| ||Essential Architecture- Peking|
National Museum of China
|Beijing / Peking, China|
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|The National Museum of China flanks the eastern side of Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. The mission of the museum is to educate about the arts and history of China. It is directed by the Ministry of Culture of the People's Republic of China.|
The museum was formed in 2003 out of two separate museums that had already occupied the building, namely the Museum of the Chinese Revolution in the northern wing, and the National Museum of Chinese History in the southern wing. The Museum of the Chinese Revolution had been open since 1960 and had its origins in the Office of the National Museum of the Revolution, which had been founded in 1950. The National Museum of Chinese History opened its doors in 1959 and had its origins in the Beijing National History Museum, which had been founded in 1949, and the prior Preliminary Office of the National History Museum from 1912.
The building was completed in 1959 commensurate with the ten-year celebration of Communist rule. It complements the opposing Great Hall of the People that was built at the same time. The structure sits on 40,000 square meters and has a frontal length of 313 m, a height of four stories totaling 40 m, and a width of 149 m. The front displays eleven square pillars at its center.
The Museum of Chinese History covers Chinese history from the first documented human appearance, the Yuanmou Man of 1.7 million years ago, to the time of the end of the last imperial dynasty, the Qing Dynasty. It is divided into three sections: the Primitive Society (until 4,000 BCE), the Slavery Society (2,100 - 475 BCE), and the Feudal Society (475 BCE - 1911).
The Museum of the Chinese Revolution covers the history of the Old Democratic Revolution (1840-1911), the New Democratic Revolution (1911-1949) (including the History of the Republic of China), and the “Triumph of the Revolution and the Establishment of Socialism” concerning the events since 1949, mainly the History of the People's Republic of China.
The museum is open 7 days a week, and only closed the day before Chinese New Year. The entry price is ¥ 30.
Because of its central location at Tiananmen Square, the front of the museum has been used since the 1990s for the display of countdown clocks relating to occasions of national importance. The first such clock counted down towards the transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong in 1997. The second counted down towards the transfer of sovereignty of Macau in 1999. Currently, a clock stands in front of the museum counting down towards the 2008 Beijing Olympics.