Imperial Porcelain Factory National Archaeological Site Park
Address: 187 Zhushan Middle Road, Zhushan district, Jingdezhen city, Jiangxi province
Hours: 9 am - 6 pm
General admission: 53 yuan ($8.21)
Located in today’s Jingdezhen, East China’s Jiangxi province, the imperial porcelain factory, also known as the “official kiln”, produced porcelains especially for the imperial families of the Ming and the Qing dynasties (1368-1911). The products were not only consumed by 27 imperial households but were also given as gifts by emperors to reward their worthy ministers.
The factory made a great contribution to the development of the Chinese porcelain culture, and is the only historical site that draws a full and systematic picture of the production and cultural information of the ancient official kilns.
The history of the imperial porcelain factory can be traced back to the year 1278, when the Kublai (r. 1260-94) Khan of the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) established the first official kiln, the Fuliang Porcelain Bureau, in Jingdezhen. Upon the establishment of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Emperor Hongwu (r.1368-98) built a factory based on the Fuliang Porcelain Bureau, which was named after the emperor's reign as the “Hongwu Official Kiln”. It then became the specific porcelain production site for the imperial families from 1369 to 1911, serving 27 emperors in total and reflecting the highest level of Chinese porcelain technology and art during the Ming and Qing dynasties. It also contributed to the majority of the porcelain collections of that period by major museums in the world.
Covering nearly 50,000 square meters, the site of the imperial porcelain factory is home to a great number of buried cultural relics. Five large-scale surveys and excavations of the site have been carried out since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, during which 11 official kilns dating to the Ming Dynasty were discovered. The discovery of 2003 was designated one of the Top 10 National Archaeological Discoveries of that year and drew great attention in the archaeology field at home and abroad.