Situated to the south of West Lake the Southern Song Dynasty Official Kiln Museum covers a floor area of 15,000 square meters and a building area encompassing 4,364 square meters. Built over the remains of the Jiaotanxia Official Kiln it is the first of its kind to display pottery and porcelain. The Southern Song Dynasty Official Kiln Museum was opened to the public in 1992 and was expanded in 2002, and now the museum displays the products of the official kilns of Southern Song Dynasty, highlighting their charms and delicate beauty. It has been praised as one of the "outstanding examples of contemporary Zhejiang museums”.
The museum consists of two parts: the exhibition area and the official kiln relic.
The exhibition area consists of three rooms. In the first exhibition room, many delicate chinaware treasures of past dynasties unearthed in Hangzhou are on display. While in the second room, one can study the history of China's ceramics as well as the social, political and economic base and development after the establishment of official kilns in the Southern Song Dynasty. In the third one, visitors can see the fruits of research on the ancient porcelain of the country and the products in imitation of the famous products of kilns made by modern technology. Over 8,000 restored chinaware samples dug up from the site are on display in the exhibition area.
Jiaotanxia Official Kiln was first discovered in 1930, but was only seriously excavated in the mid 1980s. Of particular interest are the pugging pond, the shaping workshop and the Dragon Kiln. Modern technology is so advanced that ancient pieces can be fully restored, making it well worth visiting.
As a part of Jiaotanxia Official Kiln, the Dragon Kiln clings to a slope with a total length of 40.3 meters (44 yards). The kiln was built with adobes whose profile is still visible. The remains of Dragon Kiln in the protection corridor are flanked by stairs. The visitors can climb the steps to appreciate the fantastic site.
In the Southern Song Dynasty Official Kiln Museum, there is a pottery bar with a unique style. Visitors can see for themselves how pottery was made long ago. They can make their own pottery, experiencing the hardship and exhilaration that must have been the lot of people hundreds and even thousands of years ago.