Quanzhou Maritime Museum
The Quanzhou Maritime Museum (泉州海外交通史博物馆) in the Fengze District of Quanzhou City, Fujian Province, is the only museum in China specialising in overseas relations. Established in 1959, through its comprehensive and valuable display of historical relics relating to overseas transportation, the museum reflects the development history of the major Eastern port of the Middle Ages—Citong Port (刺桐港). It also showcases the important role that Quanzhou played in economic and cultural exchanges with foreign countries.
The museum consists of an old and a new section. The old section, housed in the former Kaiyuan Temple, is used for exhibiting ancient boats. The new section, completed in 1991 and located on the scenic banks of East Lake, resembles a large sailing ship afloat on the sea. It covers an area of 3,000 square metres (32,000 sq ft) with a built-up area of up to 7,300 square metres (79,000 sq ft). There are four exhibition halls in the new section named “ Quanzhou Maritime Exhibition Hall” (泉州海外交通史陈列馆), “Quanzhou Religious Stone Carving Hall” (泉州宗教石刻馆), “Quanzhou Ethnic Culture Exhibition Hall” (泉州民族文化陈列馆) and “Ancient Chinese Model Hall” (中国古代船模馆).
Among the exhibits of particular interest are:
- The Quanzhou ship: A Song Dynasty (960–1279) ship unearthed in 1974.
- Stone stelae and tombstones with religious inscriptions. Besides Buddhist ones, there are Islamic, Christian, and Hindu specimens.
- Export ceramics: the Dehua porcelain is of particular value.
- Ancient navigation equipment: such as a four-claw anchor (四爪铁锚) dating to the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644)
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