Foot-Binding Shoe Museum, Wuzhen – Ticket, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

Foot-Binding Shoe Museum, Wuzhen

The Foot-binding Shoe Museum, also known as the San Cun Jin Lian Museum (三寸金莲博物馆), is a rare exhibition center in Wuzhen dedicated to the history of foot-binding. This museum showcases the evolution of foot-binding culture, regional variations, its societal impact, and the harrowing history of Chinese women subjected to the tyranny of distorted beauty standards.

The name “San Cun Jin Lian” is derived from the term “Jin Lian,” which originally referred to the lotus feet of Pan Fei, the favored concubine of Emperor Gao Wei during the Qi Dynasty of Southern China. Over time, the term was used to classify feet based on size and beauty, with feet measuring within three Chinese inches considered “golden lotus,” those within four inches as “silver lotus,” and anything larger as “iron lotus.” “Golden lotus” thus became synonymous with bound feet, representing the epitome of beauty in a woman’s feet. This naming convention reflects the societal values and aesthetics prevalent during the era of foot-binding.

The museum houses a collection of 825 pairs of shoes and foot-binding tools from various regions across China. These exhibits are complemented by authentic historical photographs and detailed textual explanations, providing visitors with insights into the historical development and regional variations of foot-binding culture. Moreover, the museum delves into the societal impact of foot-binding, shedding light on the physical and psychological toll it exacted on generations of Chinese women, who were held captive by the pursuit of an idealized yet agonizingly deformed beauty standard.

In addition to its extensive shoe collection, the museum features a wax figure area depicting scenes of elders binding the feet of young girls. These lifelike wax figures vividly recreate the social practices of the past, offering visitors a deeper understanding of the historical context and societal implications of foot-binding culture. Through these immersive exhibits, visitors are confronted with the stark reality of foot-binding, gaining a profound appreciation for the resilience of women who endured unimaginable suffering in the name of beauty.

The Foot-binding Shoe Museum serves as a poignant reminder of a bygone era, where the pursuit of beauty exacted a heavy toll on women’s bodies and lives. It stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of foot-binding culture, urging visitors to reflect on the complexities of beauty ideals and the importance of challenging harmful practices that undermine the dignity and well-being of women.

Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour0.5 – 1 hour
Ticket PriceIncluded in the ticket for the western part of Wuzhen Water Town
Opening Hours9.00 – 17.00
Telephone Number0086-0573-88731088

Location and Transportation

The Foot-binding Shoe Museum is located at 383 Longyuan Road, West Zone of Wuzhen, Tongxiang County, Jiaxing City, Zhejiang Province, China. To get there, you can take bus Tongxiang K347, get off at Hongqiao Village Council Stop (红桥村委站), and walk about 300 meters to the northwest.

Other Attractions in Western Wuzhen

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