Shaanxi enjoys a reputation as an open history museum for its rich cultural relics, and the presence of Chinese history and culture.
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Our imaginations we can See the magnificence of the previous dynasties by looking at their treasures, such as the bronze artifacts of the Western Zhou Dynasty, the bronze chariots and horses of the Qin Dynasty, the stone carvings of the Han Dynasty, the filigree works of the Tang Dynasty, the porcelain ware of the Song Dynasty, and the stone tablets of many dynasties.
Museums in Shaanxi
The Museum of the Terracotta Warriors and Horses
Lying about 1.5 kilometers east of the First Qin Emperor’s mausoleum, this site is a large theme Museum built on the site where the Emperor anciently buried life-sized terracotta replicas of warriors and horses. Since the discovery of the first pit in 1974, altogether 3 pits have been found up till now, named as Pit 1, Pit 2, and Pit 3 by the order their discovery. The Museum was inaugurated on October 11, 1979. The Terracotta Army captured the world’s imagination with their magnificent style and outstanding sculptural techniques and was named the "Eighth Wonder of the World" and was also listed as a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1987.
Shaanxi History Museum
The Shaanxi History Museum is located in the City of Xi’an and officially opened in 1991. It is a comprehensive national Museum displaying artifacts from the Prehistoric Age to the Qing Dynasty of China and all the history in between. The entire building complex is patterned after the architectural features of the Tang Dynasty, with palaces in the centre and Chong-lou buildings in the four corners. It is the perfect integration of elegance, ancient architectural style and modern facilities. The Museum covers an area of 65,000 square meters, with a display space of 11,000 square meters and holds over 370,000 artifacts rich in variety, quality, taste and value. Particularly valuable amongst the collection are the bronze artifacts of the Shang and Zhou Dynasties, pottery figures of many dynasties, and the filigree works and grave wall paintings of the Tang Dynasty.
Located on the eastern bank of the Ting River and in the north of Banpo Village in the eastern suburb of Xi’an, the Banpo Museum was built in 1957 on the site of the ancient Banpo Village and opened to the public in 1958 as a prehistoric site museum. Banpo is a valuable cultural relic because it is relatively complete and representative of a matriarchal clan community. The Museum has not only display halls but also protection halls for the remains of the residential areas of the ancient village. The life and production of these ancient people in a matriarchal clan society 6,000 years ago can still be Seen in vivid detail by the houses, cellars, cooking fire pits, production tools, household articles, and the burial section where males and females were buried separately.
The Han Yangling Museum
The Han Yangling, located on the Xianyang tableland in the eastern suburb of the City of Xianyang, is the mausoleum of the Jing Emperor (the fourth Emperor of the Western Han Dynasty) and his queen who are buried in separate tomb chambers. Pottery figures abound in nearly 200 satellite tomb pits and over 5000 satellite tombs and reflect the court and social lives of the Han Dynasty. The Museum is the first relic Museum in the world built completely underground, and also is the first modern Museum displaying a true-life field excavation and relic collection.
The Zhouyuan Museum
The centre of the Zhouyuan ruins lies in Fufeng and Qishan in the City of Baoji. Zhouyuan was the cradle of the Zhou culture and the main residential place of the Zhou people before the Shang Dynasty was overthrown. The Zhouyuan Museum is a theme Museum built on the site where large-scale excavations were conducted and houses a collection of over 10,000 valuable artifacts, including bronze artifacts, oracle-bone inscriptions, jade ware, pottery, shell artifacts, primitive pottery, production tools and household articles, and construction materials. These provide a comprehensive picture of the daily life and political and economic development of the Zhou Dynasty 3000 years ago. Because the Zhou culture had "the best bronze artifacts in the world and the best oracle-bone inscriptions throughout history," it is often regarded as the root of Chinese culture.
Baoji Bronze Museum
The Baoji Bronze Museum, located on the western side of the South Park Road of Baoji City, covers an area of 20.7 mu (about 13,800 m2), with a total investment of 20,000,000 yuan. The Museum is China’s only comprehensive Museum named after bronze artifacts. Baoji witnessed the origin of the Zhou and Qin Dynasties and is, therefore, abundant in cultural relics, especially for the bronze artifacts excavated there. With hundreds of thousands of bronze artifacts discovered from the Han Dynasty to the present day, Baoji is referred to as the "home of bronze ware." The "Four National Treasures of the late Qing Dynasty," namely the Maogong Tripod, the Dayu Tripod, the Guojizi White Plate, and the Sanshi Plate, were all discovered in Baoji. The Baoji Bronze Museum is proud to display world-famous bronze pieces, such as the He Zun, the Wei He, and the Qingong Zhong (all wine vessels), as well as an iron sword with a golden hilt
The Xianyang Museum, which was originally a Confucian Temple, was reconstructed and opened to the public in 1962. The Museum currently covers an area of over 800 square meters and houses over 5000 artifacts. Xianyang was the capital of the Qin Dynasty and served as a hub of the ancient Silk Road. Therefore, it is rich in cultural relics, most of which are preserved and displayed in the Xianyang Museum, including production tools, weapons, scales and weighting tools, construction materials, wall paintings, currency and coins, and household articles.
