The Zibo museum campus is comprised of a wide open paved square, some grassy areas with sculptures, and a park. It is confusing for foreigners who do not read Chinese because nowhere does it say that the building is a museum. Only by walking by this imposing structure several times, and then looking it up on a map because I was curious about what it was, did I learn that it was the Zibo city museum. I have regrets about not visiting the ceramics museum next door. When I looked it up on Trip Advisor, there was a ceramics museum in an outer section of the Zibo area that was more than an hour away. I decided that it was too far to travel. Then, when we visited the Zibo museum in late afternoon just before closing time, I noticed that in the same campus area, and across the grassy park was a large building that looked very much like a ceramics museum. So, if you go to the Zibo city museum, check out the ceramics museum for me!
Entrance to the museum is free with I.D., but tickets from the ticket booth were required for entry. When we entered the museum, it was a little confusing trying to figure out where to start. For being such a grand building, there was not much in the way of lighting inside, making it dark and difficult to make out where to go. We parked our stroller at the entrance because the elevator was out of order, and took the stairs to the second floor. There, I think, was the beginning of the exhibits. The exhibit itself was fairly detailed, telling the history of the Zibo region. There were many artifacts, some real and some reproductions and limited signs in English so at times it was difficult to follow. They did have some ceramic pieces and little figurines, which were neat to see. The exhibit continued into another hall on the same side of the building and then we were back in the dark middle section of the building. There seemed to be lights coming from the third floor, so we climbed upstairs and found an interesting, modern “made in Zibo” exhibit full of things that are made in Zibo, or activities and festival that Zibo is famous for.
After the mediocre exhibits upstairs, we were very impressed with the exhibit downstairs. In the basement level, there was an exhibit that detailed the local excavations of a king’s tomb from the Qi dynasty (200 B.C.). The exhibit was built like we were walking into the tomb, and under the floor were recreations of some of the archaeological sites found in the area, with chambers for remains of the kings animals and horses, and even whole rooms of jewels and other riches! LANDON LIKED THE BONES. (He typed that himself and insists on all uppercase.)
In this section, we walked across a board looking over a set-up excavation site with archaeologists and everything. It was obvious this was the newest exhibit in the city museum, and I hope that with more funds over time they can spruce up the rest of the museum to be at the same level. This reproduction of the armor that the king wore for his burial was so fascinating in its craftsmanship and detail.
Outside in the big square afterwards, we saw many kite flyers including a guy with a precision kite doing interesting tricks. Some of the kites were huge! Zibo city museum is close to downtown Zibo just a few blocks away from People’s Park. If you’re living in the Zibo area, check it out, along with the ceramics museum located close by. It was definitely not museum I would travel to visit, and it only took us about an hour to go through all of the exhibits. Admission is free! Although there were not any exhibits geared toward children, the excavation exhibit was fascinating for my four-year-old budding paleontologist/archaeologist!