The Capital Museum, a large and comprehensive museum which first located in the Confucian Temple, was opened to public in 1983. The new Capital Museum commenced to build in 2001 and it has already officially opened to public in 2006. New Capital Museum lies in Fuxingmen Dajie in west Beijing.
The construction of the new Capital Museum itself is an architectural artwork integrating both classical and modern beauty. It is of distinct national characteristics on one hand and obvious modern feeling on the other. The massive roof inherits its design from the roof overhang of Chinese traditional architectural style; the long stone curtain wall stands for the city wall in ancient China; the gradient of the square refers to the architectural style of dais construction in ancient time; a piece of Danbi (a piece of massive stone carved with images like dragon, phoenix or cloud for gods to walk on) is imbedded in the ground in front of the north gate of the hall; a decorative archway from the Ming Dynasty is set in the hall, which shows the traditional Chinese architectural characteristic of central axis in a plane; the leaning and projecting wall of the oval Bronze Exhibition Hall implies unearthing of ancient relics.
There are three independent constructions within the new museum; they are respectively, the Rectangular Exhibition Hall, the Oval Exhibition Hall and the quadrate Office & Scientific Research Building. Spaces between them are the central hall and indoor bamboo courtyard. Adopting natural light, blended with the decorative archway of Chinese style, sunken bamboo courtyard and rippling water, therefore created an environment of both human and natural sentiment. The museum is highly praised by personalities from all walks of life both at home and abroad immediately upon completion.
The seven-story building has 13 themed exhibition rooms displaying 5,622 items, more than 80 percent of which are being showcased for the first time in China. The capital museum mainly has three kinds of exhibitions including the regular exhibitions, exhibitions of fine artistic collection and temporary exhibitions. Regular exhibitions include Ancient Capital Beijing History and Culture, Ancient Capital Beijing Urban Construction and Old Stories of Beijing Exhibition of Old Beijing Folk Customs. Exhibitions of fine artistic collection include Exhibition of Fine Artistic Collection of Ancient Chinaware, Exhibition of Fine Collection of Ancient Beijing Bronze Art, Exhibition of Fine Artistic Collection of Ancient Calligraphy, Exhibition of Fine Artistic Collection of Ancient Paintings, Exhibition of Fine Artistic Collection of Ancient Jade Ware, Exhibition of Fine Artistic Collection of Ancient Buddha Statues and Exhibition of Fine Artistic Collection of Gadgets of Studies. The seven exhibitions of fine artistic collection and Old Stories of Beijing Exhibition of Old Beijing Folk Customs serve as supplements and expansion to present Beijing culture. The temporary exhibitions serve as a stage to study and appreciate the exchange relations between cultures of Beijing and the other regions and that of China and the world.