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Dunhuang Attractions

Dunhuang Museum is situated in the city center of Dunhuang City, Gansu province. Founded in October 1979, the museum used to be the culture center of the county. It stands in a three storey building which covers a total area of 2,400 square meters (about 25,834 square feet). There are a group of carved figures standing in front of the museum depicting people leading their camels when they travel along the Silk Road.

The Dunhuang Museum reflects the flourishing development of the society and cultural exchange between China and the western countries. As a major center along the Silk Road, Dunhuang museum exhibits over 4,000 Chinese and Tibetan cultural relics and all these items are displayed in three sections. In the first section, the written sutras from the No. 17 cave of the Mogao caves in Dunhuang are displayed. The sutras are a real evidence of Buddhist activates in ancient China.

In the second section, the relics excavated from the graves of Han Dynasty, The Three Kingdoms Period, Jin Dynasty, Sui Dynasty and Tang Dynasty are shown. Some major relics in this section are Stone tablet, stone pagoda, pottery box, kylin bricks and stone beasts set in a grave and said to drive the evil or monsters away. Kylin is a special kind of brick carved in high relief. It is a fictive unicorn in Chinese legends and was carved on the brick vividly and it seems to gallop and fly.

In the third section displays numbers of exhibits that illustrate Dunhuang's prosperous culture including some exquisite silk floret brocade and bamboo slips used for writing. Besides, bronze and iron weapons and tools are also on exhibit, which provides valuable material to the study of the politics, economy and culture between China and the West.

A trip to Dunhuang Museum will certainly provide visitors a great understanding of the history and culture of China and its people, as well as their ancient civilization. As a major center on the Silk Road, a visit to the museum will add incredible experience during your trip along Silk Road.

Reviews from trip advisor:
Beautiful museum, but modest collection!
The museum used to be located toward the center of town and we went there first, before learning it has moved to this newer building...so be sure you have the right location. It is a very impressive building with beautiful display environments. It is free but you must show ID, and even totes and day packs must be checked. Unfortunately, the collection and things to see are not compelling, though we enjoyed spending an hour browsing.

New Museum for ancient culture!
Excellent presentation in a very clean, well laid out museum, just moved on the road to the dunes. If you cannot spend a day to Mogao, at least spend an hour here (and go take a drink on the terrace of the Silk Road Hotel). Huge new museum for the history of Dunhuang. Lots of maps, but mostly in Chinese. You can get a better idea of the Hexi Corridor if you can read Chinese.