Henan Museum

Located in Nongye Road, Zhengzhou, Henan Province, Henan Museum collects 170,000 precious cultural relics, offering a chance for visitors to experience the charm of Central China’s culture and the origin and development of Chinese civilization. The bronze ware, jade stone, pottery and stone carvings are the most distinctive exhibits. The Bone Flute and Bronze Jin with Cloud Design are the treasures of Henan Museum. Most of these cultural relics come from excavations in the Central China of Shangqiu, Luoyang and Kaifeng in the early 20th century.

Henan Museum was officially opened to the public in 1998, covering over 100,000 square meters (24.7 acres). It consists of five floors, one of which is underground. The exterior walls are yellow-brown, taking the meaning of “the loess and Yellow River in Central China bred Chinese civilization”. There are also garden greens outside the buildings, forming a beautiful architectural pattern of “museum in the garden”. The design of the main building of Henan Museum is inspired by an astronomical observatory in the Yuan Dynasty (1276 AD), and now its shape has been transformed into the “crowned pyramid”.

In 2009, Henan Museum upgraded the original exhibitions: Ancient Civilization of Central Plains becomes a permanent exhibition hall, and the four major theme halls have also adjusted their exhibits.

Ancient Civilization of Central Plains

This pavilion includes eight exhibition halls. These exhibition halls show the cultural changes of Central China from the Paleolithic Age (3 million to 10,000 years ago) to the Song, Yuan and Jin Dynasties (960-1368) through various exhibits including bronze wares, pottery and stone carvings. The first to the fourth exhibition halls are located on the first floor. The fifth to eighth exhibition halls are located on the second floor.

Four Theme Exhibitions

Bronze of Chu (1115-223 BC) in Central Plains

The exhibition hall features fine bronze wares unearthed from the graveyards of Chu nobles in Xichuan County, Henan Province. They were classified according to different usages, which shows the fineness of bronzes in Chu. “Prince Wu” Ding, Bronze Jin with Cloud Design and Wang Sun Gao Bronze Bells are the best ones to see.

Henan Ancient Jade Articles Hall

In ancient China, jade was a key tool to connect heaven and earth and offer sacrifices to ghosts and gods. It was a mortuary tool in the pursuit of immortality and preservation, representing a good personality. The jade articles from the central plains area are the products of Xia, Shang and Zhou Dynasties (2070-256 BC).

Treasure of Ming and Qing Dynasties

The arts and crafts of the Ming and Qing Dynasties were quite exquisite. The porcelain, embroidery, ivory carving, lacquerware, enamelware, gold and silver handicraft on display in this exhibition hall are very innovative and creative, which shows the extraordinary wisdom and amazing skills of ancient Chinese craftsmen.

Ancient Astronomy Hall

Henan is the first place where Chinese ancient astronomy originated. In this exhibition hall, visitors can learn about the knowledge system of the concept of sky and earth in ancient China. There are many talented people in this field who had written a brilliant chapter in Chinese astronomy. The most representatives are the seismograph invented by Zhang Heng in Han Dynasty (132 AD) and the star observatory by Guo Shoujing in Yuan Dynasty (1276 AD). Now you can see the replicas in the hall.

Classic Collections

 1. Bone Flute
Unearthed at the Wu Yang Neolithic site, Henan province, it is 23.6cm long and made from the bones of crane birds. Through it, people can play music of seven sound stages.
 2. Mural Painting of Four Animals in Clouds
The mural depicts a bizarre, illusory picture of dragons, tigers, linnets and monsters, mountain god and clouds, which formed the Han people’s imagination of the world after death. This painting is rich in cultural meaning and superb in painting art. It’s quite rare among the murals of the Han Dynasty (202-220 AD), and is also earliest, highest grade and most complete tomb mural in existence in China.

 3. Bronze Jin with Cloud Design
It is not only the largest Bronze Jin with the most complicated and exquisite decoration, but also the earliest Jin objects (table holder for wine container) unearthed through scientific excavation. It is considered to be the lost wax casting process. According to this, the time of casting bronze wares in China by the lost wax method was advanced to the spring and autumn period (770-476 BC).

How to get to Henan Museum

Take line 2 and get off at Guanhutun Station.
Take bus No. B1, 83, 32, 39, 42, 61, 69, 96 and get off at Henan Museum Station.

Entrance Fee The museum issues 5,000 free tickets a day. (3,000 tickets in the morning and
2,000 tickets in the afternoon).
An individual tourist can get only one ticket for himself/herself by passport.
Group tours should be booked 2 days in advance between 09:00 and 17:00.
Opening Hours Tuesday-Sunday:
November to January: 09:00 to 17:00 (tickets available before 16:00);
February to October: 09:00 to 17:30 (tickets available before 16:30);
Closed on Mondays except for national holidays.

 See also:
Top 10 Things to Do in Zhengzhou

Top 10 China Tourist Places for Culture Lovers

- Last updated on Jun. 14, 2022 -
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