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.
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