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Address: No.15 Neisanxue Road Xian
Admission Fee: CNY 45 (Mar. to Nov.)
CNY 30 (Dec. to Feb.)
Opening Hours: 08:00 to 18:45 (Summer)08:00 to 18:00 (Winter)
Telephone: +86-29-85265711
Recommended Time for a Visit:Three hours
Bus Route: 14,402,239
hotels nearby:City Hotel Xian - Xian,Hyatt Regency Xian - Xian,Bell Tower Hotel Xian
scenic spots nearby:Bell tower City Wall Great Mosque

Forest of Stone Steles Museum

The Forest of Stone Steles Museum is situated on Sanxue Street, near the south gate of Xian City Wall. It was initially established in AD 1087 when a large Confucian collection of steles cut in A.D. 837 - the oldest existing texts of the Confucian classics - was moved here for safekeeping including the 'Classic on Filial Piety' written by Emperor Xuanzong in AD 745 and 'the Kaicheng Stone Steles' carved in AD 837. It gained the present name in the 18th century and boasted the largest collection of its kind in China.

With 900 years of history, this treasure house holds a large collection of the earliest stone steles of different periods, from the Han Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty. All together, there are 3,000 steles and the attraction can be divided into several rooms including four groups: works of literature and philosophy, historical records, calligraphy and pictorial stones.

Attractions in the museum
Each displays various stone tablets, after the front entrance is the first room. This display hall contains mainly the “kaicheng Classic” which contains 12 books that were “must have kooks for intellectuals in the feudal society. Some of these books include:
The book of changes
The book of history
Account of Rites of the Zhou Dynasty
The Qiuming’s Commentary on the spring and autumn period annals
Gongyang’s Commentary on the spring and autumn period annals
The canon of Filial piety
Confucian Analects
They Erya

The second room
After visiting the first room, we will entrance the second room, this room mainly consists of several famous stone steles documenting historical cultural exchanges between the Tang dynasty and foreign countries. Other important stone tablets display here included:
The stone tablet of Hangfudan
The stone tablet of master Monk Daoyin
The stone tablet of Yan Family shrine
The stone tablet of the Xuanmi pagoda

The third room
The third room houses the calligraphy-collection. As a traditional art, calligraphy occupies the same position of importance as the painting in the history of Chinese art. In China, the scripts are classified into five categories: seal script, official script, regular script, running-hand and cursive-hand. After enjoy these tablets, you could learn much about the evolvement of the Chinese characters.

The fourth room
Painting Stones in Room Four were engraved with historical records. We will see the portraits of Confucius on some and the allegorical pictures and texts written to appear like pictures on others. In ancient times, the rulers of different dynasties preferred to build temples and solidify the city wall. Some records of this form of Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties engraved on the steles are preserved in Room Five. There are poetic inscriptions in the sixth room, if you like the poetic inscriptions, you would go to Room Six. Emperors, noted ministers and well-reputed calligraphers of various dynasties have left many inscriptions, some of which are shown in Room Seven.
In March 1961, the State Council decreed that the Steles was among the first group of national cultural relics to be given special protection. Now it is an important part of the Shaanxi Provincial Museum.
In a word, the Forest of Stone Steles Museum is indeed the best place to know something about Chinese culture and history. It is prized as a great treasure in the art of world stone sculptures.



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