Gansu Provincial Museum
Address: 3 West Xijin Road, Qilihe district, Lanzhou, Gansu province
Hours: 9:00-17:00 (no entry after 16:00)
Closed Mondays (except for national holidays)
Ticket booking: 0931-2339131
General admission: Free (Passport required for entry, a max of 2,000 admitted daily)
Whether you come by train or plane, the moment you set foot in Lanzhou, the capital city of Gansu province, you will notice a horse sculpture. The sculpture is a replica of China's national treasure - a34.5-centimeter-tall statuette known as the Galloping Horse Treading on a Flying Swallow (mata feiyan), or Galloping Horse for short. It is a bronze sculpture datable to the Eastern Han Dynasty (25BC-220AD) and was excavated in 1969 in Wuwei county, Gansu province. A main attraction of the Gansu Provincial Museum collection, the whinnying horse is depicted in a running motion with three legs stretching out and one stepping on a flying swallow. This horse has been identified by the Chinese government as the symbol of Chinese Tourism since the 1980s.
The Gansu Provincial Museum, located on the bank of the Yellow River, is an integrative local history museum renowned at home and abroad for its collection of relics, fossils, and up to 80,000 works of art. Its most unique artifacts are painted pottery from the Neolithic Age, fossils of ancient creatures, wooden and bamboo strips from the Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD), documents, Silk Road treasures from the Han and Tang Dynasties (618-907),and Buddhist artworks.
The museum has four permanent exhibitions. The Silk Road Exhibition Hall focuses on civilization along the Silk Road within Gansu, with over 420 exhibits related to medieval China’s trade relations with foreign countries, including painted pottery, bronze ware, jade ware, gold and silver ware, wooden slips, woodenware, silk fabric, tri-color-glazed pottery, clay sculptures, murals, handwritten Buddhist sutras, and more. The Painted Pottery Exhibition Hall displays over 400 pieces of finely painted pottery, giving visitors insight into the history of painted pottery in Gansu.
A 4-meter-tall Mammoth fossil replica is stored in the Paleontological Fossil Exhibition Hall. It is said to be the biggest and most well-preserved fossil in the world. The Buddhist Art Exhibition Hall displays more than 100 Buddhist cultural relics dating from the Sixteen Kingdoms Period(222-589) to the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911).
More than 300 exhibitions have been held in the museum, attracting nearly 10 million domestic and foreign visitors, and many pieces from the museum collection have been exhibited in the USA, France, Italy, Japan, Croatia, Singapore, and Hong Kong.
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