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Home China Attractions China Jiangnan Attractions Tianyige Museum of Ningbo


Tianyige Museum of Ningbo


TIanyige Museum
The Calligraphy Board of Ningbo
Tianyige Museum
For the local citizens of Ningbo, Zhejiang province, Tianyige Museum(天一阁博物馆,Heaven-Oneness Pavilion Museum) is an unquestionably symbolic cultural and historic site of Ningbo, and it is a window showing the long-standing history and glorious culture of Ningbo, a famous and important city of Zhejiang province as a leading industrial and manufacturing city throughout China.

As the most antiqued and influential private library in Southeast China, Tianyige Museum is located at No.10, Tianyi Street, Ningbo city. Tianyige Museum is vividly featured with the traditional culture of collecting and exhibiting books. It used to be the largest scale of private comprehensive museum comprising of the sociology, history and arts before Qing Dynasty. Belonging to one of Nationwide Four-A Scenic Areas, Tianyige Museum covers a total area of 26,000 square meters. The whole environment is perfectly marvelous. The whole traditional garden-style building complex is quite impressive and strongly characterized of the local custom and tradition. The general layout of the building in museum area is constituted of three sections: the library zone, garden and leisure zone as well as displaying zone. There are highlighted displays of library tower, displays of Tianyige development history, displays of newly-compiled local historical records; stele-style calligraphic works displays of ninghuitang, displays of mah-jong birthplace, cultural and academic displays of east Zhejiang province of Baiyunzhuang as well as displays of yintaidi official mansions.


Ancient Tianyige Private Library

Currently, Tianyige library is the only existent oldest private library overall China, and also one of worldwide three existent top oldest private libraries today. Out of question, with so great a history and reputation around the world, Tianyige Museum is surely under the national-level protection. Initially built around 1561 or 1566 and originally served as the private library of Fan Qin(范钦), an undersecretary of Ministry of Defense in Ming Dynasty. Tianyige library today approximately collects 30 ancient books and scrolls belonging to different subjects. The more valuable part of these collections is nearly 80,000 rarely seen and well preserved books, especially, the local historical records and listing of Keju(the proceeding and conclusion records of each national imperial examination including the examinees and examiners) in Ming Dynasty.

TIanyige Museum
The Ancient Library of Ningbo
Tianyige Museum
Additionally, according to the narration of Professor Ye Zhiheng(叶志衡), a famous scholar of Chinese ancient history and literature in Hangzhou Normal University (or maybe changed to be Hangzhou University, 杭州大学, in the non-far future), Tianyige private library in Qing Dynasty, exactly in the reign of Emperor Qianlong, experienced a nightmarish and destructive suffering in the aspect of book collection. Many historians and famous specialists comment this period as one of China Traditional Culture Destructions or Extinctions. For standardizing the thoughts of people and eliminating the heterodox thought of people, which may bring the fatal harm to the administration of Qing Dynasty, also for collecting the books and compiling a comprehensive series themed with different realms to show off the great power and contributions to the development of China culture, they in the name of compiling Siku Quanshu(四库全书), the largest and most diverse all-inclusive book around the world by Qing Dynasty, under the guidance and supervision of Ji Xiaolan(纪晓岚, the No.1 talented official in history of Qing Dynasty), moved nearly all the collected books from Tianyige to Beijing. Unfortunately, few people know that they just selected a tiny part for the whole compilation subject, and the majority of these moved books were burnt down at back of Forbidden City, precisely, at the foot of Wanshou Hill. It was said that the fire lasted for four days long… This is the destructive part of Tianyige Library History, and a lot of fairly valuable books and documents ruined and caused many legacies of China culture to be extinct.


Displays of Mah-jong Birthplace

TIanyige Museum
The Scene of Playing Mah-jong
Mah-jong is a special unique playing game in China, which is as equally famous as playing card. It is widely welcomed and largely played among people, even many elites represented by Hu Shizhi(胡适之, Dr Hu) also play it frequently, and Dr. Hu literarily called the mah-jong he played as sanitary mah-jong. Chinese people, especially those woman who live in urban area are fond of playing mah-jong together every day when they are free, or the retired usually gather together to spend time happily and leisurely. Hence, it can be imagined how welcomed mah-jong is! However, few know the birthplace of mah-jong. And where did mah-jong appear initially?

This display will show you. Today's displaying hall of mah-jong birthplace is located in Memorial Hall of Chen Family, which was built by Chen Yumen(陈鱼门, 1817-1878) who was the inventor of mah-jong. This displaying hall covers an area of more than 1,000 square meters. It is China's first themed displaying hall with mah-jong. Displays of Mah-jong Birthplace are made up of History and Culture of Mah-jong, Mah-jong and Ningbo and Worldwide Maj-jong Exhibition, which also include Chinese and Western Mah-jong Playing Room as well as Three-Minus-One Figure. It three-dimensionally exhibits the original history of mah-jong as well as historical origin of Ningbo.


Other Displays in Museum

The display of well-preserved local historical records collects more than 6730 local records of China, and these local records belong to different levels and sorts. Display of Yintaidi shows the official family's furniturings and residential arts and architectural arts of Qing Dynasty. The Branched Memorial of Qin Family is highlighted with its unique memorial culture and its folk craftsmanship makes the tourists amazed. It belongs to the cultural and historical site under the national key protection. These halls are famous based on the ancient architecture, which makes the tourists traveling in the ancient cultural atmosphere and perfect environment.








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