About Chimei Museum

Housing a collection that ranges from Western art to period furniture and even animal fossils, the Chimei Museum is a private institution in Taiwan’s city of Tainan. It boasts more than 1000 violins, one of the largest collections of in the world,and includes instruments by Antonio Stradivari, Nicolo Amati, Jacob Stainer, and Gagliano, many of which it loans to prominent classical musicians.

The Chimei Museum is set within an impressive European-inspired building, with a replica of Versailles’ 17th century Fountain of Apollo depicting the Greek sun god rising from the sea in its forecourt. This building is connected to the main museum by the Olympus Bridge, lined on both sides with Greek mythological gods and goddesses. The collection is officially divided into five categories that include Western Art, Musical Instruments, Natural History, Arms and Armour, and Antiquities and Artefacts. The collection includes noted works such as an early 20th century bronze version of Auguste Rodin’s The Kiss, a 19th century bronze sculpture by Antoine-Louis Barye titled Theseus Slaying the Centaur Bianor, and a 16th century violin by luthier Andrea Amati. There’s also an impressive stuffed polar bear and an outstanding collection of ancient weaponry that dates back to prehistoric times. The Chimei Museum was initially established at the Tainan headquarters of plastics producer Chi Mei Corp in 1992 and moved to its current location in 2004, expanding its collection to over 13,000 objects.

The museum is located in the Rende District of Tainan and within easy walking distance of the Bao’an Railway Station and the Chimei Museum High Speed Rail stop. Visitors should note that tickets need to be reserved online at least one day in advance.

The Chimei Museum was established by entrepreneur Shi Wen-long in the early 1990s, drawing on his outstanding collection of antique violins and his desire for Taiwan to have more artistic and cultural resources available. In addition to opening the museum, he founded the Chi Mei Cultural Foundation to help improve the standard of classical music in Taiwan and provide scholarships for emerging artists.