|Zigong Museum of Salt Industry History |
Zigong Museum of Salt Industry History is situated in the central district of Zigong City, which was set up in 1959. It the one of the earliest professional museums in China museums developing history, and the museum is the exclusive museum of salt industry history in China at present, a tourism region at 3A.
Zigong Museum of Salt Industry History has made great achievements in collecting, studying, exhibiting and protecting cultural relics in China salt developing history playing focus on well salt. It becomes the outstanding one among China 2,000 museums in existence; and appraised as an Excellent Museum at Prefecture and County Grade in China, Advanced Collective of China Culture and Museum System. In the quarterly named 《Museum》of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) has given a subject introduction about Zigong Museum of Salt Industry History. The museum site is composed by two ancient constructions: one is Xiqin Assembly Hall and its supportive buildings that is a major cultural relic enjoying state protection with an area of 6,303 m²; and the other one is Wangye Temple, a cultural relic under the protection of Sichuan Province occupied an area of 705 m².
After the overall repair and reasonable arrangement, it comes out with various tools for wells drilling, managing and salt seeking and dragging in ancient times. In addition, the museum adopts some modern representing means of sound, light and electricity to resurge truly the developing and changing process of well salt production skills in this salt city with a history over one thousand years.
Woodcarvings and Stone Inscriptions in Xiqin Assembly Hall
The main things decorated and laid around Xiqin Assembly Hall are woodcarvings and stone inscriptions. Hundreds of these distribute everywhere in the hall. The most outstanding sculptures are named Shishi, Xianji, JInyong, and Bengu. At the gate, there stand two stone lions. They are 2.27 m tall with the vivid sculpture of big eyes, nose, frizzles on their body, tart claws. The two stone lions stand rightly facing the outside and turn their heads looking at each other. The lions’ mouths are open wide as if they are roaring, and it looks stately. Woodcarvings in pavilions of Xianji, JInyong, and Bengu are gathering on the wooden hurdle with more than 350 characters. It is 22.3 m long and 6.7 cm wide. The woodcarvings are quite good in spacing, and engraving skills. Besides these, the woodcarvings on forehead square woods, supportive timbers, girders, tassels and hurdles abound in mythos, legends，historic stories, scenes of social life and plays, flowers, birds and still lives. All these woodcarvings are perfect in artisanship and remarkable true to life. These are all obvious to find up to the present.
Xiqin Assembly Hall with a name of Wusheng Palace is a place to enshrine and worship Emperor Guan called Shan’xi Temple commonly. In the beginning years of Qing Dynasty, many business persons born in Shanxi came to Ziliujin dealing in salt, and got rich after a few years. In order to remind their hometown and show to others their luxury and richness, these merchants started to construct this temple at the beginning year of Qian Long of Qing Dynasty (1736). After 16 years construction, this project was completed in the 17th year of Qian Long (1752). During the period of the 7th and 8th years of Dao Guang of Qing Dynasty（1827-1828）, the temple had been repaired and enlarged in great scale with an area of 3,451 m². The temple is a typical construction of Chinese traditional style with the features of plane compounding, square distribution, symmetry and clear central axes. The main building stands on the central axes, and surrounding corridors, walls and other buildings form 5 courtyards arrange in depth and layer.