Plan your travel to Luoyang? Museum of Luoyang Eastern Zhou Royal Horse and Chariot Pits is worth a visit. The musuem is built over the sacrificial pit area for the emperors in Eastern Zhou Dynasty (770BC – 256BC) with its capital at the site of the present day Luoyang. The burial of the royal horse and chariots here in Luoyang is earlier than that of terra cotta warriors during Qin Dynasty (221–206 B.C.) in Xian.
The city of Luoyang went through thirteen dynasties and 105 emperors starting Xia Dynasty (2070BC-1600BC), Shang Dynasty (1600BC-1046BC), Eastern Zhou Dynasty(770BC-256BC), Beiwei Dynasty (493AD-534AD), Sui Dynasty (605AD-619AD) and more with a history of over 4,000 years! It should be deifinitely included in your Luoyang tour program.
The museum’s former English name is quite long while it is colloquially called “Tianzi Jialiu Museum”. “Tianzi” means emperors while “Jialiu” means their chariots driven by 6 horses. The dicovery of the Tianzi Jialiu Site has great impact on the Chinese archaeology and history.
It is a proof that in the Zhou Dynasty, the emperors had 6 horses to drive their chariots; the vassals 5 horses; the ministers 4 horses; scholar-bureaucrats 3 horses; scholar-officials 2 horses and Common People 1 horse, a kind of strict etiquette formed in Zhou Dynasty, which had been only recorded in ancient books before it was discovered underground in 2002. So the number of the horses indicated the rank and identity of the nobles.
In 2002, the expansion construction of the Luohe Center Plaza stumbled upon the sacrificial site of the Eastern Zhou Royal Horse and Chariot Pits. Its discovery immediately arose the great attention of the local government. A special expert team was set up to access and study the site ending up with a detailed protection proposal. The construction expansion of Luohe Central Plaza was halted and a new museum was established. On October 01, 2003, the museum was open to the public. So the horse and chariots site has been there for over 2000 years!
Tianzi Jialiu Museum covers an area of 1,700 square meters. It is located underground centrally in the Dongzhou Wangcheng Square 王城广场 (Eastern Zhou Emperor City Square). The museum has three sections – One for the brief introduction of Eastern Zhou Dynasty; second for Eastern Dynasty Mausoleum the third for the pit itself.
So the Tianzi Jialiu Museum is located centrally in the city of Luoyang. It is walkable along the axis down south from Luoyang Railway Station. Many buses take you there including buses 6, 41, 50, 52, 56, and 86 and get off at Wangcheng Square (王城广场).
Entrance fees: RMB 30
Opening time:9:00 – 17:00
Enquiry: 0379 – 6391399 – 8000
Luoyang Tourism Hotline: 0379 – 12301
The statue of th six horses is the symbol of the Wangcheng Square as well as the sign for the entrance to the underground museum of Luoyang Eastern Zhou Royal Horse and Chariot Pits.
4 horses driving the chariots
Any questions, just drop a line.