The Hanzhong Museum is located in the centre of Hanzhong City, which was the site where Liu Bang, the first emperor of the Han Dynasty, won a battle against another the kingdom of Chu and later named his Dynasty after the city. The Museum was opened on the site of the ancient Han Tai. It holds a collection of over 12,000 artifacts, the chief ones being the "Thirteen Shimen Inscriptions" that have been referred to as a "national treasure" and a "treasure of calligraphy" for its high artistic and historical value.
Yaozhou Kiln Museum
Situated in Huangpu, Tongchuan City, the Yaozhou Kiln Museum is China’s largest ancient kiln theme Museum and has both artifact displays and ancient porcelain making simulations. The Museum holds over 300,000 artifacts and specimens, most of which were from the ancient Yaozhou Kiln. The kiln was first set up in the Tang Dynasty and became one of the Big Six Kilns in the Song Dynasty. It was known as the "champion of the northern celadon with carved patterns." It was later deserted during the end of the Yuan Dynasty and the beginning of Ming Dynasty, leaving behind it a history of over 800 years.
Xi'an Guanzhong Folk-Custom Arts Museum
Being part of the South Wutai Resort in Xi’an, the Xi'an Guanzhong Folk-Custom Arts Museum holds a collection of nearly 30,000 folk-custom artifacts and folk-culture entities of the Guanzhong region. There people can more fully appreciate the folk culture of Guanzhong because of the approximately 12,000 stone sculptures, 10,000 wood and brick carvings, hundreds of one-thousand-year-old trees, over 2000 paintings and calligraphies, as well as large numbers of vehicles, household articles, and production tools.
Enjoying natural sceneries
As Seen from the map, Shaanxi Province takes a long and narrow shape as it conforms to adjacent mountains, rivers, valleys and plains. Moreover, the "800-Mile Qin Basin" stretches over the central portion of Shaanxi, thus creating an interesting mosaic of plains and loess tablelands. The southern part of Shaanxi stands out for its forests, rivers and picturesque scenery; the northern part of Shaanxi is a mountainous region with the splendid Yellow River traversing through it and the Wei River winding through from west to east until it encounters the Qin Fortress, leaving both of its banks covered with beauty.
Mountains and Rivers
The Qinling Mountain, located in the centre of China, stretches across central Shaanxi and stand between the Yellow River and the Yangtze. It is often referred to as the "Central Park" of China. The Mountain is home to a vast variety of wild plants and animals, making it a plain of rich biological diversity. Crested ibis, giant pandas, golden monkeys, budorcas taxicolors, and giant salamanders can all be found in many places in the mountain.
The Huashan Mountain, one of the Five Sacred Mountains in China, stands 120 km east of Xi’an City, and is also named the "Taihua (flower) Mountain" for the shape of the summit which looks like a flower. Known mostly for its steepness, the Mountain reaches an altitude of 2160.5 m on its summit. Mountaineers call it the "Most Perilous Mountain on Earth". Located at the Golden Triangle of the Yellow River (the intersection of the Shaanxi, Shanxi and Henan provinces) it is the main passage way from the northwest to the Central Plain. It connects with Qinling Mountain in the north and watches over the Yellow and the Wei Rivers in the north. The Mountain has attracted a number of heroes, poets, and Taoists throughout history.
Mount Taibai National Forest Park
Mount Taibai, located near Baoji City in Mei County, is the highest peak of the Qinling Mountain Range with an altitude of 3767 m. Its unique geographical location and gorgeous natural features endow Mout Taibai with both natural and cultural values, thereby distinguishing it from all other mountains. The visitor can See the ruins and traces of the Ice Age that are the best preserved of their kind in China. The six glaciated lakes crowning the mount peak are like six pearls. There are also unique climatic ranges and botanical stretches that are even clearly visible from space, and these are rich in rare plants and animals, herbs, and thermal features.
Cuihua National Geo-park
Standing 23 km away from the City of Xi’an, Mount Cuihua is a branch of the Zhongnan Mountain, but because it is an especially unique branch of the Zhouguan because of its geothermal features. Thus it is often called the "National Geo-Museum of China." Mount Cuihua boasts a host of places of interest and scenic location, including the Bishan Spot, the Tianchi Spot, and the Shanbengshihai Spot. It is a unique of blending rocks, caves, streams, forested mountains—a kind of beautiful scroll of natural paintings. Emperors in the Han and the Tang Dynasties also built the Taiyi and Cuiwei Palaces, respectively, and made Mount Cuihua their sacrificial site and summer resort.
