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Stele Forest Museum, Xi'an

The Forest of Steles is a museum for steles and stone sculptures which is located in Xi'an, China. Steles are huge stone slabs which depict important calligraphic writing, often dating back to ancient times. They are held in high regard in China and many people study the artistry of these mammoth pieces.

The Forest of Steles (Xi'an beilin) is located in the Confucian Temple on Sanxue Jie in Xi'an, this building was first built to preserve the Thirteen Classics of Filial Piety which were engraved during the Tang Dynasty.

A significant collection of Steles was gathered by the Qing dynasty and the building became known as the Forest of Steles.

Collections here are also of high value for exploring Chinese calligraphy history. Here stand the many tablets engraved with works of many outstanding calligraphers through ages. Chinese calligraphy boasts a long history in five basic script forms, namely: seal script, clerical script, regular script, running script and cursive script. Through more than 5,000 years of creative work various forms have constituted the abundant treasure and unique traditions of Chinese calligraphy. The typical includes the Cao Quan Stele, written in Han clerical script famous for its elegant, ingenious inscription; The Tang dynasty witnessed the prosperous period with noted distinctive styles of regular script. The most distinguished Tang stele is "the Preface to the Holy Buddhist Scriptures" in the handwriting of Wang Xizhi, a famous Jin calligrapher. Some poems of calligraphy are also collected here.

Today, this is a professional art museum which collects, studies and displays various Steles and stone sculptures. if you are interested in Chinese art and calligraphy, there are some interesting objects on display here. If not, possibly give this one a miss!

Edited by Athena Lee
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Xian tour, Stele Forest Museum, Xi'an
Stele Forest Museum, Xi'an
Xian tour, Stele Forest Museum, Xi'an
Stele Forest Museum, Xi'an