Humen Naval Battle Museum is a special ruin museum, located near the former Weiyuan Fortress at eastern bank of Haikou in Humen Town, Dongguan City, Guang Dong Province. Former Chinese president Jiang Zemin inscribed the name for the museum. It bases on former site of Humen Fortress - ancient battlefield of Opium War which was granted key national cultural heritage. With cultural relics and historical materials, the museum is a showcase opening up before people’s eyes the historical scene of Chinese people fighting against British invaders. Occupying a total area of 102,000 square kilometers with constructive area 5,000 square kilometers or so, it enjoys favorable environment facing the sea with hills for a background. The whole memorial complex consists of Exhibition Building, Oath Square, Sea-view Embankment and so on.
After the reign of the Emperor Qianlong, the Qing Dynasty was on the decline and the government was going corrupted. Western countries began to covet China. From the end of 18th century to early 19th century, Britain has illegally exported large amounts of opium to China. Courtier Lin Zexu of the Qing Dynasty, who insisted on prohibiting opium, arrived in Guangzhou in 1839 and expropriated more than 20,000 boxes of opium weighing over 1188,000 kilograms. All the opium was destroyed from 3rd to 25th June in public. In the meantime, Linzexu and Guantianpei (a general in the Opium Wars) actively set guard at strongholds of Humen, building 11 fortresses and over 300 artilleries. However, the corrupted government of the Qing Dynasty dismissed him and had him prosecuted. On 7th Jan,1841, British business supervisor Charles Elliot in China sent soldiers to make an assault on estuary area of the Pearl River and Shajiao Fortress. General Chen Liansheng and other guards were sacrificed. Courtier Qishan of the Qing Dynasty who advocated surrender privately hung out the white flag to Elliot, promising to cede Hong Kong, open up Guangzhou and compensate the opium loss. Having the feeling that land loss and indemnity would severely damage the prestige of the Qing Dynasty, Emperor Daoguang gave orders to declare war on Britain. On 25th February, when Elliot led 18 fleets to attack Humen Fortress, Guan Tianpei charged at the head, repulsing several assaults of British troops. Without reinforcement, Guan Tianpei and the 400 soldiers persisted in fighting against odds until evening and all died as martyrs in the end.
At present the “tombs of the martyrs” on Humen Fortress is buried with part of the soldiers sacrificed in the battle against British army. At the back of Shajiao Fortress on the west side of Baicao Hill in Humen is the “tombs of the loyal soldiers”, where 75 remains of Chen Liansheng and most of the soldiers sacrificed on 7th Jan were buried.
The basic display comprises Naval Battle of the Opium Wars exhibition and Humen Naval Battle half-panorama picture. Naval Battle of the Opium Wars vividly shows the contrast between Chinese and British force and the historical facts of Chinese army bravely fighting against British sea invaders. It warmly praises the lofty national integrity and patriotic enthusiasm of Chinese people in the struggle of anti-aggression.
Humen Naval Battle half-panorama picture includes realistic painting and lifelike ground statues, integrating into modern sounds and light, which lively reappears the tragically heroic scene of the battle on 26th Feb, 1841. It is the only high-tech exhibition in Guang Dong Province presenting scene of naval battle. 56 meters in length and 12.5 meters in height with 180’c visual perspective, the large-sized realistic oil painting makes a perfect combination with the vivid ground statues and moulds. Matching up with special lighting and stereo effect, it altogether creates a realistic and lively scene, giving a breathtaking atmosphere.
Naval Battle Museum is a major part of national patriotic base as well as one of the three drug-control education bases in China.
Exhibition Hall Distribution
No.1 Exhibition Hall: naval battle display of the Opium Wars
No.2 Exhibition Hall: naval battle display of the Opium Wars
No.3 Exhibition Hall: half-panorama picture exhibition of Humen naval battle
No.4 Exhibition Hall: national drug-control education base