Xian Forest of Stele Museum is located at San Xue Street, near the south gate of the City Wall. Established in 1090 during the Northern Song Dynasty, the Stele Forest in Xian is well-known nationally for a fine and large collection of more than 1, 000 inscribed stones engraved during the period of the Han to the Qing Dynasties for over 2, 000 years. It is a place to get close to Chinese history and culture.
The museum, covering an area of 31,000 square meters is divided into seven major exhibition halls, which mainly displayed ancient calligraphy, historical records and stone carvings.
Exhibition Hall One mainly displays the text of twelve Confucian classics carved on 14 steles. The twelve works including the Analects of Confucius, Books of Changes, Books of Songs and some others. These twelve classics are must-be readings for intellectuals of China’s feudal society. The stones were engraved over thousands of years ago when the printing was not yet invented. In order to well preserve these works and pass down to the later generations, the rulers ordered to carved them down on these stones.
Hall Two exhibit steles of calligraphy written by the prominent calligraphers of China’s ancient Tang Dynasty. The Tang Dynasty witnessed a flowering of creativity in many fields. Chinese classic calligraphy reached its golden age during this time. Visitors will find works of Ouyang Xun, Yan Zhenqing, Zhangxu and many other noted ancient calligraphers in this hall.
Hall Three also show calligraphy works. These steles were inscribed with five varieties of calligraphy, seal characters, official script, regular script, running hand and cursive hand. From these steles, visitors can have a clear idea of the development of Chinese writing. Chinese calligraphy forms an important part in China’s magnificent culture, so these stone tablets are of great importance to explore China’s long and magical ancient culture.
Hall Four contains various stone sculptures. 200 works from the Han Dynasty to the Tang Dynasty were displayed, including portraits of Confucius, scripture of Buddhists from the Tang Dynasty and much more.
Hall Four, Five, Six and Seven also well worth a visit. Hall Five shows steles engraved with historical records of the Song to Qing Dynasties, China’s last imperial power. Many famous and of significant importance poems were displayed in Hall Six and Seven.