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Shenyang Palace Museum

April 26th, 2014 No comments

Address: Liaoning Province, Shenyang City, Shenhe District, Shenyang Road, #171

The Dazheng Hall in the Shenyang Palace Museum

The Dazheng Hall in the Shenyang Palace Museum

The Shenyang Palace Museum is located at the center of Jing-zi Dajie Center in Shenyang City, Liaoning Province. It covers 60,000 square meters and is a history museum with collections and exhibits that deal mainly with Qing dynasty art and artifacts.

Formerly called the Fengtian Palace Museum (sometimes, people called it as Later Jin Palace or Shengjing Palace), then the National Shenyang Museum, in 1954 it was officially renamed the Shenyang Palace Museum. In 1961, the State Council placed it among the ranks of National Key Cultural Relics Protected Units. The permanent exhibits of the museum are divided into two parts, one showing historical artifacts of the court and the other showing Qing-dynasty arts and crafts.

The Shenyang Palace Museum is the only well preserved group of ancient palace buildings in the country except for the Beijing Palace Museum. The complex is divided into three parts, the Eastern Way, the Central Way, and the Western Way. The architecture of the main building of the Eastern Way is characteristic of a horseriding arrow-shooting people who used tent palaces; this Dazheng Hall once hosted tremendous ceremonies.

The original throne display in the Dazheng Hall

The original throne display in the Dazheng Hall

The main building of the Central Way was where the emperor held daily meetings with his court to conduct governmental affairs and receive ministers. Inside, objects are arranged as they were during the Qianlong period. Inside a separate hall to the west are objects used by the emperors Qianlong and Jiaqing as these two emperors made their long investigative trips through the country.

The Phoenix Tower in the Shenyang Palace Museum

The Phoenix Tower in the Shenyang Palace Museum

On the western side of the Shenyang Palace Museum are riding grounds where horses were kept and trained, also a pavilion in which the emperor watched plays when he did his ‘eastern sojourn.’ There is also a reconstruction of a Ming-dynasty pavilion from Ningbo, which is one of the seven halls in the Qing dynasty to receive a copy of the famous Yongle-period encyclopedia known as the Siku Quanshu, or the Four Warehouses of All Knowledge.

Most of the Shenyang Palace Museum collections of documents and artifacts date from the Qing dynasty, though some are from the Ming. Many are of interest for their historical value but some are of great artistic value as well, such as paintings by Dong Qichang (1555-1636), a famous Ming painter and calligrapher.

Some of the more representative treasures that have been exhibited from the collections of the Museum are Qing-dynasty weapons, musical instruments, palace accouterments, ceramics, carvings, textiles and embroideries, lacquerware, and amber.