Friday, May 3, 2013

Xi'an Museum -Nicole Mittelstadt

The Xian Museum is located in the Small Wild Goose Pagoda Scenic Area in Xian, China.  It is one of the first large state museums in China with modern facilities.  It was constructed in 1983 and opened to the public in June 1991.  The museum includes over a hundred thousand cultural relics from the Zhou, Qin, Han, and Tang Dynasties.  The building itself is three stories and has an underground floor as well.  The pagoda was actually cracked by three different earthquakes, but amazingly the cracks ended up being closed by later earthquakes.  The first floor contains displays of Buddhist statues and historical relics from the other counties and districts in China.  The statues are very lifelike and are carved in stone or made of copper and bronze.  The second floor contains displays of jade, seals, paintings, and calligraphies.   

The architectural design of the museum follows the traditional Tang style with the Chinese concept of the universe with a round heaven and a square earth.  It has a hall in the center and storied buildings in corners.  It is considered one of the ten landmark buildings of the city.  The museum believes in the importance of collecting, conserving, publicizing, and educating about the thousands of relics, displays, and research it has to offer. 

Our guide told us all about the design and architecture of the building and how it represents the  beliefs of the ancient Chinese people. He also explained the large marble map on the floor of the museum and where the people of Xi’an have lived throughout history and why they moved.  Then the group had some free time to explore the museum on our own.  There were many really cool artifacts and cultural items. Some were made of jade, others were religious artifacts, and there was even a whole room full of fans with calligraphy on them.  They were all written in Chinese and so were the descriptions, so we didn’t know what they were saying or their real significance. 

I thought the museum was really interesting.  I love learning about different cultures and comparing them to my own.  I find Chinese history extremely interesting.  Everything is so old.  Their history is very extensive compared to America’s.  We have only existed for a couple hundred years, but China has been around for thousands of years.  It fascinates me how cultures exist so prevalently for that long.  
Nicole Mittelstadt

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