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Hanguang Gate Site Museum

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  • Model of Original Hanguang Gate
    Model of Original Hanguang Gate
  • Culvert at Hanguang Gate
    Culvert at Hanguang Gate
  • Hanguang Gate, Xian City Wall
    Hanguang Gate, Xian City Wall
  • Ancient Tiles of the Han Dynasty
    Ancient Tiles of the Han Dynasty
  • Remains of Hanguang Gate
    Remains of Hanguang Gate
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Hanguang Gate is a cultural landmark that is familiar to nearly every resident in Xian, but it is sure that not everyone knows about the Hanguang Gate Site Museum hidden in the inner city of the gate. You will have a brief understanding of it after reading the following introduction. 

Hanguang Gate Site Museum is not just the first site museum dedicated to the city gate; it is as well the only museum in China that shows the remains of city walls in the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907). Covering an exhibition area of 3,980 square meters (4,760 square yards), it is a showcase of unearthed relics including the doorway of Hanguang Gate in the Tang Dynasty, the section of the city wall as well as the site of the underground culvert for water circulation around the city. What is more, the history of Chinese Walls and Chang'an City in Sui (581 - 618) and Tang Dynasties are exhibited here. A series of precious relics can be seen here such as wall brick, tiles and golden pillars. 

Suffering from the weathering and vicissitude in the long term, the City Wall has undergone several renovations. It is a question why Hanguang Gate Site is the only one that has remained in good state till now. According to the archaeological study, the gate established in Sui and Tang Dynasties was well-functioned from later Tang to the Northern Song Dynasty (960 - 1127). During the Yuan Dynasty (1271 - 1368), the gate was closed with the small doorways left only for passing. 

The section of the city wall exhibited in the west exhibition hall can best reflect the culture of the city wall. Five layers of rammed earth can be clearly seen on the section of the city wall, from which you can judge the ages of the city wall. The earliest rammed earth dates from about 1,400 years ago in the Sui Dynasty. Archaeologist concluded that this part of the city wall was of high researchful value. It is a rarity among the extant city wall sites. 

As the representative treasure of the Hanguang Gate Site Museum, the underground culvert for water circulation is actually a section of the underground flow pipe in the old Chang'an City. The structure revealed that the network of the flow pipe had developed at an advanced level, even better than some in contemporary time. Because of this culvert, people can precisely locate the outside world of the imperial city in Sui and Tang Dynasties and judge the where the imperial city extends. 

It is well-known that Silk Road started from Chang'an, however, not many people know the starting point was actually at Hanguang gate. In Tang Dynasty, inside the gate was there a temple called Hongli Temple mainly in charge of reception of foreign guests and other foreign affairs. It was functionally equal to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today. It was without any exception that exchange of trades, culture and science of Silk Road were under its administration. 

In addition, there is another museum between two halls of Hanguang Gate Site Museum. That is the first thematic museum focusing on the art of Chinese calligraphy, where you can cultivate your mind and learn Chinese art.  

 Entrance Fee: CNY 40; CNY 32 per person for a group of over 20 people

 Opening Hours: 08:00 - 17:00

 Bus Routes: Take Bus No. 6, 16, 18, 35, 224, 251, 311, 402, 405, 407, 502, 509, 604, 608, 701 or 800 and get off at Hanguang Gate stop.

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