Country for PR: China
Contributor: Xinhua News Agency
Monday, November 21 2022 - 21:28
New Hangzhou museum offers glimpse into splendid ancient Chinese culture
HANGZHOU, China, Nov. 21, 2022 /Xinhua-AsiaNet/--

On Nov. 22, a museum much anticipated by many history fans across the country 
will open in Hangzhou, the capital of eastern China's Zhejiang Province, which 
offers a glimpse into the life and culture of one of the most glamorous periods 
in ancient China. 

Among China's many ancient dynasties, when it comes to the beauty of artifacts, 
architecture, literature and art, the Song Dynasty, which dates back about a 
thousand years, is a popular choice for many Chinese experts and ordinary 

And if people want to feel the splendor of the Song Dynasty in a city, Hangzhou 
is undoubtedly the place to go.

This is because Hangzhou, an international city famous for digital economy, was 
once the capital of the Southern Song Dynasty. In 1138 AD, Zhao Gou, the 
founding emperor of the Southern Song Dynasty, set the capital in Lin'an (now 
Hangzhou), which ushered in rapid development and became the political, 
economic and cultural center of the Southern Song Dynasty, creating a glorious 
history in the development history of ancient cities.

Therefore, just like the Qiantang River passing through the city, the bits and 
pieces of the Song Dynasty's charming culture have been nourishing Hangzhou, 
making it a place full of glamor and flourishing culture.

More than 800 years later, with the change of times and the development of 
urban construction, the once prosperous capital of the Southern Song Dynasty is 
now buried deep underground.

Hangzhou needs some visible venues to tell the story of the Southern Song 
Dynasty to people today. Contemporary residents can't wait to uncover the 
mystery of history and feel the elegance and charm of that era through the 
unearthed porcelain, brick and tile.

The museum of Deshou Palace of the Southern Song Dynasty is a key to open the 
cultural life of that era to the public.

Deshou Palace of the Southern Song Dynasty, built in 1162, is the residence of 
Emperor Zhao Gou after abdication, echoing the imperial city in the Southern 
Song Dynasty. 

It is the most important historical and cultural relics of the Southern Song 
Dynasty existing and excavated in Hangzhou, and it is also one of the buildings 
with the highest ritual standards in the Southern Song Dynasty in China, 
occupying an important position in the history of ancient Chinese architecture 
and gardens.

Of course, the old residence is long gone. The Deshou Palace site was first 
discovered in 1984. After four large-scale archaeological excavations, large 
palace foundations, brick roads, rockery foundations, drainage facilities and 
many other relics were found, which serve as windows of archaeological evidence 
to provide people with a glimpse of the royal garden style and gardening 
technology in the Southern Song Dynasty.

The construction of the museum of Deshou Palace of the Southern Song Dynasty 
kicked off on December 28, 2020. After nearly two years of construction, the 
elegant Song-style building is actually a relic protection shed, below which is 
the ruins of the main hall on display. 

It is a restoration of the underground site built in accordance with the 
estimated original appearance and scale based on the research of Song Dynasty 
construction books, paintings and archaeological findings. 

This symbolic restoration is only a small part of the museum, which serves as a 
protective shelter for the ruins and also allows people to intuitively 
appreciate the architectural beauty in the Southern Song Dynasty. 

More notably, a large number of architectural gardens during that period have 
been restored and displayed by digital means.

In order to let the audience see the site in a more vivid way, the whole site 
area of museum has set up 10 sites with digital displays. One can have a 
glimpse into the Deshou Palace and the architectural landscape of the royal 
palace in different periods through 3D interactive devices, dynamic long 
scrolls, digital projection, interactive AR augmented reality and virtual 

Through the organic integration of the original site and digital means, as well 
as immersive and interactive interpretation and display of the site 
information, the beauty of the Southern Song Dynasty architecture and garden is 
well reproduced for the first time in China based on dedicated restoration.

Today, walking out of the museum, the genes of Song Yun culture could be found 
everywhere as they have been engraved in the spirit and blood of the city. 

Burning incense, making tea, hanging pictures and arranging flowers, the four 
leisurely activities mentioned by Wu Zimu of the Song Dynasty in his book 
depicting the life in ancient Hangzhou could be spotted easily even today. 
Dongpo meat, butter cake and Dingsheng cake have become taste symbols of the 
city. There are also Chinese Hongqu liquor and Southern Song liquor-making 
skills, Hangzhou brocade skills, etc. The Song people's pursuit of life 
aesthetics has been integrated into the life of the ordinary people today and 
become the connection point of cultural genes.

British writer Alain de Botton said that when we call a chair or a house 
"beautiful", we are really saying that we like the lifestyle they suggest.

The museum has attracted wide attention because it has cut through the mists of 
history to showcase the lifestyle of the Southern Song Dynasty, as well as the 
politics, culture, art and life aesthetics at that time. The social environment 
of the Southern Song Dynasty created the oriental thought and life, and also 
shaped a new height of oriental aesthetics. Its lingering charm still nourishes 
Hangzhou and people's life today.

More than 800 years ago, Hangzhou witnessed the boom of art and culture and the 
prosperity and elegant lifestyle of local people. After more than 800 years, 
the social atmosphere of openness, tolerance and innovation is still strong. 
With a local history of over 1,000 years, Song Dynasty charming culture has 
become the spiritual footnote of Hangzhou's Chinese modernization dream of 
promoting common prosperity.

When having a chance to visit Hangzhou, besides wandering along the West Lake, 
don't forget to visit the museum of Deshou Palace of Southern Song Dynasty. 
Between the magnificent Song Dynasty paintings, the warm porcelain and the 
vivid interplay of light and shadow, one can get a clue of the time-honored 
style of Hangzhou and the cultural code of its unwavering vitality.

Source: The Museum of Deshou Palace of Southern Song Dynasty

Image Attachments Links:


   Caption: The external appearance of the Museum of the Deshou Palace of the 
Southern Song Dynasty

Deshou Palace.jpg