Baoji Bronzeware Museum: the Discovery of the “Bronze Country”

Baoji Bronzeware Museum is a comprehensive museum and the only one, which was named after the bronze in the country. Located by the western side of the Gongyuan Road South, the museum covers a total area of 1. 38 hectares with an investment of over 20 million RMB yuan. Built in a unique shape of five tripods on a terrace the museum presents a splendid magnificence, an everlasting symbol of the “Bronze Country. ” The tripod, as a ritual bronzed of importance, symbolizes solidarity, unification and authority, suggesting peace, development, and prosperity.

Baoji Bronze Ware Museum
Baoji Bronze Ware Museum

Facts of Baoji Bronze Ware Museum

  • Opening hours: 09:00-17:00, closed on Mondays (excluding holidays)
  • Entrance fee: free. But visitors need to make reservations in advance or swipe ID cards on-site to enter.
  • Highlights: bronze artifacts from Xia, Shang, and Zhou periods to the Qin and Han Dynasties
  • Location: Inside the Zhonghua Shigu Park, on the eastern section of Binhe Avenue, Baoji City, Shaanxi Province.
  • Time needed: 1-2 hours

Overview

Designed in a unique way, the main body of the museum is like a big square tripod, and is surrounded by four smaller ones. Standing on a five-meter-high terrace the two flights of steps seem to be the two extending arms, affording a polite and cordial welcome to visitors from far and near.

The main building of the museum covers a floor-space of 10,000 square meters with its interior consisted of five floors. Laid out in it are the principal exhibition hall, temporary exhibition hall, lecture hall, antique’s shop and administrative office. The whole edifice with a compact structure presents a new, quaint and splendid feature, suggesting fully a solemn, dignified, imposing and simple yet vigorous charm of the bronze ware.

Stepping onto the flights of stairs will lead you to the grandiose five tripod hall situated on the five-meter high terrace. On the walls of the gallery leading to the prelude hall are decorated with relief of phoenix-headed birds and the ceiling with Chinese character “井”, indicating the well-system practiced then in the Western Zhou Dynasty.

Along Ibis long corridor we can approach the hall of the bronze art. The inscribed board for the museum, shining brightly under the sunshine, is an integration of characters written by the late Guo Moruo, a famous historian, archeologist and man of letters, The museum, opened to the public since September 8, 1998, has now become a brilliant pearl studded on the tour-routes of Shaanxi Province.

Background of Baoji Bronze Ware Museum

Rising at Baoji, the dynasties of Zhou and Qin all made the place the cradle in their early days, and the ruins of Zhouyuan and Yongcheng are now listed as units under the national protection and preservation for cultural relics. Ever since 58 B. C., the 4th year of Emperor Xuan in the Western Han Dynasty there have always been pieces of bronze ware unearthed in the Baoji area and without interruption.

The findings rank at the top of the country so far as the numerous pieces of exquisite articles and the importance of inscription contents are concerned. Hence they are renowned far and wide in the world. Take the Cauldrons of Maogong and Dayu and the large Silver Tab of Guojizi and Sanshi Bronze Tab for instance, they are considered the four treasure pieces in the late Qing Period, that were all unearthed from the soil of Baoji, the hidden and mystic land in China.

Up to now, from among more than 50,000 museum pieces, over half of them are the unearthed pieces of the Zhou and Qin periods. The ox bronze jar, wine container, tab and tripod, and bronze bell are all known as national treasure-pieces, a full representation of the brilliant culture in the bronze period in Chinese history.

Baoji Bronze Ware Museum
Baoji Bronze Ware Museum

What to See in the Bronze Ware Museum

The museum houses over 10 thousand bronze artifacts spanning from the Xia, Shang, and Zhou periods to the Qin and Han Dynasties. Among its seven exhibition halls, the No. 1 and No. 2 exhibition halls house some of its essences.

The top highlighted collections of the museum include:

  • He Zun: the inscription at its base is the earliest recorded inscription of the word “China”.
  • Su Pan: with extensive inscription detail the history of Western Zhou Dynasty.
  • Fu Gui: the largest surviving bronze “Gui” vessel from the Shang Dynasty. Gui is a kind of round-mouthed food vessel with two or four loop handles.
  • Dai He: a mid-Western Zhou bronze vessel with dragon, phoenix, and tiger crafted on it.

Beyond that, visitors can also look into a large amount of wine vessels, musical instrument, and food vessels showcasing the highest level of bronze casting in Shang and early Western Zhou era.

He Zun in Baoji Bronze Ware Museum
He Zun in Baoji Bronze Ware Museum

Travel Tips

  1. To make a reservation, you need to follow the official WeChat account of the Baoji Bronze Ware Museum, and then click on the “Ticket Reservation” section.
  2. To get to the museum, you can take a high-speed train from Xi’an North Railway Station to Baoji Railway Station, then take bus routes 10, 20, or 71 and get off at the Zhonghua Shigu Park station.

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