Chinese Stone Museum of Wuhan, Wuhan City, Hubei Province

It is like entering another world, a type of paradise, when a stone connoisseur leaves the busy and crowded Cuiwei Street and passes through the Ming dynasty gates to enter this museum. This large complex of several connecting Ming and Qing dynasty style buildings around the perimeter of this ten mu (1.65 acres) site surrounds a large beautiful centrally located courtyard. It was founded in 1986 and now contains seven exhibition areas where various fossils, minerals, and an extraordinary collection of over 3,000 viewing stones are displayed. This facility is rated as an AAA National Tourist Attraction by the National Tourism Administration of China and as a View Stone Base of China by the View Stone Association of China.

A comprehensive gallery is the first building beyond the entrance. An enormous polished Yangtze River stone greets visitors as they enter. This gallery has many free-standing, large stones on display along with numerous medium- to large-size exceptional stones displayed behind glass. Foreign visitors can begin to appreciate the range of different types of stones that are part of stone appreciation in China today. After walking the length of this building, visitors pass through a moon gate to enter a large exhibition area of minerals. A massive rose quartz, three meters long and 11.32 tons, is centrally displayed near the end of this hall. Next is a spacious fossil museum where several fully articulated specimens of dinosaurs and long-extinct mammals are nicely displayed. A fascinating display of stalactites and stalagmites can be seen close up. All stones and items on display have labels, although only in Chinese.

There are three more halls to visit, provided you have not reached your saturation point. These exhibit a wide range of viewing stones—modern and traditional ones from Imperial China. We have visited this museum twice and have seen great improvements since our first visit several years ago to our April 2015 visit. The owners continue to add new stones and employ new exhibition techniques to enhance a visitor’s experience. I could go back to this museum many more times and expect to see and learn more about China’s viewing stones, fossils, and minerals.

Viewing stones are the primary strength of this museum. Exceptional Caitao, Dahua, Chrysanthemum, Lingbi, Moore, Laoshan Green, and others are on display. A nice collection of penjing is displayed in the central courtyard along with several very nice bamboo stones. A series of magnificent fossil trees in one area of the courtyard is simply amazing.

There is an attractive shop located within the building close to the fossil display. Good quality viewing stones and minerals can be purchased here along with post cards and artifacts made from stone. Allow two to three hours to see the collections. As you leave the museum, stop to admire the huge black Laibin stone at the entrance gate.

This museum is located in the Hanyang District of Wuhan City at No. 61 Cuiwei Road adjacent to the famous Guiyuan Buddhist temple.

 

(Text and photographs copyrighted by VSANA).

 

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