When visiting the Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower in Pu Dong district, there is a significantly beautiful and informative attraction, located in the base of the tower. Shanghai History Museum, also referred to as the Shanghai Municipal History Museum, is an excellent exhibition displaying the development of Shanghai throughout history.
Shanghai History Museum
The museum opened in 1983 for the first time and the name was “Shanghai History and Artefacts Exhibition Hall”; however, in 1984, the museum opened to the public. In 1991, the gallery moved to the new location and its name changed to “Shanghai History Museum”. The main building was closed in 1999 due to the land development program, but the temporary exhibition moved to the Oriental Pearl Tower as the “Shanghai History and Development Exhibition”. Finally, the museum reopened completely in 2018 in a new location, which was the clubhouse of the former Shanghai Race Club.
Sections of the Museum
When entering this place, you will face five main sections. These sections help to draw a much vivid presentation of Shanghai, from a small seashore fishing village to a large modern metropolis.
- Trace Back to HuaTing
- Style and Features of the Town
- Sketches from Opening of the Port
- Foreign Settlements
- Shanghai Old footsteps
Shanghai history museum displays over 30,000 items. 18,000 items are dedicated to Shanghai’s modern history.
- Gold and Metals
- Painting and Calligraphy
- Cultural Materials
- Stone Carvings
- Gu Embroidery in the shapes of flowers, insects, and fish by Han Ximeng during the Ming-Dynasty era.
- Golden Sutras of the Qibao Temple
- General Zhen Yuan (a bronze cannon)
- The writings of Xu Guangqi
- The currency of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom
- The bronze lion of the HSBC
- Books of Rubbings
- Votes for Sun Yatsen
- Shanghai Local Chronicles
You can see waxworks, cars, tramways, dioramas, and life-size recreations of old Shanghai in the gallery. The exhibitions completely reflect the historical evolvement of the Shanghai economy, culture, politics, society, and people’s life. Life-size replicas of old Shanghai people, streets, and shops would make a trip back in time to see the old city.
These objects show how Shanghai has changed and developed over the years and from post-colonial time. The exhibits also show how the English people and other occupying nations have influenced Shanghai’s culture. English courts, foreign architecture, and Shanghai daily life changes are all here to be seen. There are detailed texts about each section available if you enjoy history and want to gain a better understanding of the exhibits.
There are different media to show the history of the city by normal objects such as cars and streets to help you draw a finer image in your head about the city. Additionally, there are examples of how the city’s port has changed during the time, from the use of sailing ships to modern ships.
This display has presented the features and styles of Shanghai in over a hundred years. It shows the course of history from the Port-opening in 1843 up to the city’s liberation which happened in 1949. This museum was also listed as one of the first group members of Juvenile Education Base in Shanghai.
Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower, 1 Lujiazui, Pudong, Shanghai
How to get to
You should take Buses 870, 871 and 872
You should take Lujin Line and Taigong Line
The museum is open from 8 am – 9.30 pm
You should buy a 120 yuan ticket for the 2nd sphere of the tower and the museum.
Besides the artworks and pieces in the museum, the Shanghai Municipal History Museum has a diorama of modern Shanghai where tall towers like the Oriental Pearl Tower itself, World Financial Center, and the Huangpu River are there to see. It can be interesting for you like the other sections of the gallery. Make sure to visit this museum at the time of your trip to Shanghai and share your experiences with us and other users.