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Forest of Stele Museum

the artistic stele in the Forest of Stele Museum in XianThe Forest of Stele Musum, or Xian Beilin Museum, is a museum for steles and stone sculptures which is located at 15 Sanxue Street, near the south gate of the City Wall. It was stablished in 1090 during the Northern Song Dynasty and well-known nationally with its 2, 000 years history. In 1944 Xian Beilin Museum was the principal museum for Shaanxi Province on the site of what was formerly an 11th century Confucius Temple. Then because of the large number of steles, it was officially re-named as the Forest of Stone Steles in 1992.

Holding 3,000 steles, Xian Beilin Museum is the biggest steles in China (most them are the steles of Tang Dynasty). Divided into seven exhibitions halls, the main exhibitions here include ancient calligraphy, historical records and stone carvings.

Exhibition Halls in Forest of Stele Museum
As mentioned above, there are 7 exhibition halls in Xian Beilin Museum. No.1 Exhibition Hall mainly displays the text of Confucian classics (a group of 12 Confucian classics) of the Tang Dynasty carved in 837 AD. These exhibitions show the compulsory lessons for intellectuals of the feudal society. In order to preserve the works well and pass them down from generation to generation, ancient Chinese people carved such books in stone.

No.2 Exhibition Hall in Forest of Stele Museum mainly displays the stone tablets focus on calligraphy of Tang Dynasty. Tang Dynasty is the golden age of Chinese calligraphy and most of them are even the examples for calligraphy amateurs today. Also the collections here are valuable sources to find out the intercultural communications of Tang Dynasty.

No.3 Exhibition Hall also shows the calligraphy (from Han Dynasty to Song Dynasty). In different period the style of calligraphy is also different. Some of them use clerical script, some others in regular script, so visitors will have a clear idea of the development of Chinese writing here.

No.4 Exhibition Hall in Forest of Stele Museum displays various kinds of valuable stone sculptures. From Han Dynasty to Tang Dynasty, the stone sculptures contains Confucius, Buddhist scriptures and even many pictures of ancient palaces and natural landscapes are sculpted on the tablets.

No. 5 and No. 6 Exhibition Halls show most of the stone steles carved in Qing Dynasty. In No.7 Exhibition Hall there is a replica of The Secret Copybooks of Chunhua, etc.

Xian Beilin Museum Tour
With so many precious works of calligraphy and various stone sculptures, Xian Beilin Museum is the place really deserves to visit during Xian travel from where tourists will learn more about the history of the old city.