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“A relaxed stroll through history....but only if you love calligraphy” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Forest of Stone Steles Museum

Forest of Stone Steles Museum
Sanxuejie St, Wenyi Bei Lu 18, Xi'an, China
029 721 0764
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Ranked #15 of 248 Attractions in Xi'an
Type: History Museums, Specialty Museums
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Attraction Details
Owner description: This museum boasts the largest collection of steles cut in 837 A.D., the oldest existing texts of the Confucian classics, and more than 2,000 engraved stone tablets from the Han dynasty.
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“A relaxed stroll through history....but only if you love calligraphy”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2013

Among all the grand museums and historical sites in Xian, this little gem of a quiet garden and courtyard compound filled with old stone tablets is my absolute favourite spot. It's off the usual tourist track so you'll always find it nice and quiet. And if you are into calligraphy, you could spend hours looking at the thousands of tablets, some more than a thousand years old, with old Chinese calligraphy. These tablets (or steles) range from 2-meter tall ones with just two large characters to some in a series of 2m x 2m ones with the entire text of the Analects of Confucius in tiny characters. I love to spend a couple of hours there even if I'm in Xian for business as i find the place extremely relaxing and soothing.

Visited September 2013
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218 reviews from our community

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Prague, Czech Republic
Top Contributor
112 reviews 112 reviews
88 attraction reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Site of interest in Xi´an”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2013

This is a small, but lovely place. These steles contain several historical records about chinese nobility and some of them are up to 1000 years old. You will wander the place in 30 minutes, but it´s worth seeing.

Visited August 2013
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Chengdu, China
Top Contributor
288 reviews 288 reviews
125 attraction reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
128 helpful votes 128 helpful votes
“Overpriced and poorly explained”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2013

I know these steles are historically really interesting and provide an insight into Chinese culture and life over the past 2 millennia but...... It is just like visiting a graveyard without being able to understand the inscriptions (I know they are not gravestones!). Even with a guide I'm afraid that I got bored very quickly. The entry fee is a steep 70rmb too so unless you are fascinated by Chinese calligraphy I would save your money.

Visited September 2013
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Sai Kung N.T., HONG KONG
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Great for a lover of calligraphy”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2013

Even if you can't read the stele, it's fascinating to see the differing calligraphic styles. Best to have a good guide with you to explain some of the finer points.

Visited August 2013
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Bangkok
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
24 attraction reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
“One of the wonders of Xian”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

Old Christian inscriptions from the silk road, a place to winder throughh old Chinese art and culture, a highlight, and not to be missed. If you have little time, do this place plus the Terracotta Army.

Visited April 2013
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