The Chinese National Museum (The former name is The Chinese Historical Museum) is located to the east of Tiananmen Square. It is the first Chinese National Museum. In 1911, the Xinhai Revolution broke out and overthrew the feudal monarchy which had ruled China centuries. In 1912, the new government immediately made a decision to establish the National Modern Museum. The museum was first located in Guozijian, established during the Ming and Qing Dynasties, but later it was moved to other places. By October 1926, it had in its collection more than 2,010,000 antiques. There were 10 showrooms, showing more than 2,000 pieces of historical artifacts and works of art. In August 1958, the Chinese government decided to build a new National Museum to the east of Tiananmen Square - the present Museum of Chinese History and Museum of the Chinese Revolution - which was finished in 1959. The museum is composed of two parts covering a total area of 45,000 square meters. The whole building is elegant.
After establishing the Chinese Museum of History, the nation mobilized to collect antiques and delicate works from all parts of the country. Existing heritage collections have more than 30 million pieces, in which more than 2,000 are top-level pieces, antique photos numbered over 1,010,000, and it also hosts a professional library with over 2,010,000 books. The technical facilities of the Museum of Heritage Conservation are relatively complete, including a laboratory and restoration technology room.
The Beijing Art Museum is located in the Ming and Qing Dynasty Temple of Longevity. The temple was built in the Ming Dynasty, and was originally used for storing Chinese Buddhist scriptures. From Ming to Qing Dynasty, after several emperors'large-scale restorations, it ultimately became a complex of temples, palaces and gardens. It covers 50 acres and became an important temple for royal retreats and birthday celebrations.
The Beijing Art Museum, founded in 1985, holds a diverse collection of nearly 50,000 works of art spanning from early Chinese civilization to the Ming and Qing Dynasties. In addition, to ancient Chinese art, the museum also preserves work from modern masters, such as Qi Baishi, Zhang Daqian, Xu Beihong and hosts an impressive collection of foreign works.
The Beijing Opera Museum is located in Beijing's Xuanwu District. It was formally completed and opened on September 6, 1997 - the 100th museum to be opened in Beijing. The Huguang Gathering House was established in 1807, including the Big-drama Building, Sage Temple, Wenchang Pavilion, and Baoshan House. In the past these facilities served as temporary residence for students from Hunan and Hubei, as well as businessmen. Characterized by the excellent tradition of Peking opera culture, it has time-honored history and deep connection to Beijing culture.
It's a glorious center of humanity within the city. After the collapse of the Qing Dynasty, renown masters of Peking Opera - Tan Xinpei, Yu Shuyan, Mei Lanfang, and more - played here, helping to make it an attractive center for opera performance. In 1912, the greatest forerunner of the Chinese revolution came here several times to give political speeches. It was also the venue which housed the meeting which established the Kuomintang. In spring of 1996, at the grand opening of the opera museum, many opera celebrities played here for a lengthy festival in order to help popularize the art form and support drama research. The Beijing Opera Museum basically displays the history and unique culture of Beijing drama, through such media as drama documentaries, cultural relics, pictures and video documentaries.
The Beijing Museum of Natural History, the first large-scale Chinese Natural History Museum built relying upon China's own strength, is principally engaged in paleontology, biology, botany and anthropology and is charged with the task of implementing specimen collections, scientific research and popularizing scientific work.
It has been regarded as the "national youth technology education base" and "patriotism education base of Beijing " by Beijing municipal government. It has been named by UNESCO as one of the "Science and peace education bases".
Since 1995, it's been continuously regarded as "advanced unit in Beijing spiritual civilization". The Beijing Natural History Museum is 12,000 square meters, built on 24,000 square meters of land, and holds 8,000 square meters of exhibition space. A famous industrialist named Tian Jianbing, from Hongkong, jointly invested 5,000,000 RMB with Beijing's municipal government to build up the Tianjiabing Building. It is a large museum, with state of the art equipment and facilities and a wide range of displayed specimens.
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