Xinjiang Museum is located along the Altai Road in Urumqi's downtown area. The museum boasts a large amount of various relics, and thus is regarded as a base for historical, patriotic and cultural educations.
The museum, which was built in 1953, has an exhibition hall that covers an area of about 7,800 square meters (approx. 9,328 square yards). The building is in a Uigur style, the internal decor having strong ethnic features.
Established in 1953, this museum covers an exhibition area of 7,800 square meters. The museum was first an agriculture exhibition hall before changing into the Xinjiang Museum in 1962. The building is characterized by its strong Uygur and Russian flavors. An 18-meter green-tiled dome stands in the main hall, with walls which are decorated with enormous murals.
The museum boasts a collection of 32,000 cultural relics, 288 of which are of the national first class. The articles on display at the museum highlight archaeological finds from the Silk Road and local cultural relics, including silk, pottery and porcelain, terra-cotta figures, weapons, documents written in different languages, and Mummies of Urumqi, as well as various articles of 12 local ethnic groups, giving a vivid introduction to the customs and cultures of different ethnic groups.
The Mummies of Urumqi display some preserved bodies of men, women and babies discovered in the vast desert. The corpses include a baby who died around 3,800 years ago, still wrapped in swaddling. The most famous, however, is the Luolan Beauty, a corpse of a woman believed to have died in her 40s and be of Indo-European ethnicity. Discovered in 1980 in the riverbed of the Tieban in Loulan City, the corpse is believed to be around 4,000 years old. When found, she was still clutching a small purse and wore leather and fur sandals. It ranks as the earliest and best-preserved mummified body in China.
The articles exhibited in this museum are mainly archaeological treasures from the Silk Road and other local cultural relics. Over 50,000 items including silk, pottery and porcelain, terra-cotta figures, weapons, scriptures are collected here. Also on exhibition are some mummies discovered in the vast desert, among which the one named "sleeping beauty" is the most famous. Buried for more than 3,800 years, it is the earliest and best-preserved mummified body in China. The usual exhibitions include clothing, household utensils, handicrafts, hunting and musical instruments as well as different types of Uygur "yurts", giving a vivid introduction to local customs and cultures.
These are just some of the many treasures that Urumqi has for tourists and adventurers. With something for everyone, a stay in Urumqi will prove memorable for people of all backgrounds. After all, the city is a potpourri of diverse and vibrant ethnicities as well as natural wonders.