Museum Of Tianjin History
An Introduction to the Museum of Tianjin History.
Random photo: Impressions of China
With a history of 600 years, Tianjin is a stage displaying different architectural styles—the epitome of modern Chinese society. Around 854 buildings are regarded as historically significant, covering an overall area of 141 square kilometers. And 85 per cent of them belong to foreign architectural styles, including British, French, German, Italian, Belgium, Russian, American and Japanese.
Opened on December 23, 2004, the 600th anniversary of the city’s founding, the exhibition is a regular feature. With a large amount of cultural relics, historical documents and photographs, the exhibition highlights the importance of Tianjin in the modern history of China, and displays the collision and fusion of Chinese and Western civilization.
On December 23, 1404, the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) set up the military organization Tianjin Garrison (tianjinwei). Inscriptional record on the Repair of the Sanguanmiao Temple, “engraved in 1550, and displayed at the exhibition, explains that Tianjin means” the ferry-place where the heavenly son passed by. “Emperor Yongle (1403-1424) of the Ming Dynasty gave the name, after he crossed the river in Tianjin to seize power. With the development of water transport of grain to the capital from the south, the salt industry and commodity circulation, up to about 1850 , Tianjin grew from a garrison town to the second largest city in North China, next only to the capital Beijing. After the Second Opium war (1856-1860), Tianjin became the center of the Qing Dynasty” Westernization Movement (yangwu yundong 洋务运动) in northern China. It was in Tianjin that China’s first telegraph and telephone lines were put up, that China’s first land force military school was established. An early telephone, a rifle made by Tianjin Machinery Factory, and a model of “Rocket of China,” the first Chinese-made locomotive show the crucial place of Tianjin in China’s modernization. After Tianjin was forced to become a treaty port in 1860, altogether nine countries set up concessions in Tianjin. Colonial rule also brought foreign culture, including Western architecture and music. At the same time, native culture like Peking Opera, and quyi (various forms of folk performing arts) thrived in Tianjin. At the exhibition, people can sit in a model of an old tram and listen to peaking Opera, experiencing the co-existence of Western and Chinese cultures. The exhibition also records the wars that happened in Tianjin, from the invasion of the Eight-Power Allied Forces (1900), the War of Resistance Against Japan (1937-1945) to China’s War of Liberation (1945-1949).
Located at the intersection of Youyi Road and Pingjiang Road, the Tianjin Museum provinces a comprehensive collection of history and arts. With some 200,000 exhibits, it presents a rich world of culture through its varius exhibitions.
A doggerel which introduces Tianjin’s old famous brands like this: “Laomeihua’s shoes Darentang’s medicine, Zhengxingde’s tea (which roughly means ‘upright, prosperous and moral’) and Shengxifu’s hats.”
Construction of the Beijing-Tianjin-Tanggu freeway has begun and is expected to open to traffic before the 2008 Olympic Games. The intercity railway between Beijing and Tianjin will also open soon, shortening the commute between the cities to merely 30 minutes. Moreover, the expansion of Binhai International airport and the deep-water channel of Tianjin port will largely strengthen communication between Tianjin and other cities, paving the way for the sound development of the region’s economy.