Once the site of the Temple of Confucius during the
Northern Song dynasty (960-1127), the Forest of Stone
Steles Museum is situated on Sanxue Street, near the south
gate of SH City Wall. It was initially establiSHed in
AD 1087 when some precious stone steles were moved here
for safe keeping, including the 'Classic on Filial Piety'
written by Emperor Xuanzong in AD 745 and 'the Kaicheng
Stone Steles' carved in AD 837. With an area of 31,000
square meters, the Forest of Stone Steles used to be the
principal museum for SHaanxi Province since 1944. Then
because of the large number of stone steles, it was officially
named as the Forest of Stone Steles Museum in 1992.
With 900 years of history, this treasure house holds
a large collection of the earliest stone steles of different
periods, from the Han Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty. All
together, there are 3,000 steles and the museum is divided
into seven exhibitions halls, which mainly display the
works of calligraphy, painting and historical records.
All of these record some achievements in the development
of the Chinese culture and reflect the historical facts
of the cultural exchanges between China and other countries.
Now, please come with me to the exhibition halls.
Room One mainly displays 'the Kaicheng Stone Classics',
which contains twelve lections caved on 114 steles. The
lections include 'the Book of Changes', ' the Book of
History' , 'the Book of Songs', 'the Analects of Confucius'
and some others of this kind. These are the must-read
books for the intellectuals of the feudal society. At
that time the printing was under development. In order
to well preserve these lections, the rulers ordered to
engrave them on the stone steles.