Founded by Nantong personage Zhang Jian in 1905, Nantong Museum is the oldest museum in China and national key cultural relic protection unit. The former Nantong Museum was composed of three main buildings (middle museum, the south museum and the north museum) for displaying the four exemplars of nature, history, arts and education and other cultural relics, and is an organic combination of Chinese ancient garden museum and modern museum.
Since the fifties of last century, with the additional construction of bonsai exhibit rooms, tea houses along the river, kiosk in the middle of the river, bending bridge on the Hao River and children entertainment establishments, today’s Nantong Museum garden is not only a local integrated museum but also a cultural park with its own uniqueness. Among all the cultural relics displayed in the museum, the large number of the relics unearthed in Qingdun of Hai’an County are most attention attracting and the region of “the Eight Diagrams” can be explored from the “Elk Buckhorn” of Qingdun.
Historic cultural relics are displayed in both the south museum and the middle museum and large breadth of picture of Mr. Zhang is hung downstairs. The historic cultural relics displayed in the south museum are mainly local and there are also survivals of the cultural relics of the beginning of the foundation of the museum. Large scale cultural relics are displayed outside the south museum. In the rebuilt Ancient Elephant Temple are displayed the copper sculptures of the Queen of Heaven (Mazu) and the King of Heaven made in Ming Dynasty and the stone out coffin carved by a whole stone unearthed in the grave of Ming Dynasty. The Stone Person (Wengzhong) and Stone Horse of the early days of the construction of the museum are still in existence in spite of damage.
In the west museum are displayed Natural exemplars among which the ten meter long framework of balaenoidea is the most compelling. Anybody who has visited the museum will be deeply impressed by the framework of balaenoidea unearthed in Na Lvsi. But it was damaged during the occupation period by the Japanese. What is displayed now is got-up collection on the seashore of Qiong Harbor in Dongtai County in the Seventies of last century.near this museum many international students are living