Beijing is known as an ancient city and is famous for its cultural elements. The capital may not have breathtaking architecture, but it has quite a few museums that are worth visiting. In this issue, We introduce several of the city¡¯s best.
The Forbidden City:
The Forbidden City is probably the most famous museum in China. As the largest ancient building and home of 24 emperors, the city has more than 70 palaces and 9,000 rooms.
Established in 1406, the Forbidden City was built according to the blueprint of the palace in Nanjing. Completed in 1420, it covered some 720,000 square meters. A visit usually requires several hours. The automatic digital guides available at the front gate are well worth the price.
National Museum of China
Located on the east of Tian’anmen Square, the National Museum of China is one of the largest museums in the world. A reconstruction and expansion that ended in late 2013 boosted its size to some 200,000 square meters. Within its halls are one million pieces organized into 48 exhibition halls. There is no café in the museum, and visitors are advised to bring their own snacks.
Opened in 1981, this museum is located by Fuxingmen. Its collection was previously housed in Beijing’s Confucious Temple before being relocated to its new location in 2006. The museum mainly exhibits historical relics and archeological findings from in and around Beijing. It offers the finest collection of pieces that illustrate Beijing’s local history and culture.
The Lama temple is not just for devoted Buddhists it also has two large rooms that exhibit icons, old Buddhist texts and Thangka. Its collection also includes a wax statute of Emperor Qianlong and several of his imperial robes.
National Art Museum
Built in 1958, the National Art Museum of China exhibits art by contemporary Chinese artists. It generally has more than 100,000 works on exhibition at any given time. Most are created after 1949, but the museum includes a few pieces from the Qing and Ming dynasties. It’s worth noting the museum has more than 400 works by Qi Baishi, one of China’s most famous painters. The museum also hosts a variety of exhibitions on a regular basis.
As the education departments if ancient China, the two are a great place to learn about the imperial college systems of the Ming and Qing dynasties. The two are also famous for their calligraphy exhibitions. If you’re interested in Chinese calligraphy, don’t miss out.
Museum of Paleontology
Located by the Beijing Zoo, this museum specializes in dinosaur fossils. It exhibits a full Tyrannosaurus Rex and a Mamenchisaurus, one of the largest dinosaurs found in Sichuan Province. In addition to the dinosaurs, its fossils include many prehistoric fish, birds and mammoths.
Laoshe Old Residence
Laoshe is one of the best known novelists and dramatists in modern China. He was one of the most significant figures of 20th century Chinese literature and is famed for his novel Rickshaw Boy and play Teahouse.
As a Manchu, his works are known for their special mastery of Beijing dialect. If you are interested in Chinese literature, then visiting Laoshe’s old residence might give you a glimpse into how writers lived in China’s recent past.