Gansu Provincial Museum is the biggest comprehensive museum in the province. It is one of the best sights in the city and a visit is well worthwhile. Built in 1956, the museum covers a total area of 18,000 square meters (about 4 acres). Designed by the soviet experts, this museum will provide visitors with a unique and memorable experience.
The museum is divided into two sections-natural resources and historic exhibits. It houses collections of various color-painted potteries of Neolithic Age and treasures of ancient grottoes. In addition, the museum is home to precious linen and silk fabrics, books, wooden and bronze vessels, a great many bamboo slips for writing from the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220), frescos and so many other items. A 4-meter-tall Mammoth fossil replica is stored in the museum whose remains were excavated from the Yellow River basin in 1973. Aside from the prehistoric presentations, there are also rare animal exhibits, such as pandas, golden monkeys and red -crowned cranes.
The world-famous bronze Galloping Horse's Hoof Stepped on a Flying Swallow, also named as Galloping Horse, is a treasure of Gansu Provincial Museum. Excavated in 1969 in Wuwei County, Gansu Province, the piece depicts a vigorous horse with long tail waving and head perking. Its three hooves are in the air, galloping like lightening. What makes this sculpture amazing is the right back hoof of this galloping horse lands on the back of a small flying bird. The bird turns in surprise to look at the big creature on its back. At the same moment, the horse's head also turns slightly in attempt to know what has happened. The whole statue is honored as the mysterious and rare treasure in the history of Chinese ancient sculpture art.
This sparkling museum has an intriguing collection of Silk Road artefacts, including inscribed Han-dynasty wooden tablets used to relay messages along the Silk Road and a 2nd-century-BC silver plate depicting Bacchus, the Greco-Roman god of wine, may set your mind pondering. Among other items on view are Persian coins, some lovely Bodhisattva statues from Tiantishan and a collection of dinosaur skeletons upstairs, where you will also find a cafe.