It is a comprehensive museum, housing more than 370,000 choice pieces of cultural relics of unearthed in Shaanxi Province. Among them the rare ones are bronze objects from the Shang and Zhou dynasties, the terracotta warriors and horses of Emperor Qin Shihuang, and terracotta warriors and horses of the Han dynasties, bronze chariots and horses, imperial jade seals, an agate cup with an animal head, gold and silver ware of Han and Tang dynasties, and murals from tombs of the Tang Dynasty.
Covering an area of 65,000 square meters (16 acres), the Shaanxi Hisotry Museum is a striking complex of Chinese classical palatial buildings and courtyards, imitating the architecture style of the Tang Dynasty (618-907). A primary pavilion stands in the center, and four secondary pavilions of varying heights are distributed orderly around it. With black, white and grey as the predominant colors, the buildings have a solemn and rustic charm.
The main exhibition halls include three parts: the Basic Exhibition Hall, the Theme Exhibition Hall, the East Exhibition Hall and the Exhibition Hall for Murals of Tang Dynasty.
Basic Exhibition Hall
The Basic Exhibition Hall is composed of the No 1 exhibition hall, the No 2 exhibition hall and the No 3 exhibition hall, marked by time order. The No 1 exhibition on the first floor hall displays the articles used during the period from 1.7 million years ago to 206 BC of the Qin Dynasty (221 BC-206 BC). This exhibition contains rough stone tools used by the ape man, the pottery, bronze sacrificial vessels, weapons and terracotta figures. By visiting the No 2 Exhibition Hall on the second floor, you will gain a general understanding of the historical process from 206 BC in the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220AD) to 589 AD in the Northern and Southern Dynasties (386-589). Papermaking, one of China’s great inventions, and some important historical events are portrayed on the scroll painting. The No 3 Exhibition Hall on the second floor is dedicated to articles in the dynasties: the Sui (581- 618), the Tang (618-907), the Song (960-1279), the Yuan (1271-1368), the Ming (1368-1644) and the Qing (1644-1911). The model of the grand Chang’an City (Xian) during the Sui and the Tang, the shiny silver and gold utensils, pottery figures and the high-quality chinaware all await to be relished by the eyes.
Theme Exhibition Hall
To the west of the Basic Exhibition Hall lies the Theme Exhibition Hall. The hall is 2,500 square meters (26,909 square feet) and usually features a variety of theme exhibitions. The exhibitions in this hall are often theme-oriented to show the history or the culture relics of Shaanxi Province, such as the “Shaanxi Bronze Ware Exhibition”, the “Shaanxi Pottery Figure Exhibition” and the “Buddhist Culture Relic Exhibition”.
East Exhibition Hall
The East Exhibition Hall, equal in size to the Theme Exhibition Hall, is also on the first floor and to the east of the basic hall. It is used for contemporary exhibitions of high quality. The duration of the exhibitions varies depending on the exhibition theme. The various exhibition themes, high-grade exhibition design and lively exhibition forms will surely please your eyes. Exhibitions of the frescos, the culture relics, the folkways, the fine arts and the calligraphy are conducted continuously.
The Exhibition Hall for the Murals of Tang Dynasty
In this hall you are able to enjoy some of the murals unearthed from nearly 20 tombs of Tang Dynasty and explore the social life of that time. It is the most distinctive collection in the museum. This hall is open to the public on an occasional basis per week.
ADD: No. 91 East Xiaozhai Road, Yanta District, Xi’an, Shaanxi Province.
Admission: Free. There are 4,000 free tickets available each day. (2,500 tickets issued before 14:00 and 1500 tickets in the afternoon). You get only one ticket for yourself at the ticket office by your passport. Groups should make a reservation 24 hours in advance between 09:00 and 17:00.
Opening Hours: Tuesday-Sunday (Closed on Mondays)
09:00 to 17:30 (Nov.15 to Mar.15; tickets available before 16:00);
08:30 to 18:00 (Mar.16 to Nov.14; tickets available before 16:30);