Forest of Steles Museum

Forest of Steles Museum

Forest of Steles Museum Pictures Gallery

Forest of Steles Museum

Introduction: IntroductionThis  museum's collection of steles (huge stone slabs bearing important c..

Tickets:Forest of Steles Museum Fee and Opening HourOpening hour: Daily 8:00-18:45 in summer,you ar..

Travel Tips:Tips1. Museum of Forest Stone is open every day. The last day of every year with lunar c..

Forest of Steles Museum Maps

Forest of Steles Museum Introduction

Introduction
This  museum's collection of steles (huge stone slabs bearing important calligraphic engravings) is the largest in the country and housed in a historic Confucian Temple. Some 2,300 steles, gathered and accumulated over the centuries and numbering in the thousands, are now o­n display behind glass.
The steles provide a fascinating window into China's history, especially of influences that came in along the Silk Road that terminated in Xi'an. o­ne stele, for example, documents the arrival of Christianity in China in 781 AD, with the founding of a Nestorian Church. Others mark significant dates in China's history. A series of Buddhist steles fascinate with their depictions of increasingly sinocized images of the Buddha, who arrived from India well before Christ made his debut. Native belief systems are well represented, too, as in the "God of Literature Pointing the Dipper" stele, featuring the eight characters that epitomize Confucian doctrine.
The museum offers good English-language documentation and an RMB 100 print guide. Authentic ink rubbings of most of the steles are available for purchase o­n the grounds, cheaper imitations from the surrounding tourist shops.
The best time to be here is from April to November.

Forest of Steles Museum Features

Highlight
Once the Temple of Confucius, the Forest of Steles at Sanxuejie Street nearby the South Gate in Xi’an was originally built in Northern Song dynasty (1090 A.D.) 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. It gained the present name in the 18th century and boasted the largest collection of its kind in China.
The contents of the Forest Steles can be divided into four groups: works of literature and philosophy, historical records, calligraphy and pictorial stones.
One of the more striking exhibits is the Forest of Steles, the heaviest collection of books in the world with the earliest of these more than 2,000 large engraved stone tablets dates from the Han dynasty. Most interesting includes an enlargement to the Confucian Classics stone inscriptions in the Tang dynasty. With the successive collections of Steles in the Song, Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties, it was gradually renovated and expanded like a forest of steles. The Popular Stele of Daiqin Nestorianism, which can be recognizable by the small cross at the tip and engraved in 781 A.D. marks the opening of a Nestorian church. The Monk Bu Kong Stele in Tang dynasty (A.D. 781) is noteworthy for its Buddhist value.
Collections here are also of high value for exploring Chinese calligraphy history. Here stand the many tablets engraved with works of many outstanding calligraphers through ages. Chinese calligraphy boasts a long history in five basic script forms, namely: seal script, clerical script, regular script, running script and cursive script. Through more than 5,000 years of creative work various forms have constituted the abundant treasure and unique traditions of Chinese calligraphy. The typical includes the Cao Quan Stele, written in Han clerical script famous for its elegant, ingenious inscription; The Tang dynasty witnessed the prosperous period with noted distinctive styles of regular script. The most distinguished Tang stele is "the Preface to the Holy Buddhist Scriptures" in the handwriting of Wang Xizhi, a famous Jin calligrapher. Some poems of calligraphy are also collected here.

Forest of Steles Museum Tickets

Forest of Steles Museum Fee and Opening Hour
Opening hour: Daily 8:00-18:45 in summer,you are not allowed to enter from 18:00
8:00-18:00 in winter,you are not allowed to enter from 17:15
Admission: 45rmb at busy season, and 30rmb at dull season

Forest of Steles Museum Transporation

Traffic
bus 14、23、40、118、208、213、213,214、221、222、232、302、309、402、512、704、710、800、travel bus 4、6, get off at the station of Wenchangmen. If the station is outside the wall, then you have to go along the street to the east from book yard and enter into the museum.

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