||Introduction to Capital Museum
The plan for the Capital Museum, located in the Confucius Temple,
was prepared in 1953. The museum formally opened in 1981.
As a major cultural construction project in Beijing in the “10th
Five-Year Plan”, the new Capital Museum, approved by Beijing Municipal
Government in 1999, further approved by the State Council after being submitted
by the National Development and Reform Commission in 2001, finally commenced
its construction in December 2001.
Under the concern and guidance of Beijing Municipal Government, after four
years of hard work, the museum finally makes its debut along the western
extension of Chang’an Street, the First Street of China. With its
magnificent architecture, abundant exhibitions, advanced technology and
complete functions, the Capital Museum, large and modern, makes its contribution
to the titles such as “famous historical and cultural city”,
“cultural center” and “international metropolis”
of Beijing and ranks among the first class museums both at home and abroad.
The architectural design concept of the Capital Museum is
“Based on human and cultural heritages to serve the society”
and underlines “Harmonious integration of past and present, history
and modernism, art and nature”.
The construction of the Capital Museum itself
is an architectural artwork integrating both classical and modern beauty.
It is of distinct national characteristics on one hand and obvious modern
feeling on the other. The massive roof inherits its design from the roof
overhang of Chinese traditional architectural style; the long stone curtain
wall stands for the city wall in ancient China; the gradient of the square
refers to the architectural style of dais construction in ancient time;
a piece of Danbi (a piece of massive stone carved with images like dragon,
phoenix or cloud for gods to walk on) is imbedded in the ground in front
of the north gate of the hall; a decorative archway from the Ming Dynasty
is set in the hall, which shows the traditional Chinese architectural
characteristic of “central axis in a plane”; the leaning and
projecting wall of the oval Bronze Exhibition Hall implies unearthing
of ancient relics.
Large quantity of bronze, timbers and stones used presents
an even deeper sense of historical profoundness. Stones used in the ground
of the north square and the grand hall are all produced in Fangshan, where
stones have constantly been supplied for construction of Beijing since
ancient time. Elms, the most commonly seen trees in Beijing, are adopted
as external decoration materials of the Rectangular Exhibition Hall; while
bronze, decorated with texture style of the bronzes of the Western Zhou
Dynasty unearthed in Beijing, is used to decorate the external facades
of the Oval Exhibition Hall.
The steel structure canopy roof and glass curtain wall express
the dynamic time pace of Beijing, while grand and transparent visual effect
keeps abreast with the international fashion of modern architecture.
There are three independent constructions within the new museum, they
are respectively, the Rectangular Exhibition Hall, the Oval Exhibition
Hall and the quadrate Office & Scientific Research Building. Spaces
between them are the central hall and indoor bamboo courtyard. An environment
of both human and natural sentiment is therefore created by adopting natural
light, blended with the decorative archway of Chinese style, sunken bamboo
courtyard and rippling water.
The museum is highly praised by personalities from all walks
of life both at home and abroad immediately upon completion.
Articles exhibited in the new Capital Museum are mainly past
years’ collections and unearthed historical heritages of the Beijing
area, combined with the latest research results concerning the history,
cultural heritages, archeology and relevant subjects of Beijing. Furthermore,
by studying the successful experiences from museums both at home and abroad,
modern exhibitions featured by Beijing characteristics are shaped.
The compilation of the exhibition outline was started in 2000, the same
year when the new Capital Museum began construction. The work, trying
to show the latest results commonly recognized by academic circles in
the exhibition, is guided by many academic authorities from institutions
such as the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Peking University, and
Beijing Academy of Social Sciences etc. The goal of the museum was to
adopt new design concepts to break traditional dull exhibition pattern
and use modern exhibition technologies and methods to create a different
exhibition style so as to give visitors the personal experience, make
exhibition more touchable, lively, and interactive and suit tastes of
both the refined and common people
The positioning of the Capital Museum determines its exhibition
items: regular exhibitions, exhibitions of fine artistic collection and
Regular exhibitions include “Ancient Capital Beijing—
History and Culture”, “Ancient Capital Beijing — Urban
Construction” and “Old Stories of Beijing — Exhibition
of Old Beijing Folk Customs”. “Ancient Capital Beijing—
History and Culture” and “Ancient Capital Beijing —
Urban Construction” show the splendid and glorious Beijing culture,
which has constantly evolved and gradually formed its glorious development
history. They have become the brand exhibitions to build the top-class
museum at home.
