Have you ever wanted to see the mysterious Terracotta Army in China? Well, now you don’t have to go quite that far to see a selection of warriors and artefacts close up. In fact, you only have to go to MARQ, Alicante’s wonderful archaeology museum, to see a fantastic display with information available in both Spanish and English for you. The Legacy of the Qin and Han Dynasties, China – The Warriors of Xi’an will be exhibited until 26 January 2024 so you still have time!
Entrance to the exhibition begins with a video about the collection and its arrival in Alicante. Sadly this is in Spanish only and we got told off for making a noise translating for our visitors! Those who have ever been to a concert or play in a Spanish theatre will recognise the irony in this. If the film has already started, just enter the exhibition and leave the film until the end. That’s what we did and I think we had a good understanding of everything by then making the film easier to follow.
There are some excellent pictures of archaeologists working in the site in China and excavating these amazing warriors. It certainly gives you a taste of what is to come, but please bear in mind you are seeing a small number of figures and not the masses that you would see in China.
There are over 100 articles on display at MARQ. Some are jewellery or decorative pieces but no matter what you are looking at, there is plenty of information in English. The chariot complete with horses was a particular favourite.
The stars of the show are, of course, the warriors. They appear in their own room in a series of glass tubes looking like Scotty has just beamed them down! It’s amazing to get so close to them and see the detail.
In one of the displays you can see how they were made and no doubt you’ll be as surprised as we were that they were in fact painted. One warrior is placed so that a projector can show you the different designs of uniforms that were painted on.
We really enjoyed the exhibition. Perhaps the biggest surprise was that it is available for just €5 per person. Do bear in mind that they are timed tickets though, so make sure you book in advance to avoid disappointment. For just €3 more guided visits in English are available but there are not many slots for that.
If you are out and about in Alicante, make sure you go along the esplanade toward the castle. At the end you’ll see a giant terracotta warrior advertising the exhibition.
Please let us know what you thought of the exhibition in the comments below.