The China Three Gorges Museum was opened in 2005. It is a newly
built museum with a construction area of about 40,000 square
meters. It is near People’s Square and the Great Hall of the
People. It is also called the Chongqing Museum. There are displays
of Chinese art and of artifacts saved from the construction of the
3 Gorges Dam and the artificial lake. It instructs on the 3 Gorges
region, the 3 Gorges Dam, the history of Chongqing and the
surrounding area, Chinese history, and prehistoric times.
The museum has four big themes: “The Splendid Three Gorges,” “The
Very Ancient Ba Yu,” “The Urban Development of Chongqing,” and “The
Anti-Japanese Days.” There are displays of antique art. There is a
large model of the entire dam project, and information is presented
about this impressive engineering achievement. There are also films
shown about the bombing of Chongqing during WWII by Japanese planes
and about the natural scenery in the Three Gorges area before the
construction of the dam.
There are other six specialized exhibitions of paintings,
calligraphy, money, cultural relics, and ceramics. The special
exhibitions are called “Paintings and Calligraphy in Different
Historical Periods,” “The Money in Different Periods,” “Sculpture
in the Han Dynasty,” “Cultural Relics Donated by Li Chuli,”
“Minority Customs in Southwest China,” and “Ceramics in Different
Periods of China.”
One of the reasons the building was built was to house the relics
from the sites destroyed by the construction of the 3 Gorges Dam.
So you’ll find displays of saved artifacts from sites all over the
huge submerged area. The shape of the building itself is like that
of a large dam. There is a blue sun screen in front that may
represent the water of the Yangtze River or the lake itself held by
There are also dinosaur skeletons on display that are from nearby
Zigong in Sichuan Province and places around there. The Dashanpu
dinosaur fossil site in Zigong held numerous fossil skeletons.
Location: 236 Renmin Road, Yuzhong District. It is on the west side of
People’s Square across from the Great Hall of the People.
The museum was completed in 2005. It was meant to be a place to
deposit artifacts saved from important historical sites submerged
by the artificial lake behind the 3 Gorges Dam. Hundreds of
archeological sites were submerged, and many objects were
discovered and moved to the museum by various teams of scientists
- Paintings, calligraphy, and money from various periods in history.
- Display about the 3 Gorges Dam.
- Artifacts saved from the area of the 3 Gorges Dam’s lake.
- Learn about the 3 Gorges Dam and what was submerged by the lake.
- Learn about natural history of the area.
- Learn about WWII, the Communist Revolution, and the various
- Learn about Chinese money and Chinese art from various eras.
- Visit the Great Hall of the People and stay in the People’s Plaza
area to see the light show in the evening.
Hours: 9 to 5 every day except Monday.
Nearby in the southern part of the city is the Chongqing Zoo where
you can see rare species of Asian animals like pandas and South
China Tigers and common animals from other places like African
giraffes. There are more than 200 species of animals there.
If you are interested in dinosaur fossils, the Zigong Dinosaur
Museum about three hours away in Zigong in Sichuan Province may be
an excellent place to visit. The exhibits of skulls and dinosaur
skeletons are world-class.
Near the museum is the Great Hall of the People. It is 55 meters
tall. In front of the building is Chongqing People’s Square that is
used for entertainment and official functions. The main building
and the plaza are often very brightly and colorfully lit in a light
show. So if you stay in the area in the evening, you might be able
to enjoy the free light show. It is a real spectacle.