), and is the first and largest private museum in China that includes collections, research, exhibitions, and the appreciation of Red Sandalwood artwork.

There are almost a thousand pieces of red sandalwood displayed of different types, including over ten pieces of precious furniture in Qing and Ming Styles, and miniaturized ancient architecture. In addition, China Red Sandalwood Museum opens an exhibition which mainly presents materials, moldings, structures, and artistic carvings of traditional red sandalwood furniture, helping visitors better understand the manufacturing process’ of Chinese traditional furniture.

The Museum Architecture in Ming and Qing Style

China Red Sandalwood Museum itself is a perfect art form, presenting traditional Chinese Ming and Qing architectural styles called, “Living National Treasure”. The main door is a wooden structure that uses timber of over 4,000 thousand cubic meters (523 cubic yards). Close to the building, you can see the walls are quite smooth and flat, piled up in traditional ways. The front square was paved first with big blue bricks and then polished with tung oil, which was only applied in royal constructions in ancient times.

China Red Sandalwood Museum has 5 floors. The first, second, third, and fifth floor are the exhibition areas while the fourth floor contains VIP rooms.


The center of the first floor is a reproduction of the Throne of the Palace of Heavenly Purity (Qianqinggong) in the Forbidden City in golden yellow. There are also many miniaturized and famous architectural displays on this floor, like the models of Qianqiu Pavilion and Wanchun Pavilion in the Forbidden City Imperial Garden. They stand separately to the left and right of the central throne, and there is a model of the Heavenly Pavilion on the southeast corner of the floor. Among these models, the 3-meter (9.8-feet) high replica of the Corner Tower of the Forbidden City is more famous for its detailed carvings. The towers sit separately at the four corners of the city wall with complicated structures which consist of 3-layered eaves, 6 gable and hip roofs, and 72 ridges. Besides, visitors can also visit the Main Hall in Qing style on the southwest corner, which is presented as typical living rooms of the Qing Dynasty. The exhibition hall on the northeast corner displays Chinese classic canopy beds.


The second floor of China Red Sandalwood Museum focuses on many precious screens, and thrones with exquisite carvings. There are also some  reproduction displays of ancient Chinese buildings, like the replication of the Hall of Mental Cultivation in the Forbidden City. Other exhibitions include a hall in Ming style, traditional sanctum, and traditional bridal chamber.


On the third floor, there are two important reproductions: the model of a Beijing Courtyard, and a set of screens carved with the painting, “The Festival of Pure Brightness on the River” in Northern Song Dynasty (960 - 1127). The reproduction of the residential building has great scale, with a height of 2-3 meters (7-13 feet). The red sandalwood carvings of the courtyard and nearby houses are beautiful in every detail.

The painting of, “The Festival of Pure Brightness on the River” was painted by Zhang Zeduan, a painter of the Song Dynasty. It is revered as the most important painting of ancient Chinese life, and Great China itself. The set of red sandalwood screens of the painting has 12 pieces. These screens, carved with embossed decorative patterns, hollowed backdrops and the finest even lines, making inside characters and landscapes vivid and true to life. When visitors see these screens, they can appreciate the painting in different directions. The far mountains, river, bridge, people, animals and trees seem to come to life, tri-dimensionally presenting the social prosperity of Song Dynasty.


VIP rooms are set up on the fourth floor. Visitors can go there to have a rest. Besides, a multifunctional exhibition hall can be found here.


The fifth floor mainly displays a red sandalwood model of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest in the Temple of Heaven in its center. There is a tea bar where visitors can have a rest and drink some tea.


You can take photos in only six places, museum signs indicate where you are allowed to take pictures in China Red Sandalwood Museum.

How to Get to China Red Sandalwood Museum

1. Take subway Line 1, and get off at the Gaobeidian Station. Then, walk westwards along Jianguo Road for around 400 meters (430 yards) to the museum.
2. Take bus nos. 397, 475, 506, or 666, and get off at Gaobeidian Bridge East. Go across the road and walk westward for around 500 meters (540 yards) to the museum.
3. Take bus no. 517, or Zhuan 141, and get off at Gaobeidian Bridge North. Walk southward to the T-junction, and then walk along Jianguo Road for around 500 meters (540 yards) to the museum.
Admission Fee CNY 50 
free for children under 1.2 meters (3.9 feet) or under 6 years old, and the old over 65
Opening Hours 9:00-17:30 from Tuesday to Sunday (Stop entering at 16:30)
Closed on Mondays
 Further Reading:
Traditional Chinese Furniture
- Last updated on Jul. 19, 2023 by Gabby Li -
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