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“A Top Destination in Xi'an for Art Historians”

Forest of Stone Steles Museum
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One Day Historic Tour of Shaanxi Provincial History Museum - Xi'an Museum...
Ranked #18 of 332 things to do in Xi'an
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Owner description: This museum boasts the largest collection of steles cut in 837 A.D., the oldest existing texts of the Confucian classics, and more than 2,000 engraved stone tablets from the Han dynasty.
Level Contributor
249 reviews
121 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 258 helpful votes
“A Top Destination in Xi'an for Art Historians”
Reviewed 24 April 2014

This museum has much, much more than stone steles with different historical periods of calligraphy, which are worth a visit in their own right (and while you're there be sure to watch the man who is always there making rubbings for sale in the museum shop). It also has one of the top Buddhist statue collections in China with examples from many different periods beautifully exhibited. Walking through the collection with a knowledgeable person is like taking a course in Chinese Buddhist iconography (and don't forget to purchase the beautiful catalogue in the gift shop), and that's just the beginning. Its collection also includes some of the most famous and beautiful Han stone carvings in Chinese history--carvings of the four directional animals, the Queen Mother of the West (Xiwangmu) and the four remaining carvings of the famous six steeds of the Emperor Taizu (Li Shimin), founder of the Tang Dynasty; the remaining two steles are in Pennsylvania's museum of archaeology and anthropology. And all this is housed in a beautiful enclosed area that was once a Confucian temple. Do not miss this destination and be sure to have a good guide or do your research before visiting. (Note: there are lots of private shops on the grounds; bargain hard; shop carefully as most items are modern reproductions.) I often take friends to this museum and it's inevitably one of their best memories.

Visited May 2013
1 Thank SingaporeGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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347 reviews from our community

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Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
76 reviews
62 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Very different indeed”
Reviewed 12 March 2014 via mobile

I was fortunate to have a guide who had value knowledge of this site. It was well worth the trip, highly recommended

Visited March 2014
Thank Ken I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Greater Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
546 reviews
307 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 988 helpful votes
“A big part of chinese history. ”
Reviewed 13 February 2014 via mobile

The stellae represent one of the oldest forms of written language, and should be on your to-do list for xian.

It would be of particular interest to any calligraphy enthusiasts.

2 Thank Andrew_Alin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Avignon, France
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“For the sake of the oldest Christian Pagoda stele of China”
Reviewed 13 January 2014

After taking a tour with Insiders Experience on a "Panda Run", where I got to see the oldest Christian Pagoda of China, I had to come to the stele museum:
The original stele which once was standing in front of the Christian Pagoda has been moved to this museum to protect it from thieves.

The beauty of the museum, all those stele, each of them having its own history... If you like stories and history, you might want to dig into those steles backgrounds!

Visited September 2013
Thank Eloise P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“If looking for chinese writting art”
Reviewed 6 January 2014

the place for chinese fanatics, students, and any proud chinese, you will go from building to building of amazing story carved and engraved in stone, from more than 400 years, also a market of calligraphy art supply and books, I got almost all my art from there, take your money and do some bargain, but please enjoy the walking along, I did it from the south door till the entrance of the museum, its totally worth it!

Visited July 2013
Thank Nazeli555
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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