Xian Museum & Small Wild Goose Pagoda

Xian Museum is situated two kilometers away from the City Wall (southwest section) in the Beilin District of Xian City. Xian Museum is a collection of museums, places of interest and urban gardens. Now it has become a historical and cultural site for travelers and the local residents to learn the history of Xian and to enjoy a peaceful and relaxed time.


- In Chinese: 西安博物院及小雁塔

- Address: No.72 West Youi Road, Beilin District, Xi’an

- Opening time: closed on Tuesdays

09:00 – 18:00 (from Mar 15th to Oct 31st; last entry at 17:00);

09:00 – 17:30 (from Nov 1st to the next Mar 14th; last entry at 16:30)

- Best time to visit: morning

- Entrance fee: free; RMB30 (for ascending the Pagoda)

small wild goose pagoda

Xian Museum

Xian Museum mainly consists of the ancient Jianfu Temple built in the year 684 A.D during the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and the famous Small Wild Goose Pagoda, combining the grand museum, ancient pagoda and the tranquil park as a whole. Covering an area of 40.4 acres, it’s renowned for its thousand-year old pagoda, garden-style relic as well as the modern history museum of the ancient capital Xi 'an.

Jianfu Temple was built by Li Dan, an emperor of the Tang dynasty, to tribute his father, thus it’s an influential royal temple in Tang dynasty and a major venue for translating Buddhist scriptures attracting numerous master monks. But the original Jianfu Temple has been distorted during the war of end of Tang dynasty. Fortunately, the relics and collections had been moved into Small Wild Goose Pagoda and got a nice protection. Now, the existing Jianfu Temple ancient buildings group is the repaired one in the Ming and Qing dynasties generally continued the layout of Ming dynasty.

The museum has three major exhibition sections: the Basic Exhibition Hall, mainly displays the development of ancient Xian and people's social life during the 13 dynasties when Xian was China's capital; the Thematic Exhibition Hall, covers over 120 exhibits of Buddhist statue arts, over 100 works of calligraphy and paintings, about 120 pieces of refined jade articles and more than 200 seals; the Temporary Exhibition Hall, displaying more than 20,000 cultural and historical relics coming from districts and counties of Xian. If you are interested in Chinese shadow puppetry, you can also see live performances by professional performers in the museum.

xian museum

Through the thematic display of "ancient capital Xi'an” let you experience the historical changes from the evolution of history and the changes of ancient cultural relics. The scenic area also shows city models from the Zhou dynasty to the Ming and Qing dynasties where you can see the size, layout and living conditions of the capital at that time. In addition, there are more than 130,000 cultural relics unearthed in the Zhou, Qin, Han and Tang dynasties.

Small Wild Goose Pagoda

The Small Wild Goose Pagoda is a multi-eave and square brick structure built in the year 707 A.D during the Tang dynasty. It is thirteen stories tall, reaching 43.38 meters (142 feet). The pagoda base is made from packed earth in the shape of a hemisphere, thus the pressure can be evenly divided. Images of arhats and designs of grasses, with excellent workmanship reflecting the artistic style of the early Tang Dynasty were carved on the lintel. The construction of the pagoda is a wonder as it has remained standing after over seventy earthquakes with three times cracking and merging.

After the construction of Da Ci’en Temple, a small pagoda was built by another essential monk, Dao’an, with royal sponsors in 707 A.D. To distinguish the two pagodas, people called Da Ci’en Temple Big Wild Goose Pagoda, and the later one that looked like Da Ci’en Temple called Small Wild Goose Pageda.

small wild goose pagoda

During the reign of emperor Kangxi of the Qing dynasty, the big iron bell cast in the Jin dynasty was moved into the temple. Thousands of words were carved on the bell, mostly by mantra. Every morning the bell will be struck regularly, the bell chime sounds sonorous spicing up a unique charm to the ancient city. Therefore the bell becomes one of the highlights of here.

How to Get There?

If you want to take the subway, Line 2 is okay. Get off at Nanshaomen Station and walk for 7 minutes, then you can reach the scenic spot.

Or you can take Bus 18, 21, 18, 21, 29, 32, 40, 46, 203, 204, 218, 224, 258, 407, 410 or Sightseeing Line 7 to Xiaoyanta (Small Wild Goose Pagoda) Stop. It’s 3-minute walking away from the museum.

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