Suzhou Silk Museum is a museum built to show Chinese flourishing silk culture, including Chinese history and actuality for the development of silk textile industry.
Suzhou is a state-renowned historical anf cultural city in China, owning the name of "Paradise on Earth". It is not only famous for the typical gardens in Suzhou style, but also famous for the silk there. In the Tang (618 - 907) and the Song (960 - 1279) Dynasties, Suzhou has been the centre of silk products in China, and in the Ming (1368 - 1644) and the Qing Dynasties (1644 - 1911), most of high-quality silk texture for imperial families was made in Suzhou. Hence, Suzhou is always known as the "hometown of silk".
Combining a sense of ancient civilization with modern style, the dignified and elegant museum covers an area of 9,460 square meters, with the theme is "the Silk Road", a road symbolized the communication between the east and the west in Chinese history. Suzhou Silk Museum takes white as its dominant color which is the natural color of silk. The museum can be divided into several parts: the Introductory Hall, the Ancient Exhibit Hall, the Silkworm-Rearing Room, the Silk Weaving Workshop, the Neoteric (1840 - 1919) Exhibit Hall, and the Modern (1919 - 1949) Exhibit Hall. There are also retail stores for purchasing silk.
Entering the gate of the museum, visitors can see a long and elegant gallery which is symbolized "the Silk Road", running from west to east, and intersecting the north-south white wall which is built in modern style.
The wall curves at the entrance, which makes visitors think about the softness and elegance of the silk if they use their imagination. On the crown of the wall, situates a row of artistic sculptures with white mulberry trees as the prototype, which also hints the continuous ancient wall along the Silk Road. In front of the wall, stand three tall sculptures made of white marble: the first one shows a girl picking mulberry leaves (the silkworm's favorite food), the second is about a girl washing the raw silk fabric, and the third one shows a girl weaving pongee. The main building of the museum is built in tower-type with elegant decoration inside the building. What's more, all the sculptures scattering in those exhibition halls are made by famous sculptors in China, which adds the museum with more art appreciation value.
In the Introductory Hall, visitors can retrace the splendid history of China, as a ancient country for silk. The Ancient Exhibit Hall with precious silk of cultural relics, models and pictures, shows the history from the origination of the silk producing to the development in the Ming and Qing Dynasties, which can be recognized as a concentrated history for silk development in China. The Silkworm-Rearing Room and the Silk Weaving Workshop are reproductions based on the real scenes of peasants breeding silkworms and planting white mulberry threes in modern times. Visitors can watch the manual operations for all kinds of ancient weaving machines and the processes of weaving some famous silk products like ancient brocades and green silk. In the Neoteric (1840 - 1919) Exhibit Hall and the Modern (1919 - 1949) Exhibit Hall, shows the development of Suzhou silk producing in modern times, including the exquisite skill on silk producing, the changes of silk dresses, the silk products winning the international prize and the introduction of skill craftsmen. Check Our China Museum Tours and Suzhou Tours or Customize a Tour for Suzhou
- Address: No.2001, Renmin Road, Suzhou City (苏州市人民路2001号)
- Admission Fee: 10 yuan
- Hours: 09:00-16:30
- Recommended Time for a Visit: 3 to 4 hours
- How to Get There: take Buses 69, 101, 112, 522 or 602 to get there
I updated this article on May 13, 2013
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