Beijing’s Capital Museum
One of the best museums in China, Capital Museum (首都博物馆) is a relatively new and important museum in Beijing’s central administrative and cultural district. While touring Beijing’s attractions, consider stopping in at Capital Museum to learn more about Beijing and its history as an imperial capital for hundreds of years.
What makes the museum unusual among museums in China is that the best academics in the country were employed to produce a high-tech exhibition using world-class museum display methods.
You’ll see a number of flat panel screens and multimedia equipment employed. The Digital Movie Hall has a very wide screen and 3D videos can be seen. For international visitors, you’ll find PDA (personal digital assistant) devices that provides information in several languages, and free museum guides in several languages.
The Range of Regular Exhibitions
The regular exhibits are History and Culture, Urban Construction, and Beijing Folk Customs.
The art exhibitions include “Ancient Porcelain,” “Ancient Beijing Bronze Art,” and “Ancient Jade.”
Ancient porcelain is among the favorite exhibitions. The exhibition is on the fourth floor and focuses on porcelain wares of the Song (960–1279), Yuan (1271–1368), Ming (1368–1644), and Qing (1644–1911) dynasties. There are altogether 170 individual pieces or sets of porcelain. One piece was estimated to be worth ten million yuan.
Ancient bronzes: The 2,100–2,600-year-old “Bronzes of the Western Zhou Dynasty” and “Eastern Zhou Dynasty” are another highlight. This display is on the fourth floor also. You can see the differences between the bronzes of the two dynasties.
Location of the Exhibition Halls
- Basement: Temporary Exhibition Hall and Multifunctional Hall
- First Floor: Temporary Exhibition Hall, Multimedia Hall, and Interactive Hall
- Second Floor: Collection of Ancient Calligraphy
- Third Floor: Collection of Ancient Paintings
- Fourth Floor: Ancient Porcelain, Ancient Buddha Statues, Ancient Jade
- Fifth Floor: Ancient Jade
- Sixth Floor: Exhibition of Fine Gadgets
The initial work on the collection started in 1953. A museum was open to the public in 1981 in the Confucian Temple. That collection was moved to the present site in 2006, a prominent site on Beijing Subway Line 1 west of Tian'anmen Square.
- The Forbidden City and Tian'anmen Square (3½ km / 2½ miles east)
- National Art Museum
- Beijing Geological Museum
- Beijing Museum of Natural History
- Tickets: The tickets are free, but you need to reserve a ticket before a visit. Online reservation is available on the official website around the clock. Telephone reservation is available from 9 am to 5 pm every day. Tickets for the same day cannot be reserved after 12 noon. There is a security check.
- Hours: Tuesday to Sunday; 9am to 5pm (admission before 4pm)
- Subway: From Muxidi (木樨地) Station, Line 1, walk 200 meters east.
- Buses: Special Bus 1 stops at Muxidi. Buses 1, 4, 37, and 52 stop at Gonghui Dalou (工会大楼), then walk 200 meters west.
- Address: 16 Fuxingmenwai Dajie, 北京市西城区复兴门外大街16号.
I updated this article on November 7, 2013
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