Suzhou City Museum
Address: 8 First Road of Tongji, Yongqiao district, Suzhou city, Anhui province
Opening hours: 9:00 am - 5:30 pm (Tuesday -Sunday)
Closed Mondays (except for public holidays)
General admission: Free
Suzhou is a city that is impossible to ignore if you are interested in Chinese imperial history. It was the site of China's very first peasant rebellion (known as the Rebellion at Daze Township), which took place in 209 BC and threatened the cruel rule of the Qin empire.
It was also the spot where the rebel leader Liu Bang (the future emperor who founded China's Han Dynasty) besieged his arch-rival Xiang Yu and his left-over army in 202 BC. This led to the decisive Battle of Gaixia, which Liu won, afterward creating a united Chinese empire known as the Han. The Han Dynasty lasted for 400 years.
Suzhou City Museum opened to the public in October 2010 in a regal building that fuses elements from ancient Chinese architectural styles. The facade is embedded with marble panels carved with reliefs featuring imagery from the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220).
The museum holds a collection not only concentrating on the historical events of the Rebellion at Deze Township and the Battle of Gaixia more than two millennia ago but also the 500-year civilization nourished by the Sui-Tang Dynasties Grand Canal, which was built in the late sixth century.
This Suzhou is not the historical metropolis in East China's Jiangsu province that boasts classical gardens and shares the same pinyin romanization, but a hub lying in the northern part of East China's Anhui province. Anhui’s Suzhou is located on the Sui-Tang Dynasties Grand Canal.
In Suzhou, you can visit some of the canal sections and witness the vibrant lifestyles once created by the canal, which is today used for flood prevention, irrigation and as a water reserve. A permanent exhibition at Suzhou Museum is dedicated to the local Grand Canal civilization, showcasing archeological finds from two excavations of the canal, including a pier dating to the Song Dynasty (960-1279).