Exhibitions of fine artistic collection include Exhibition
of Fine Artistic Collection of Ancient Chinaware, Exhibition of Fine Collection
of Ancient Beijing Bronze Art, Exhibition of Fine Artistic Collection
of Ancient Calligraphy, Exhibition of Fine Artistic Collection of Ancient
Paintings, Exhibition of Fine Artistic Collection of Ancient Jade Ware,
Exhibition of Fine Artistic Collection of Ancient Buddha Statues and Exhibition
of Fine Artistic Collection of Gadgets of Studies. The seven exhibitions
of fine artistic collection and “Old Stories of Beijing —
Exhibition of Old Beijing Folk Customs” serve as supplements and
expansion to present Beijing culture.
Totally 5,622 pieces of historical heritages are exhibited
in the exhibitions.
The temporary exhibitions serve as a stage to study and appreciate
the exchange relations between cultures of Beijing and the other regions
and that of China and the world.
Collection, exhibition and research are the major functions
of museums. The new Capital Museum fully refers to and adopts advanced
technologies of construction of museums around the world and is of top
class in China in these three aspects.
Intelligent Projects — Intelligent temperature and humidity
control air-conditioning system is installed in the exhibition halls which
ensures comfortable temperature and humidity in the halls for the public
and keeps reasonable temperature and humidity within the exhibition counters
to protect cultural heritages; different temperatures and humidity levels
are provided according to different materials of cultural heritages in
The safety technological precaution system (including the
control and lighting system of the parking lot), fire supervision &
control and automatic fire extinguishing system (including emergency alarm
system), automatic system in buildings, sound and light linkage control
system are all intelligent devices; particularly, special design has been
made in the automatic fire extinguishing to prevent cultural heritages
from being damaged by water.
Digital Museum Project — The digital information project
of the Capital Museum is a creative project in the national cultural heritage
field. (1) Digital technology of a complete framework has been realized
in the compilation and display of information resources of the museum.
Digital technologies have been utilized in the management of the collected
cultural heritages. (2) Digital technologies have been fully utilized
as the supplement to the exhibitions. Visual multimedia effects such as
multi-screen projecting, illusory imaging, visual reality images, and
digital movies have been widely used where it is necessary to the exhibition,
to enhance the effectiveness of the exhibition and to change the dullness
of textbook-like exhibitions. (3) A comprehensive information platform
based on the subsystems of each specialty of the museum is the first to
be established in China to serve staff of internal departments and visitors
(including visitors out of the museum).
There are 11 subsystems of digital specialties of the museum
including information management system of culture heritages,background
management system of multimedia display, website of the Capital Museum
Multimedia Display — In exhibitions and displays, multimedia
means are widely used, for instance, multi-screen projecting (first adopted
in international museums), illusory imaging, visual reality images, digital
movies etc., to enhance exhibition effect, deepen information convey of
material exhibits. It thoroughly changes the dullness of textbook-like
Environmental Protections & Energy Saving — The
non-crystal soft skin solar power panel adopted is also initiative among
domestic museums and cultural halls. Energy-saving lamps and lanterns
and EPS emergency power of colloid battery are adopted as well; all decoration
materials used in the museum and exhibition counters are green environmental
protection products meeting national standards.
Restoration of Cultural Heritages — Complete sets of
cultural heritages conservation and restoration equipment have been brought
in to enhance the overall conservation and restoration level by taking
advantage of high-tech methods so as to make the Capital Museum a base
for cultural heritages protection and restoration in north China.
