Located on the east side of Tian’anmen Square in downtown Beijing, the National Museum of China was founded in February 2003 after merging with the former National Museum of Chinese History and the National Museum of Chinese Revolution. History and art are two factors emphasized in the collections and is also a terrific place for school trips and as a tourist attraction.

The predecessor of the National Museum of Chinese History is the Preparatory Office of the National Museum of History which was founded on July 9th, 1912. It was renamed the Beijing Museum of History after October 1st, 1949 when People’s Republic of China was founded. After a decade, it was renamed the National Museum of Chinese History. The predecessor of the National Museum of Chinese Revolution was the Preparatory Office of the National Museum of Revolution founded in March, 1950 and renamed ten years later.

In August, 1959, the new buildings on the east side of the Tian’anmen Square were constructed. The museum was regarded one of the “Top Ten Great Constructions” for celebrating the 10th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. The two museums opened to the public on that October 1st .The aims of the National Museum of China are to protect Chinese cultural heritage, display a long-standing history, provide education on history and culture to the public, especially for the younger generation and promote cultural exchange and communication with other countries and regions. It is not also a museum and a perfect place for further study of culture, history and art.

After the expansion of 2010, the National Museum of China became the largest museum in the world with an area of 191,900 square meters. There are over 1 million collections in 49 galleries. Ancient China and The Road of Rejuvenation are two permanent exhibitions with over a dozen showrooms each. The Museum of Chinese History covers the collections from 1.7 million years ago to the end of the Qing Dynasty. The National Museum of China contains over 620,385 cultural items in its permanent art collection, and the museum displays many precious and rare Chinese historical artifacts that are not found in other museums.

The Most Important Collections

1. Houmuwu square cauldron (ding)

Houmuwu square cauldron (ding) was cast over 3,000 years ago and weighing 832.84 kilograms. It the largest Shang ritual bronze vessel found to date and the heaviest ancient bronze item in the world.

2. Square vessel (fang zun) with four rams

Being the biggest existing square zun, square vessel with four rams was made in Late Shang (1300–1046 BC) with a height of 58.3cm. It is a perfect fusion of moulding and artistic design representing the best bronze-making traditional technique.

How to get tickets

The museum is at No. 16, Chang’an Street, Dongcheng District, Beijing. Its opening times are 9:00 to 17:00 Tuesday to Sunday. Tickets are issued until 15:30 and last admission is at 16:00. You can get a free ticket from the Ticket Office at the West Gate by showing your valid ID (passport). Group visitors (more than 20 people) have to book the free tickets seven days before by calling 010-65116400 and get them at the North Gate Ticket Office with a certificate letter of the unit.

Jack Li

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