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The Capital Museum

Updated: 2008-01-18 18:00:39

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The Capital Museum is located in the Confucius Temple at Guozijian Street, southeast of Andingmen (Peace and Stability Gate), Beijing. It was prepared to build up in 1953, but was officially opened to the public until October 1, 1981 for setbacks in construction duration.

Beijing Confucius Temple was initially built up in the 6thyear (1302) of Dade reign in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). It is the place for the emperors in Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties to sacrifice Confucius. The Confucius Temple covers an area of 22,000 square meters with its construction area of more than 6,000 square meters. The main structures are Dacheng Gate, Dacheng Palace and Chongsheng Gate, and Chongsheng Memorial Temple. Xianshi Gate is now the entrance door of Beijing Capital Museum.

The Confucius Temple preserved the world famous Jinshi (the title of successful candidate who passed through the highest imperial examination) nomination monument, the handwritings of successful candidate who passed the exam and other celebrities' calligraphic works. You can find the familiar names like Liu Yong, Ji Xiaolan, etc., there. It also exhibits the vast Thirteen Inscriptions Monuments.

The exhibition presents the Beijing's history in six sections: (1) the development of an organized community from ancient settlements; (2) historical remains of the former sites of Yan State; (3) gradual development as an important northern center; (4) the capital of half of China during the Liao and Jin dynasties; (5) the world renowned Yuan Dynasty capital: Dadu; (6) the political center of the Ming and Qing dynasties (1268-1840).

Among the 83,000 pieces of cultural relics on display, most were unearthed in the Beijing area and 305 pieces are of the first grade in cultural relics. The treasures include stone wares, bronze wares, ceramics, stone inscriptions, calligraphy and paintings, etc. For instance, a Shang Dynasty (17th- 11thcentury BC) bronze wine vessel decorated with three rams; a Western Zhou (11thcentury - 771BC) bronze tripod; and a bronze ox cast during the Tang Dynasty (618-917). Other ancient pieces include an earthenware teapot of the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476BC); a gilded Buddha inlaid with turquoise of the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368); a blue and white lotus plate of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644); and a folding fan of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) with an ivory handle inlaid with precious stones and a tiny watch.

Ever since its establishment, Beijing Capital Museum has held hundreds of exhibitions in different types concerning the history, cultural relics, revolutionary history and folk custom, etc. Moreover, it has also held different types of exhibition in Japan, the United States, Singapore, Malaysia and other countries.

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