Besides being positioned as a significant cultural facility,
the new Capital Museum also serves to carry out cultural heritages protection
and research, disseminate a patriotic spirit and historical and scientific
knowledge to the public and the youth in Beijing; moreover, it is an important
ceremony and ritual holding site and a public place for tourism and leisure
Central Ritual Hall With an area of 2,000m2 and a height of
34m, integrating prominently both Chinese cultural characteristics and
modern sense, it is an ideal site for ritual and cultural activities of
Exhibition Hall The independence of exhibition halls of different
subjects facilitates the public to visit selectively and shorten visiting
lines on one hand and is convenient for safety control on the other. With
abundant space and adequate height, these exhibition halls are ideal for
various exhibitions. The temporary exhibition hall with an area of over
3,000m2 is designed to offer an exhibition platform for domestic and international
cultural art exchanges of top class. Exhibition of rare and precious cultural
heritages in the exhibition halls can be guaranteed with the intelligent
temperature and humidity control system and safety and fire suppression
Cultural Heritages Storehouse Adequate space, reasonable compartmentation;
advanced and complete safety and fire control facilities; hydraulic lift
of 10 ton load capacity can transport cultural heritages directly from
ground to the storehouse, which is exclusive among both domestic and foreign
museums at present.
Multi-function Hall The Hall is equipped with the most advanced
technology in China such as systems for Multilanguage simultaneous interpretation,
digital movie playing and conference voting and special website for conference
Digital Movie Hall An arc super wide visual screen is capable
to display digital films of high definition and the displaying equipment
is with the highest definition; the first film that will be shown is “Glorious
Beijing”; 3D digital films will be produced in the future.
Service of Supreme Quality
The Capital Museum is based on complete and advanced equipment and facilities
and operated in accordance with the principle of “human service
Reception The Capital Museum has multi-language reception and consultation,
luggage-storage counters, public watering place, chairs for rest, parking
lots for motor and non-motor vehicles.
Tour guide and interpretation The museum provides the public with free
multi-language view guide maps, color papers of exhibition introduction
both in Chinese and English; multi-language explanation and special expert
explanation; touch screen consulting computers, multi-language intelligent
audio tour guide and multi-language personal digital assistants (PDA)
tour guide initially adopted in China.
Giant screen in the Central Ritual Hall The museum has adopted full-color
giant screen of the highest definition in the world to display introductions
to exhibitions in the museum, temporary exhibitions and digital films
of historical scenery spots in Beijing, and double primary-color giant
screen to display information on exhibitions and services in the form
Educational and interactive services Theme speeches, activities for children,
hands-on experiencing programs and interactive multimedia programs are
available all year round in the museum.
Leisure Service Facilities such as the dinner restaurant, coffee houses,
tea bar, souvenir shop, bookshop, ATM, postbox and public telephones are
As a modern general museum, the Capital Museum will make more and more
contributions to enriching people’s spiritual life, enhancing cultural
exchanges with foreign countries and speeding the socialistic cultural
building of Beijing.
Detailed Location of Each Exhibition Hall
||Temporary Exhibition Hall
||Temporary Exhibition Hall
||Multimedia Playing HallInteractive Hall
||Ancient Capital -- History and Culture
||Exhibition of Fine Artistic Collection of Ancient Calligraphy
||Ancient Capital Beijing -- Urban Construction
||Exhibition of Fine Artistic Collection of Ancient Paintings
||Exhibition of Fine Artistic Collection of Ancient ChinawareExhibition
of Fine Artistic Collection of Ancient Buddha StatuesDrama Stage
||Exhibition of Fine Artistic Collection of Ancient Jade
||Old Stories of Beijing -- Exhibition of Old Beijing
||Exhibition of Fine Artistic Collection of Ancient Jade
||Exhibition of Fine Gadgets of Studies