The Incredible Dollhouse Explosion of Xi’an

Dark and modern and ultra-creepy, the Hanyangling Museum of Xi’an is empty of tourists, but crammed with pits of naked, two-foot-tall men. It’s something like an explosion in a doll factory, or a scene of marionette massacre.

Their silk robes and wooden swords and wooden arms rotted away centuries ago, leaving them unarmed and armless, but their little bodies (and penises) remain.

It reminded me of Gacy’s basement. A clown scene of true boy terror.

This is the mausoleum of Liu Qi, Emperor of China from 156 to 141 BC. His reign was short, but his tomb took a magnificent 28 years to build. It’s filled with thousands of pottery warriors to guard the spirit of the ancient emperor, and thousands of dogs, sheep, horses, chickens, and pigs for the pottery guards to feast on. It’s like the terracotta warriors. But unlike those, this isn’t awful. This is a place of awesome.

The mausoleum of Liu Qi, and that of his wife Empress Wang, took 28 years to build. The government have spent the last 30 digging them up, and yet they’ve barely even started. Two grassy peaks flank this 2-acre museum, and they’re thought to be filled with acres more ancient awesomeness.

I can’t wait to see what’s inside those….

Offbeat Museums / ,

5 Responses to The Incredible Dollhouse Explosion of Xi’an

  1. LeeAnn says:

    Hey, your pictures turned out great, Michelle! The lighting and everything really does make it look creepy.

  2. Pingback: The Mausoleum of Liu Qi, Xi’an. Asia Obscura states that Liu Qi was Emperor of China from 156 | Null Entropy

  3. Hayden says:

    When I studied abroad in Xi’an, my university took the foreign students on a daytrip to see Hanyangling Museum. It’s out in the middle of nowhere (a lot of things are in the middle of nowhere in China, really), and it was indeed devoid of other people. It’s sort of a Terracotta Horse and Warrior Museum-lite, but it’s obscurity makes it a far more interesting tourist attraction to complain about with your fellow exchange students on the bus ride by to campus.

    • Hayden says:

      Also, you should do an article on Famen Temple. It’s this bizarre, over-the-top complex built by the Chinese government to celebrate a much, much, much smaller complex located just outside of the more recent structure. I refer to it as Disney’s Buddha Land.

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