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China National Silk Museum Travel Guide


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China National Silk Museum is one of top themed museums in Hangzhou other than National Tea Museum and National Music Museum. Hangzhou in history is the national center of silk and green tea. Silk is also the exclusive product for rich people and dignitaries. China National Silk Museum, officially opened in 1992, is the world’s first and the largest national museum themed with silk history and culture. It professionally exhibits the history of Chinese silk development over the past 5,000 years. Jiang Zemin, the former president of P.R.C inscribed words of “Opening up a New Silk Road, Promoting Chinese Silk Culture” for it to celebrate its opening. China National Silk Museum is located at the foot of Yuhuang Mountain, exactly Lianhua Peak, one of the highest peaks of Yuhuang Mountain. It covers a total area of approximately 50,000 square meters and consists of 8 different exhibition halls. They are Prelude Hall, Relics Hall, Folk Custom Hall, Silkworm Hall, Silk Manufacturing Hall, Weaving Hall, Dying Hall and Modern Achievements Hall. It collects many rarely-seen national treasures themed with silk products from the Neolithic age to feudalistic ages ranging from Han to Qing Dynasties.

The Prelude Hall displays Silkworm Twining Map (can zhi tu, which details the whole process from silkworm-raising to silk- weaving) of the Song Dynasty (960-1279), a model of restored jacquard loom, and a chronological table of the emerging of silk around the world, which shows that China is the first country to plant mulberry, raise silkworm, reel silk and finally make silk.

In the Relics Hall, there are some precious excavated silk articles, including a piece of the remains of the earliest silk ever found global wide unearthed in Henan Province -- Luo silk, which is about 5,630 years ago; and another piece unearthed in Huzhou of Zhejiang Province is the earliest by far discovered in the Yangtze basin.

The Folk Custom Hall showcases various creations of local silkworm-raising peasants and katydids. Other halls introduce the making process, weaving machines and operational method of the whole production course.

China Silk Museum
The Building Complex of China Silk Museum in Hangzhou

In the Modern Achievement Hall, a series of refined silk products made in modern society are on display, demonstrating the great achievements that have been made in the silk industry with the support of Chinese government since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.China is the birthplace of the silk industry with approximately 5,000 years history of planting mulberry trees, doing sericulture and filature, and twining silk. Thus, visitors here have the opportunity to see the silk production tools and silk production lines from many eras and enjoy the rich silk culture, local customs, folk tales about silkworms, and the silkworm cocoon harvesting ceremony. In addition, visitors with enough curiosity can try to weave silk themselves, an effective way for them to know how silk is manufactured. Each year, countless silk professionals and aficionados from all over the world meet here to appreciate those masterpieces made by ancient laboring Chinese and celebrate the silk festival at the same time.

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Editor: Julius from Mildchina
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