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Xinjiang Regional Museum

Post Date: 2020/03/18 15:52
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Located in the north of Urumqi on the west side of Xibei Lu, a visit to Xinjiang’s capital of Urumqi would be incomplete without a visit to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Museum or the “Xinjiang Museum” for short. It is by far the best museum you'll find along the Silk Road and is home to some of the area’s most famous and controversial artifacts: the Xinjiang mummies.

The Xinjiang Regional Museum was built in 1953 in traditional Uyghur style. Museum has been repaired and restored several times, so now it looks more like a modern building with elements of Uyghur architecture, being undoubtedly one of the main architectural features of the museum.

The museum is also a research and education center, consisting of exhibition halls and centers for study of Xinjiang history and culture. The total area of the museum together with all the buildings is around 8,000m2. The museum is considered one of the largest in its size and the number of exposed artifacts, amounting to almost 50,000.

History & Background
Xinjiang Regional Museum was originally established in 1953 as part of nearby People's Park, but was rebuilt and greatly enlarged at its current location in 1962. The current museum, which is built in a semi-modern style that compounds traditional architecture borrowed from the region's ethnic minorities, especially the ethnic Uyghurs.

Exhibition Hall in Xinjiang Museum

Main Hall
The main hall is an empty space meant to allow groups of people to gather before they continue on to the various exhibits.

Silk Road Exhibition Hall
The Silk Road exhibit is on the right side of the first floor and is marked by a long corridor that is meant to make you feel like you are walking back across the sands of time. The truth is that much of what you see in this exhibit was actually buried and preserved in the sands of the Taklamakan Desert, including rugs, skulls and even food. Most of the actual places where these artifacts were excavated are either closed to the public or so far off the beaten path that it would take you days just to visit.

Ethnic Minorities Exhibition Hall
Above the Silk Road exhibit on the second floor sits the Mummies exhibit – a quick stop, but certainly a necessary one. This is the signature exhibit of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region Museum and it’s a sight to behold. Perhaps the most valuable and the most famous exhibits in the museum are considered 10 mummies, called “the singing dead of the Taklimakan Desert”. These mummies, aged about 4,000 years, were found last century near Urumqi. The find became a sensational discovery because all the bodies belonged to representatives of the European race. Thanks to the dry climate and desert soils all the bodies were preserved almost intact. All 10 mummies were buried with their mouths open, thus they were named “the singing dead”.

Admission Fee: Free
Opening Hours: 10:00-18:00
How to get there: Take bus 7, 51, 68, 303, 305, 311, 518, 532, 906, 910, 912, 928, 5201, BRT4 to Bowuguan station(Xinjiang Regional Museum).

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