About The Taiping Heavenly Kingdom Museum
The Taiping Heavenly Kingdom Museum (Taiping Tianguo Lishi Bowuguan) in Nanjing chronicles the thirteen year civil conflict in which a vast militia raised by Hong Xiuquan rebelled against the Qing Dynasty. This was sparked by high taxation imposed by the dynasty to raise funds to pay an indemnity to Britain following the Opium Wars.
The rebellious military force Hong raised was known as the Taiping Tianguo, literally translated as the “Kingdom of Heavenly Peace”. The rebellion started in January 1851 and, in March 1853, the Taiping Tianguo captured Nanjing and allocated it as its capital. Following a siege which claimed Hong’s life, the Taiping Tianguo was finally defeated in 1864.
Part of the building in which the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom Museum is housed – it’s gardens to be precise – originally belonged to the Ming Emperor Hongwu and the building itself served as the base of one of the leaders of the Taiping Tianguo.
Today, the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom Museum offers an insight into the rebellion through artifacts from the period, displaying everything from coins to weaponry.