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Shaanxi History Museum - Pearl in Ancient Capital and Treasure of China

Shaanxi History Museum, which is located to the northwest of the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda in the ancient city of Xi'an, in the Shaanxi province of China, is one of the first huge state museums with modern facilities in China and one of the largest.

The museum houses over 370,000 items, including murals, paintings, pottery, and coins, as well as bronze, gold, and silver objects. The modern museum was built between 1983 and 2001 and its appearance recalls the architectural style of the Tang dynasty.

Shaanxi History Museum Facts

Shaanxi History Museum

Shaanxi History Museum is a comprehensive historical museum. From its first open day, various exhibitions have been displayed here. It depicts the rich culture of historical cultural relics and extensive profound civilization of Chinese Nation from multiple perspectives.

Type: Historical Museum, Museum

Best Seasons: All seasons

Recommended Visiting Time: Half a day

Opening Hours: Tue. – Sun.
9:00 - 17:30 (Nov. 15th to Mar. 15th) last admission 16:00
8:30 - 18:00 (Mar. 16th to Nov 14th.) last admission 16:30

Tickets: Free for Most Exhibition Halls

Address: No.91 Xiaozhai East Road, Yata District, Xi’an, China, 710061

Overview of Shaanxi History Museum

Xi'an, a place of great significance in Chinese history, is well-endowed with historical sites and relics. Now most of these relics, once scattered around the region, have found their way to Shaanxi Provincial Museum.

With a total area of 65,000 square meters and 8,000 square meters of cultural relics zone, Shaanxi History Museum is the first large-scale modern national museum in China. People called the Shaanxi History Museum “Bright Pearl in Ancient Capital and Precious Treasure of China”, for it is an art palace fully showing Shaanxi history & culture as well as Chinese ancient civilization. In 2008, it was awarded as National First Level Museum. With large quantities, complete types, high grade, and high value, the collections in Shaanxi History Museum range from stone-made tools in ancient times to different implements from 1,840 years ago - over a 1 million years period.

As one of the top 10 museums in China, Shaanxi Provincial Museum has collections ranging from the times of ape-men to the Qing Dynasty before the Opium War in 1839, and from large bronze wares to exquisite golden carvings.

Highlights of Shaanxi History Museum

First Exhibition Hall

First Exhibition Hall

We can explore the history from Prehistoric Times to Qin Dynasty in sequence by these valuable collections.

First unit in this hall is From Apes to Human Beings. The remains of ancestors lived in 1,150,000 years ago are perfect representation of the vibrant childhood and the dawn of Chinese Civilization.

The second unit, Blossom of Zhou Dynasty, shows the political institution and economic pattern of ancient Chinese state by rich relics of the emperors of Zhou Dynasty. Bronze wares are most typical.

In 221 BC, Qin State united the different parts of China and built the first unified multi-ethnic centralized feudal empire. East Empires is the third unit which focuses on terracotta warriors statues of Qin Dynasty and shows the tremendous momentum.

Terracotta Warriors in Shaanxi History Museum

Second Exhibition Hall

There are two parts in the Second Exhibition Hall, Vigorous Han Dynasty and Conflict and Fusion.

The first upsurge of social development of China, like booming economy and culture and open-door to the outside world, are embodied in Vigorous Han Dynasty. Here you can feast your eyes on assortments of treasures among which some are national treasure including: Jade Seal with Characters “Huang Hou Zhi Xi (皇后之玺)” which is the only surviving example of material evidence for the study of Empress’s seal of Han Dynasty, Bronze Bamboo-joint-shaped Censer with Gilded Gold and Silver, Gold Discs, Gilded Bronze Water Container and so on.

Conflict and Fusion collects many cultural remains and religion relics of agricultural nation and grassland nationality. Great collections like the golden seal with Characters “Jin Gui Yi Qiang Wang (晋归义羌王)”, Dugu Xin (独孤信) ’s 26-faced Jet Seal, Golden Monster of Han Dynasty etc. All these objects reflect the harmony of multi-nations and the flourishment of Buddhism and Han’s art.

Bronze Bamboo-joint-shaped Censer

Third Exhibition Hall

Thriving Tang and Farewell to Imperial Capital constitute the Third Exhibition Hall.

Through the exhibition of Thriving Tang, Tang Dynasty at the height of power and splendor comes to your eyes. Once being the capital of Tang Dynasty, Xi’an is the place where most relics from Tang Dynasty were excavated. Each one of Tri-colored Crouching Camel, Gold Bowl with Design of Lotus Petals and Mandarin Ducks, Gilded Bronze Dragon with Iron Core, Mirror with Lacquered Back Inlaid with Four Phoenixes Holding Ribbons in their Mouths and Secret Celadon Dish is cherished treasure.

From Farewell to Imperial Capital, we can learn that Shaanxi Province remained its charm despite it was no longer capital any more.

