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Quanzhou Overseas Transportation History Museum

Quanzhou Overseas Transportation History Museum


The Quanzhou Overseas Transportation History Museum is located in Quanzhou City, Fujian Province, China. Quanzhou serves as the starting point of the Maritime Silk Road, thanks to its unique geographical location. Its maritime trade began as early as the Zhou and Qin dynasties. The museum's main hall features inscriptions from two renowned travelers describing Quanzhou.

“The harbor of Zayton is among the biggest in the world, or rather is the biggest.”-The travels of Ib Battuta1346

" At this city you must know is the Haven of Zaytos, frequented by all the ships of India, which bring thither spicery and all other kinds of costly wares.”-The Travel of Marco Polo


(泉州环城遍植刺桐树 所以叫刺桐,英文音译 zayton)
(The term "Zayton" is the transliteration of 刺桐, which means "Chinese parasol tree" and is used to refer to Quanzhou in English.)

These descriptions highlight the prosperity of Quanzhou as one of the world's largest ports at that time.

整个博物馆内容集中,主要集中在一楼的一个展厅,展厅的名字叫“宋元中国的世界 海洋商贸中心 Quanzhou Emporium of the world in song-Yuan China”

The museum's content is primarily concentrated in a hall on the ground floor named "Quanzhou Emporium of the World in Song-Yuan China." Upon entering, the history of Quanzhou unfolds like a scroll, providing a detailed timeline of the city's development and emphasizing the significant influence of Quanzhou and China in world trade during the Song and Yuan dynasties.

截止1206年 据赵彦卫《云麓漫钞》记载 来泉州贸易的国家和地区达31个
据赵汝适《诸潘志》 泉州与58个国家和地区有交通往来1225



According to historical records, by the year 1206, 31 countries and regions were engaged in trade with Quanzhou.

According to Zhao Ruiwei's "Yunlu Manchao," Quanzhou had transportation links with 58 countries and regions by 1225.

By 1349, Quanzhou had established trade connections with nearly a hundred countries and regions.

During the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911), Quanzhou's private merchants flourished, and many Quanzhou residents migrated to Southeast Asia and other parts of China.

On the other hand, besides written records, artifacts can vividly depict the customs and culture of a particular period and region. For example, among the Tang Dynasty tomb relics from Quanzhou, the vessel shapes and patterns of qingyao (green-glazed) ceramics resemble those from the Central Plains, indicating the influence of Central Plains culture on Quanzhou during that period.

The following are Tang Dynasty vessels unearthed in Quanzhou:
Left: Tang Dynasty green-glazed five-disc plate. Right: Tang Dynasty green-glazed four-tube vase.

左-唐. 青釉五蛊盘唐. 右-青釉四管插器

Among the unearthed artifacts in Quanzhou, there are also many navigational tools, showcasing the advanced maritime technology mastered by Quanzhou and further indicating the prosperity of maritime trade at that time.

测探锤Sounding hammer
航海罗盘Maritime compass

Due to the frequent trade exchanges in Quanzhou, cultural collisions between different regions made Quanzhou's culture diverse and vibrant.

In terms of religion, Islam, Hinduism, and Christianity were spread to Quanzhou by missionaries and merchants. Quanzhou once had multiple mosques and churches, some of which have been preserved to this day. During the peak of Quanzhou's trade, the Muslim population reached up to 100,000.

在这些宗教影响泉州的同时,泉州当地的风土人情也给它们带来了改变。20世纪30年代以来,在泉州古城墙及其附近地段,出士数十方雕刻着十字架、天使、莲花等图家的古基碑墓盖,图案特殊且形式多样,融多种艺术而成,被人们称为 “刺桐十字架“
While these religions influenced Quanzhou, the local customs and traditions also brought about changes. Since the 1930s, numerous ancient stone tablets and tomb covers with carvings of crosses, angels, lotus flowers, and other symbols have been found in the ancient city walls and nearby areas of Quanzhou. These unique and diverse

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