The Hukou Waterfall
The Hukou Waterfall, the second-largest in China after the Huangguoshu Waterfall in Guizhou province, is located in Yichuan, Yan’an. The waterfall is formed when the Yellow River with its 300-meter-wide bed is abruptly forced through a canyon 40 meters wide and 30 meters deep. The Yellow water surges forward and plunges down with great momentum, which creates a magnificent spectacle.
Located 20 km east of Weinan City, Heyang County, the Qiachuan Wetland is 5 km long and 1-2 km wide, and is situated in the border areas of Shaanxi and Shanxi provinces besides the Yellow River. The wetland’s warm, temperate climate is influenced by the Tongguan cleavage formed by the Qinling Mountain, the Zhongtiao Mountain and the Loess Plateau Thus it enjoys clear-cut seasons with a dry Winter and spring, a hot summer and a rainy autumn. These factors which contribute to the formation of a unique wetland ecological system. The Wetland covers an area of 176 square kilometers and boasts an array of scenic spots and places of interest, including reed marshes, overflowing springs, rare birds, lotus ponds, royal tombs, the stone chambers of Zixia, the ancient residence of Taisi, and the ancient Muying Port.
The Guanshan Grassland, located in Long County’s Baoji City, is the only provincial scenic resort in northwestern China with grassland as the main feature and is known as "Tianshan the Minor." The landform resembles that of the Alps, blending lakes and streams, forests and grasslands, hills and valleys, grazing horses and beautiful scenery. Rare animals such as leopards, musk deer and pheasants can be found here, and visitors can hunt hares and other small animals..
The largest freshwater lake in the desert regions of China, Hongjian Lake is renowned as the "Pearl in the Desert". The lake is located in the northwest of Shenmu County, near Yulin City, on the southern border of the Maowusu Desert. It covers an area of 100 square kilometers. Its unique geographical location and the plateau climate make Hongjian Lake distinctive because of its vast waters, boundless grasslands, and rolling sand hills. This makes the lake as a popular tourist attraction among the three neighboring provinces.
Zhashui Karst Cave
The Zhashui Karst Cave stands 17 km south of Shangluo City in Zhaishui County, but the region also includes the Buddha Cave, the Wind Cave, the Hundred-god Cave, the Cloud-fog Cave and many others. This area is known as the largest Karst cave complex in northern China. The mysterious and colossal limestone caves, grotesque peaks and gurgling fresh-water springs, all contribute immensely to Zhashui’s success as a hot scenic spot in southern Shaanxi.
Located in Langao County near Ankang City, the Nangong Mountain is a branch of Bashan Mountain and has an altitude of 2267.4 m. The Mountain is broadly forested and has a great diversity of species and scenery. The Nangong Taoist Temple is one of the earliest of its kind in southern Shaanxi. This is where the respected monk Master Hongyi once lived and died during the Qing Dynasty and was then transformed into a god leaving behind his mortal body, which adds to the mystery of the Mountain. Presently it is a popular tourist attraction and a summer resort for neighboring provinces such as Sichuan, Hubei and Chongqing.
The Ying Lake
Lying in the southwestern suburb of Ankang City, Ying Lake was formed by the construction of the Ankang hydropower plant. It is the largest freshwater lake in northwestern China. The lake links the Qinling and Bashan Mountains and is part of the Han River water system. Its rolling waters and numerous small islands make Ying Lake a spectacular scene. The locations of interest to tourists in and near the lake include the Tianzhu Mountain, the Lanhe River Valley, the Forestry Park, the Pastoral Natural Scene, and the Subtropical Botany and Animal Park.
Jinsi Grand Canyon
Situated in Shangnan County near Shangluo City, the Jinsi Grand Canyon as a national forest park that lies in the middle of the Xinkailing Mountain. The canyon measures 20.5 km in length and over 10 km in depth and presents many unique and beautiful scenes where mountains, caves, rocks, forests, birds, animals, springs, lakes, and waterfalls all live together and compliment each other. The canyon, which is long and narrow, elegant and statuesque, serene and perilous, varies its scenery and has earned fame of a "Grand Canyon View and Ecological Kingdom".
More about the Shaanxi Province
- Shaanxi ancient towns
Chenlu Town, Tongchuan City, Shaanxi Province is famous for manufacturing ceramics in Yuan Dynasty, and the fire of oven for manufacturing of ceramics hasn’t extinguished for thousands of years.
- Changqing Nature Reserve
Escape the city, and visit the wilds of Central China, in a place almost untouched by the outside world.
- Shaanxi Giant Panda
Giant panda is the most important species to be protected in Foping Nature Reserve.
- Shaanxi treasures
Shaanxi enjoys a reputation as an open history museum for its rich cultural relics, and the presence of Chinese history and culture.
- Shaanxi tourist activities
There are also various kinds of tourist activities available for people to be close to the picturesque scenery of Shaanxi.