Thousands of years ago, as the silk was brought to the Europe along the silk road, what it brought was more than just some fancy and delicate clothes, also ancient Oriental civilizations. Ever since then, silk was becoming transmitter and symbol of Eastern culture.
The earliest silk was found in Hangzhou, according to archaeologist, it has a history of 4700 years. From the ancient Chinese literature, The Book of Songs, there was a scene of women picking up mulberry leaves and tons of love stories happened in mulberry woods.
National Silk Museum of China is located besides Xi lake of Hangzhou city, Zhejiang Province. It is also the first national silk museum in the world, covering an area of 8000 square meters, exhibition area of 3000 square meters. The main hall tells the story of silk in China, from the origin, development and kinds of silk, to the great role it played in ancient China.Other than that, they also have some leisure areas for tourists shopping and relaxing. If you want to take back some nice clothes made from silk, do not miss the shopping spot.
In order to make sure the tourists can feel the real essence of silks, t, he museum design adopted soft and light construction style, with green mulberry garden and grass for decoration, flowing river and bridges, bringing you back to the peaceful nature. It represents the history and culture of silk in all-around way, formed with 5 major parts, Prologue Hall, Ancient Artifacts Hall, Silk Hall,Dyeing and Weaving hall, and Modern Achievement Hall.
You would be amazed to see so many ancient treasure of silks, to name a few, weaving items unearthed on silk road from Han dynasty, silk found in prairie from Liao dynasty, delicate garments from Song dynasty, official items from Ming dynasty and cheongsam in Qing dynasty. Apart from that, there also display some cultural relics and modern artifacts.
The shape of Prologue hall is a giant model of hook loom machine in Song dynasty. It is the earliest known hook loom in China, symbolizing a remarkable place in ancient Chinese silk. On the left and right walls, there are illustration of silk development timeline and silkroad.
In the corridor, there is huge map of the ancient silk road, re-built the famous four silk roads, Great Plains silkroad, Land silkroad, Maritime Silk Road and The Southwest Silk Road. Here you can get a comprehensive understanding about the history of these roads, if that is not enough, no worries, they have some DVD videos of silk road as well.
The silkworm breeding and mulberry growing hall is more like an education hall. Tourists are allowed to learn about all the interesting knowledge of silkworms in 8 parts, which are magic transform, favorite leaves of silkworms, wonder of silkworms body, silkworm cocoons, beautiful insects, silkworm garden, silkworms applications. You would be completely stunned to see how such a small insect could do and what a big contribution it makes to human world.