Tibet Museum is located at the southeast of Norbu Lingka (the Summer Palace of Dalai Lamas). It is a magnificent and modern museum. It was firstly built in 1994 and be completed and opened to public in 1999. Tibet Museum is of characteristic traditional Tibetan architectural style. It also presents the practical and artistic characters of the modern museum.
Tibet Museum covers an area of 53959 square meters. The total construction area takes 23508 square meters and the exhibition hall area takes 10451 square meters. It is composed of three main parts: the Archives Area, Folk Customs Area and ancillary facilities.
The construction of Tibet Museum was divided into two stages. The first-stage project included the construction of the archive area, relic storages and the power transformer room. The second-stage project included the construction of the folk customs village and the ancillary facilities.
The main building of Tibet Museum is divided into two parts – the relic exhibition area and the relic storage area. The second floor of the relic exhibition area displays the history of Tibet; the third floor of the relic exhibition area mainly holds some specialized exhibitions, including the Thangka, animals and plants, bowlder and some temporary exhibitions. Tourists could buy some tourism souvenirs at the first floor.
Tibet Museum is of rich cultural relics, including various types of prehistoric cultural relics, Buddhism statues of various materials, manuscripts of classic Tibetan books and records, gold seals endowed by the central government, colorful Thangka and other instruments and handicrafts of traditional Tibetan characteristics.
More than 1000 deliberately selected cultural relics would be on exhibition in Tibet Museum all around the year. Tourists could get information about the history, culture, religion and folk customs of Tibet from these exhibitions. These exhibitions display the splendid culture and long history of Tibet.
History and Culture of Tibet is composed of four parts. The Prehistoric Culture and Inalienable History announce that Tibet has been an important and inalienable territory of China since ancient times intuitively.
History and Art and Folk Customs display the long history and splendid culture of Tibet. This display was listed as "one of the ten best displays in 1999" by State Cultural Relics Bureau.
The Special Exhibition of Natural Resources in Southern Tibet held in 2001 displayed the rich natural resources and magnificent natural landscapes of northern Tibet through various types of mineral resources and specimens of the wild animals and plants.
The Special Exhibition of Porcelains of Ming and Qing Dynasties held in 2002 displayed the excellent porcelain-making technique of ancient China and the effective management of the central government.
Thangka is a special painting art of Tibetan. It was thought to be the most typical treasure of Tibetan art. Tourists could see various types of Thangka at everywhere in Tibet. There are many ancient and valuable Thangkas on exhibition in Tibet Museum.
The themes and contents of Thangkas in Tibet Museum involved in many aspects of life, including the history, politics, culture and social life of Tibetan. They are praised as "encyclopedia of Tibetan". These Thangkas are of long history, but they are looked still bright-colored and beautiful.