Xi'an,eastern beginning of the Silk Road and ancient capital of China.
Xi'an Travel Blog› entry 8 of 16 › view all entries
To day,after the visit of the most impressive(for me) highlight of our Chinese trip,the Mausoleum of the First Emperor(see next entry),we are going to see the Shaanxi History Museum.On the way,we had a"technical" stop and I was surprised by young Chinese selling local wines(The Chinese are making wine since thousands years).After the Museum's visit,we had to attend a calligraphy course and I was there,in spite of an enthusiastic teacher,absent-minded,thinking to go for a ride in the Xi'an streets however I gave back a magnificent squiggle.The next visit was still an imposed one:a Jade factory, before going to The Great Mosque and finally to the airport and fly to Shangai.
THE SHAANXI HISTORY MUSEUM
Located one km northwest of the Big Wild Goose Pagoda,it is the China's first modern museum and a complex of buildings of Tang and modern architecture.As the Shaanxi Province was the birthplace of the Chinese civilization and Xi'an the capital of China over 1100 years,this museum shows the development of the Chinese civilization through thousands of objects,mainly excavated in the Province.It has 3 types of exhibitions:permanent,special and temporary exhibition.
- We saw only the permanent exhibition which mainly shows the Shaanxi ancient history from 150000 years ago to the year 1842(Opium war).
- On the first floor halls are displayed the objects from the prehistoric periods to 206 BC:pottery,stone tools,fossil skull,water and wine vessels,weapons.
- On the second floor,the exhibition shows relics of the HAN dynasty(206 BC-220 AD) and Northern and Southern dynasty(386-589) like bronze coins,mirrors,vessels,pottery of figures with many women,warriors and musicians figures.
- The third part of the exhibition displays relics of the SUI(581-618),TANG(618-907),SONG(960-1279),YUAN(1271-1368),MING(1368-1644) and Qing(1644-1911) dynasties.
As 20 years ago ,I have haunted the auction rooms being a poor collector of Chinese antic pottery of the Han (or supposed to be!) dynasty(I could'nt afford the very expensive relics of the Tang dynasty,the more beautiful and scarce ones.),I was very interested by this museum displaying lots of Han objects such as one Empress seal,jars , squatting women and horses.
In driving rain,we saw the Ming City Wall,one of the most complete in China surrounded by a deep moat,stretching for more than 13 km,12 m high with every 120 m(the range of an arrow shot), a rampart extending out the main wall .
Then we had a glance at the Drum Tower,used as a timer and in case of emergency and at its"sister building" located a block away, the Bell Tower,the symbol of Xi'an, which marks the geographical center of the city.It is a well-preserved wooden tower with dark green tiles, built in the 14th century .
WSQARE had load a good review and interesting pics,in particular nightpics of Xi'an and don't miss the very informative with amazing pics, SYLVIANDAVID 2007 China blog!