The Capital Museum
Address: 16 Fuxingmenwai Street, Xicheng district, Beijing
9:00-17:00 (Tuesday -Friday, Sunday, no admission after 16:00)
9:00-20:00 (Saturday, no admission after 19:00)
Closed Mondays (except for national holidays)
General admission: Free (passport required for entry)
Online ticket booking: www.capitalmuseum.org.cn/capitalmuseum/englishwsyy/wsyy.jsp
The Capital Museum is a palace of Beijing culture. Its collections demonstrate the long development of the city, showcasing its magnificent living history of 500,000 years, urban history of 3,000 years and history as the Chinese capital of 800 years. The museum also presents cultural and artistic exhibitions from different regions.
Planning for the Capital Museum began in 1953, but it wasn’t opened to the public until October 1, 1981. In 2001, the museum moved from its former site at the Confucius Temple of Beijing to the west part of the city on the extended Chang'an Avenue. Building of the new Capital Museum was a major cultural construction project of Beijing in the 10th Five-Year Plan. The new museum was officially opened on May 18, 2006.
Core permanent exhibitions of the museum feature the local history of Beijing. The exhibition falls into six sections: (1) the development of an organized community from ancient settlements; (2) historical remains of the former sites of the 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; and (6) the political center of the Ming and Qing dynasties (1268-1840).
Others exhibitions include ceramics, calligraphy, painting, Buddhist art, jade, and bronze art of the ancient State of Yan (where Beijing was located).
Among the 83,000 cultural relics on display, most were unearthed in the Beijing area and 305 pieces are first grade. The treasures include stone wares, bronze wares, ceramics, stone inscriptions, calligraphy and paintings. For instance, a Shang Dynasty (17th- 11th century BC) bronze wine vessel decorated with three rams; a Western Zhou (c. 11th century - 771 BC) 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 (770-476 BC), 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.
Last Updated: Nov 30, 2018