Luoyang Ancient Art Museum – Ticket, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

Luoyang Ancient Art Museum

Formerly known as the Luoyang Ancient Tomb Museum (洛阳古墓博物馆), the Luoyang Ancient Art Museum (洛阳古代艺术博物馆) is China’s largest museum dedicated to ancient tombs, and it stands as the world’s first museum of its kind. Covering an area of over 130 acres with a built-up area of more than 8,200 square meters, it houses 25 representative tombs dating from the Western Han Dynasty to the Song and Jin periods. These tombs were relocated in their entirety and reconstructed underground to showcase their original layouts and contents.

Situated in the vicinity of the North Mangshan Mountains in Luoyang and its surrounding areas, which have been historically renowned for their abundance of ancient tombs, the museum is a testament to the rich burial culture of the region. It offers visitors the opportunity to explore the internal environments of ancient tombs up close and from various perspectives, including the architectural structures of the tombs, their wall paintings, unearthed artifacts, and other cultural relics.

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour2 hours
Ticket PriceFree
Opening Hours9.00 – 17.00; Last admission: 16.00
Telephone Number0086-0379-62265740

Location and Transportation

The Luoyang Ancient Art Museum is situated in the northern outskirts of Luoyang city, specifically located at No. 6 Airport Road, in the Old Town District of Luoyang, Henan Province. To get there, you can take bus 83 or holiday line 2 and get off at Ancient Tomb Museum Stop (古墓博物馆站). Alternatively, you can also take metro line 2 and transfer to the shuttle bus at Luoyang Railway Station (洛阳火车站), which will take you directly to the museum.

Highlights of Luoyang Ancient Art Museum

Northern Wei Imperial Tombs

northern wei imperial tombs in luoyang ancient art museum

Situated in the western part of the museum, covering approximately 70 acres with a built-up area of 600 square meters, the Northern Wei Imperial Tombs exhibition area is designed in the architectural style of the Northern Wei Dynasty. The centerpiece of this section is the tomb of Emperor Jingling. The tomb mound is circular, with a diameter of 110 meters and a height of 24 meters, presenting a magnificent and structurally intact burial site. Within the tomb chamber, visitors can observe the simple yet elegant decorations and subdued color tones, gaining a systematic understanding of the basic features of Northern Wei imperial tombs and the burial customs and tomb construction systems of the period. Another highlight within this area is the tomb of Yuan Yi, featuring a celestial map painted on the ceiling of the tomb chamber. This map, depicting over 300 stars connected by lines with the Milky Way traversing from north to south, predates the Dunhuang Star Chart by approximately 400 years, offering invaluable material evidence for the study of ancient Chinese astronomy.

mural gallery in luoyang ancient art museum

As a renowned cultural hub in China, Luoyang has been the focus of extensive archaeological excavations, leading to the discovery of numerous valuable mural tombs. Spanning various dynasties including the Western Han, Eastern Han, Wei, Jin, Tang, Song, Jin, and Yuan, these murals depict a wide range of subjects encompassing astronomy, geography, human affairs, and deities. Ranging from emperors and consorts to local officials and commoners, the mural tombs offer a vivid portrayal of Chinese history through imagery, serving as an indispensable component of China’s ancient painting heritage. These murals, characterized by their clarity, delicacy, and breadth of content, hold immense historical and cultural value, providing insights into ancient Chinese society and artistic achievements that cannot be replicated by other historical documents.

Historical Tomb Area

historical tomb area in luoyang ancient art museum

Situated in the eastern part of the museum, covering an area of 44 acres with a built-up area of 7,600 square meters, the Historical Tomb Area is designed as a complex of buildings resembling Han Dynasty architecture. The structure is divided into two parts: above ground and below ground. The above-ground section comprises the front and back halves. The front half features a series of structures, including a Han white marble gate, a grand hall known as the “Tai Xu Hall,” and the Xuan Hall, which serves as the entrance to the underground tomb display area. Flanking the halls are east and west side halls showcasing exhibits such as models of typical burial practices from the Xia, Shang, and Zhou Dynasties, as well as sculptures depicting funerary rites of Han Dynasty emperors and common people from the early Republic of China period. Connecting the side halls to the Xuan Hall is a gallery. The back half of the above-ground section, elevated 2 meters above the front half, features corner towers and a pavilion for visitors to rest and shop. Along the central axis of the area, stone pathways are adorned with 2.5-meter-tall sculptures representing the twelve zodiac animals carved from Han white marble.

historical tomb area in luoyang ancient art museum 2

The underground section, shaped like a mouth, comprises four large halls representing the Han, Wei-Jin, Tang-Song, and comprehensive periods. These halls showcase precious artifacts unearthed from various dynasties, arranged chronologically. Connecting the four halls are 3-meter-wide passages, flanked by 25 relocated and reconstructed tombs spanning from the Han Dynasty to the Jin Dynasty, providing a comprehensive overview of typical tomb structures and burial customs in Luoyang over the past three thousand years. These tombs, with their diverse architectural styles and vibrant colors, reflect various facets of ancient Chinese architectural art, ranging from simplicity and elegance to grandeur and opulence.

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