Daming Palace in Xian

Daming Palace Heritage Museum is located at the center of Daming Palace Heritage Park in the northern part of downtown Xian. The heritage park is built on the ruins site of Daming Palace, the imperial palace of the Tang Dynasty.


Covering an area of 3.5 square kilometers, Daming Palace epitomized unparalleled grandeur and the majestic essence of Tang-era palace architecture and was praised as the “Eastern Holy Palace” of the Silk Road. Its vast scale is equated to about three Versailles Palaces and four and a half Forbidden Cities.

As the largest palace complex of its time, Daming Palace served as a crucial site for diplomatic relations and cultural exchange for over 240 years, spanning the reigns of seventeen Tang emperors from Emperor Gaozong onwards.

Built on the ruins of the palace, the Daming Palace National Heritage Park largely resorts the historical appearance of the Tang Dynasty’s Daming Palace. At the southern entrance of the palace, the model of Danfeng Gate was created based on historical records, and was affixed to the site by using steel structures and panels, serving as a form of protective display.

Daming Palace
Daming Palace

Fast Facts of Daming Palace

  • Location: 585 Ziqiang East Road, Xincheng District, Xi’an City, Shaanxi Province.
  • Opening hours: 8:30-19:00 (Apr. 15 – Oct. 15); 8:30-18:30 (Oct. 16 – Apr. 14)
  • Entrance fee: The park is free to enter, and the ticket fare is CNY 60 per person to visit Danfeng Gate Site Museum, the Daming Palace Site Museum, and the sites of various major halls.
  • Highlights: Tang-era palace architecture, historic relics
  • Time needed: about 3 hours

History of Daming Palace

Construction work of the palace was carried out in 635, the 9th year of Emperor Taizong’s Era as the summer palace of Li Yuan, father of Emperor Taizong who is also the founder of the Tang Dynasty. Later in the year 663, Emperor Gaozong moved to Daming Palace to live and govern the nation here. Since that time, Daming Palace functioned as imperial for about 200 years.

In excavated area, archaeologists found several independent palace ruins, like Qilin Palace in the western part of Daming Palace where the Emperor offered banquets and received envoys of other states, Xuanwumen Gate ruins in north part of Daming Palace where Li Shimin, the later Emperor Taizong launched coup and killed his elder brother to force his father Emperor Gaozu give the emperor throne to him.

Miniature of the Daming Palace
Miniature of the Daming Palace

Daming Palace Museum

Daming Palace Museum is built half under ground and half up ground. The relics and their explanatory note in museum comprehensively explain culture and history of Daming Palace. The relics are on display in five sections. Sections One is Preface Hall which gives a brief introduction of history and historical events related to Daming Palace. Section Two is the impacted model of palace complex of Daming Palace. The other three sections are: As promising as sun rise (Ru Ri Zhi Sheng), Paying Respects to the Emperor (Wan Guo Lai Chao), Defending Social Prosperity (Shouwang Huihuang).

The five sections displays cultural relics unearthed in Daming Palace ruins, related historical document and the daily utensils of the imperial family in the Tang Dynasty. At entrance of the museum we could see the sand models of the area before and after construction of Daming Palace. The exhibits on display includes rectangular bricks carved with different patterns, stone animal figures, tri-colored glazed pottery, civil officers’ statues, etc. They are without dispute all the best of the kind in the Tang Dynasty because Daming Palace is the imperial palace of the Tang Dynasty where the Emperor and his family lived.

As a newly built museum, Daming Palace Heritage Museum has not much items on display yet but each pieces there is of much high historical and aesthetic value. The museum is also working to enrich its collections to introduce more facts about Daming Palace to modern people.

After visiting in the museum, take a walk in the park one will feel how grand the imperial palace is. Though the up ground buildings were destroyed, the palace building ruins survived is trying to show modern people the grand looking of the palace complex. The former imperial palace now is oped to common people for free. In the park there are some sports equipment where local people spend their leisurely afternoon time.

Ruins of Hanyuan Hall in Daming Palace
Ruins of Hanyuan Hall in Daming Palace

How to Get to Daming Palace Site


Take Xi’an Metro Line 2 to “Daming Palace West Station”. After exiting from exits C/D, walk east for 10 minutes to Jiuxianmen.


  • Take bus routes 2, 262, 528, 717, and 723 and get off at Daming Palace Danfengmen Station, then, walk to the park.
  • Take bus routes 2, 16, 17, 22, 38, 46, 104, 209, 216, 262, and 263, get off at Dahua 1935 Station, then walk to the park.

Travel Tips for Daming Palace Heritage Park & Museum:

  • If you want to take a walk in the park, please avoid visiting there between 12:00to 16:00 in summer days. There are few trees in the park while the weather can be quite hot.
  • Battery cart is available in the park. Visitors could take the cart to museum from entrance because it will take long time to walk to museum.

Attractions Nearby

Recommended Xi’an Tours including Daming Palace Museum

Xian Half-day Daming Palace Tour with Pottery Making