Tianyige Museum. [Photo/nbtygyh.haishu.gov.cn]
Located on the Tianyi Street in Haishu district, a downtown area of Ningbo, Tianyige Museum (天一阁博物馆) was listed as a 5A-level tourist spot in 2018, the highest level recognized by China's National Tourism Administration.
Tianyige is the oldest existing private library in China, with a collection of more than 300,000 volumes of valuable books and records, and it has exerted a profound influence on other libraries in China.
It was built between 1561 and 1566 during the reign of Jiajing Emperor of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) under the supervision of Fan Qin, a high-ranking official in charge of national defense. However, the collections were destroyed over the years due to corruption, burglary, and natural disasters. At its lowest point, the number of books dropped to about 13,000 volumes.
After the founding of the People's Republic of China, the number gradually climbed to the current level, thanks to reclamation and donation. In 1982, it was designated as an important heritage site under state protection.
Most of the rare books it collects are made from block-printing or are handwritten copies of works during the Ming Dynasty, some of which are the sole existing copy in China. The rarest among all the collections are local chronicles and imperial examination records during the Ming Dynasty.
Add: No 10 Tianyi Street, Haishu district, Ningbo, Zhejiang province
Ticket price: 30 yuan ($4.5)
8 am – 5:30 pm from Apr 21 to Oct 21
8 am – 5:00 pm from Oct 22 – Apr 20