Stele Forest - offering the most famous steles with Han culture and art
Last Update: 9th October 2020
What is the Stele Forest?
Originally built in 1087, Forest of Steles is located at No. 15, Sanxue Street, Xi’’an. With the most famous steles with Han culture and art, it is the earliest museum to collect the ancient Chinese stone steles in China. Up to date, it has collected more than 11,000 pieces.
- Chinese Name: Xi’an Beilin (西安碑林)
- Area: 34,667 square meters
- Things to do there: Photography, Ancient Chinese Culture Study, Ancient Steles Study
- Who visits: Photographers, Chinese Culture Lovers
- Time required: 2 – 3 x hours
The Forest of Steles consists of three parts: Confucius Temple, Forest of Steles and Ancient Chinese Stone Carving Art Exhibition. With 12 exhibition rooms, 7 stele room, 8 stele corridors, and 8 stele pavilions, plus stone carving art room and 4 cultural relics showrooms, it offers a display area of 4,900 square meters.
The Forest of Steles has a rich collection of cultural relics, including stone inscriptions such as stone tablets, epitaphs, stone carvings, and portrait stone, as well as other cultural relics such as calligraphy, paintings, and inscriptions.
The greatest attraction of Forest of Steles to people is that it has collected the masterpieces of many outstanding calligraphers in ancient China. Among the famous steles preserved there, the steles in the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907) is the most prominent. The Tang Dynasty was a prosperous period of Chinese calligraphy art. There are more than 900 epitaphs from Jin (266 – 420) to Qing (1644 – 1912) Dynasties. The epitaph is to prevent the change of the mausoleum with time passing by. The name, native place, official position, life story, burial place of the deceased, etc., were carved on the stone or brick, so that later generations can have proofs to check and study.
More than 70 stone carvings of Han and Tang fine art collections are on display in the stone carving art room, divided into two parts: the mausoleum stone carving and the religious stone carving. Visitors can get acquainted with ancient Chinese culture and history from the Forest of Steles.
The best time to visit Forest of Steles is at noon and in the afternoon as there are fewer visitors during the two periods.
The Forest of Steles is situated in downtown Xi’an. Therefore, there are some options.
- Rent a vehicle to the Forest of Steles. This is the quickest and most direct option.
- Take Bus 14, 23, 40, 118, 208, 214, 221, 223, 232, 258, 706, 402, 512, 619, 704, 800 and Tourists Bus 6.
Additional Stele Forest Travel Advice
- Opening hours: March 1 – November 30: 08:00 – 18:30 (the tickets are not issued at 17:45); December 1 – February 28/29: 08:00 – 18:00 (the tickets are not issued at 17:15); July and August: 08:00 – 19:00 (the tickets are not issued at 18:15).
- As at 9th October 2020, from December 1 – February 28/29, entrance pricing is 50 CNY per person; children between 1.2m (1.2m included) and 1.4m (1.4m not included) are charged 25 CNY per person; from March 1 – November 30, entrance pricing is 75 CNY per person; children between 1.2m (1.2m included) and 1.4m (1.4m not included) are charged 37 CNY per person; children under 1.2m (1.2m not included) and the elder above 65 years old (65 years old included) are free of charge around the year. For the latest pricing information, please contact us via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- The museum offers the charged English and Chinese interpretation service.
- The tourist center offers the rental service for umbrellas, prams and wheelchairs.