Chongqing China Three Gorges Museum (Chongqing Museum)
Address: 236 Renmin Road, Yuzhong district, Chongqing
Hours: 9:00 – 17:00 (no entry after 16:00)
Closed Mondays (except for national holidays)
General admission: Free
[Photo/Official Weibo account of Chongqing China Three Gorges Museum]
The precursor of the China Three Gorges Museum was the Southwest Museum founded in 1951. It was renamed Chongqing Municipal Museum in 1956 when the Southwest Region as an administrative district was abolished. In 2000, the Three Gorges Museum was established for preserving, displaying, and studying the precious works of art discovered during the construction of the Three Gorges Dam – China’s hydroelectric dam spanning the Yangtze River. It is comprised of four sites: the main museum, the Underwater Museum of the Historical Inscription at the White Crane Ridge, the Headquarters of China Defense League (a gallery installed in the former residence of Soong Ching Ling), and the site of the Tushan Kilns. The Chongqing China Three Gorges Museum was formally opened to the public on June 18, 2005, and attracts 2.70 million visitors annually.
Collections of the museum – 113,500 pieces (sets) of works of art and 18,000 rare books – were initially inherited from the Southwest Museum. In 35 categories, they range from bone fossils of ancient humans, artifacts discovered at the Three Gorges Dam, bronze ware unearthed in Chongqing, historic relics dating to the Han Dynasty (206 BC- AD 220), folk items of the southwestern ethnic groups and historical items at the Great Rear Zone during the Anti-Japanese Aggression War (1937-1945), to antique chinaware, traditional Chinese paintings and calligraphy, and qin zithers (a traditional Chinese musical instrument). These collections form the museum’s permanent exhibitions of varied themes: The Magnificent Three Gorges Dam, Chongqing in Ancient Times, the Urbanization of Chongqing, Culture Relics of the Southwest Minorities, Times of the Anti-Japanese Aggression War, Sculptural Art of the Han Dynasty, Chinaware, Coins, and Paintings and Calligraphy of Past Dynasties.