It takes more than a few institutions to package 5.000 years of history and culture, and Beijing does it big with no fewer than 13 major historical, cultural, art, natural science and comprehensive studies museums. Good walking shoes and a flexible schedule are advised.
With its 900,000 art treasures and cultural relics and central location in the Forbidden City on the north of Tian'anmen Square, it's worth a day in itself. Deserving of special attention is the collection of time pieces is among the world's greatest. Museum of Chinese History. And what a history it portrays! Within its 8,000-square meter interior are displays that take visitors on a trip through human history. It also boasts 300,000 cultural relics, 200,000 books and an assortment of newspapers, periodicals and historic maps. On the east side of Tian'anmen square.
Museum of the Chinese Revolution
Smaller partner to the Museum of Chinese history on the east side of Tian'anmen Square, it features relics d documents witnessing the May 4th Movement and founding of the Chinese Communist Party.
This is Beijing on display, from its Neolithic and Paleolithic beginnings to its recent Imperial past. Preeminent among its displays are ten inscribed g Dynasty stone drums and 198 stone steles scribed with the names of the successful candidates in the Imperial public service examinations of the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties.
Chinese Museum of Science & Technology
Visual entertainment is a feature, with three-dimensional slides, magic latern presentations and the wide-screen movie "The Great Valley" each telling their stories.
Beijing Museum of Natural History
Neighbor to Tiantan (Temple of Heaven) Park and its glorious pagoda, the museum illustrates the evolution of life on earth, including its flora, fauna and human race. Included in its spectacular dinosaur exhibitions are the world's largest d u c k billed dinosaur and three complete nests of dinosaur c eggs from Guangdong province.
Museum of Geology
China has most of the elements of geology, allowing the museum to mount exhibits and house collections of everything from mineral deposits to precious stones.
Built in 1957, there are a series of halls with astronomical displays in addition to the sky-viewing main hall.
Yan Huang Gallery of Chinese Art.
Within its attractive, 17,000-square meter interior are 14 galleries exhibiting contemporary and modern art pieces and over 14,000 folk art items.
Museum of Chinese Arts & Crafts.
Displays of ceramic and metalwork creations, lacquer carvings, embroideries and sculptures are at the heart of this three-floor museum at 101 Fuxingmennei Street, west of the central district. Its Pavilion of Treasures has a collection of over 500 works by contemporary
Chinese arts and crafts artists
Demonstrations of paper-cutting, flour dough sculptures, embroidery and other traditional crafts are regular features.
China Aviation Museum
Situated in suburban Changping County, this indoor outdoor museum is home to 99 types of aircraft (200 models in all), three ground-to-air missiles and more than 50 radar installations. Stationery exhibits of anti-aircraft guns, aviation engines, searchlights and iron bombs, plus some 1,000 pieces donated by foreign countries, round out the displays.
Lu Xun Museum
A great man of letters, Lu Xun is celebrated in this small museum located next to his residence in suburban Fuchengmen. His works, translated into 24 languages, are on display, as are personal items and the great man's collection of 16,000 books gathered in Beijing and Shanghai.
Dabaotai Museum, Western Han Tomb
An immense wooden structure built on the ruins of the tomb of a Western Han Dynasty prince who ruled the area southwest of Beijing combines displays of period bronzes, ceramics, jade carvings, agate items and silk fabrics on the upper floors with the tomb on the lowest floor.
Museum of Stone Carvings
There are seven display areas in this Haidian District museum, which celebrates China's long history of stone carvings. Over 6,000 steles (stone columns) arranged in a form of chronological order dot its outdoor area, while stone tablets, calligraphy items from across China and stone sculptures are feature inside.
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