Jade Seal - An precious Empress's Seal

Exhibition Hall for Murals of the Tang Dynasty Tomb

Murals from Tang Dynasty Tomb (Admission: 270 RMB) are most featured collections in Shaanxi History Museum. Covering over 1,000 square meters, there are about 600 murals themed with Tang-style architecture, concise but vivid human figures, distinguished featured wares and sprightly natural landscape. They make a great contribution to studying the social life especially the material life and spiritual pursuit of the nobilities.

Beast Head Agate Cup

Exhibition Hall for Treasures of Great Tang

Tang Dynasty is the most powerful dynasty in China’s history and gold ware, silver wares and jade articles are the symbol of Tang Dynasty. In 1970, more than 1,000 relics were discovered in Hejia Village in Shaanxi and they are exhibited in Shaanxi History Museum. These exhibits attract a mass of history-enthusiasts with its high quality, ample variety and good protection.

Beast Head Agate Cup is the most valuable treasure of Shaanxi History Museum. With a caliber of 5.9 cm, it is in the pocket-size, just 6.5 cm in height and 15.6 m in length. Inlaid with golden mouth and carved with distinctive layers in the three-colored agate, this Beast Head Agate Cup shows indeed skilled craftsmanship. According to historical materials, this sandwich agate is similar to “Rhyton”, so it becomes a great reference to study the cultural communication between western country and ancient China, especially in Tang Dynasty.

Layout and Construction of Shaanxi History Museum

The main buildings of Shaanxi History Museum include the Preface Hall, basic exhibition halls, special exhibition halls, and temporal exhibition Halls. The basic halls are divided into three exhibition halls with 2,000 cultural relics to display the history of ancient times in chronological order. The first exhibition Hall is located in the ground floor while other two is in the second floor. Else representative exhibition halls include Treasures of Great Tang in the west underground floor and Mural Paintings of Tang in the east underground floor.

While designing the buildings in Shaanxi History Museum, the great designer used traditional palace construction of Tang Dynasty for reference. Adopting symmetry axis layout with obvious principal and subordinate buildings in order and four worship halls around, the complex architectures show the charming presence of prosperous Tang Dynasty. The predominant colors of the buildings are white, grey and black which create an atmosphere of solemnity.

The General Exhibition Hall

This hall covers 6,000 square meters and displays more than 2, 000 artifacts. The hall can be divided into three parts: the Entrance Hall, the Shanxi Local Historic Exhibition Room, and the Main Room.

The Shanxi Local Historic Exhibition Room is arranged into seven small parts to separate relics from the Prehistoric Period, the Zhou, Qin, Han, Wei, Jin and the Northern and Southern Dynasties, the Sui Dynasty, the Tang Dynasty, and the Song, Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties, with a focus on social development from the Stone Age to the decline of China's imperial era in 1840.

Location & Transportation of Shaanxi History Museum

Located in Xi'an City, Shaanxi History Museum is quite easy to get to.

6 km away from Shaanxi Railway Station, driving for 25 mins
40 km away from Xi’an Xi'anyang International Airport, driving for 1 h
43 km away from Terracotta Warriors and Horses, driving for 50 mins

Shaanxi History Museum Location Map

Travel with Travel Tour China(Highly Recommended)

If you want to get rid of hustle of public transportation and troublesome navigation, you can book a private tour package which covers sightseeing, dining and transfer from us. Our local tour guide and driver will escort you to Shaanxi History Museum with speed and convenience, and take care of all the details. You just need to focus on sightseeing.

Shaanxi History Museum Warm Tips

30 RMB for visiting Exhibition Hall for Treasures of Great Tang and 270 RMB for Exhibition Hall for Murals of the Tang Dynasty Tomb

The number of visitors is limited to 6,000 per day and getting up early ensures you waste less time in the long queue. In peak season, holidays and summer vocation, making reservations is necessary.

Bring your passport to claim your free ticket and some temporal exhibition is rechargeable.

Photography is permitted and using flash is prohibited.

How to Plan a Xi'an Tour

Xian has a lot of places to visit. Terracotta Warriors and Horses is definitely the No.1 must-see. After that, take a stroll or rent a bike on the Ancient City Wall, the largest and best-preserved ancient city wall in China, to enjoy panoramic views of modern Xi’an. Then try some local snacks at the bustling and lively Muslim Quarter. On the next day, you can go to visit Da Cien Temple and Giant Wild Goose Pagoda to feel the Buddhist culture, then get a deeper understanding of the past of this city in Shaanxi History Museum. If you are interested in mountain climbing, don’t miss the challenging Mount Huashan which is famous for lofty peaks and steep paths. If you have other ideas or questions about a Xian tour, please feel free to contact us. We are also specialized in customized tours according to your own requirements, interests, travelling budgets, etc.

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