Listed as an important heritage site under national protection in 1996, the Shenyang Financial Museum occupies the old headquarters of the defunct Frontier Bank, designed by German architects and completed in 1930.
The theme exhibition at the museum -- “Approaching the financial world” -- showcases the development history of finance and was given an award as one of China’s 10 excellent exhibitions in 2007-2008.
The Frontier Bank was actually a private bank, with a fascinating story behind it. It was owned by Marshal Zhang Zuolin, the former warlord of Manchuria, the old name for Northeast China, and his son Zhang Xueliang, a famous patriot.
As the actual rulers of the three provinces -- Liaoning, Jilin, and Heilongjiang in Northeast China -- Zhang and his son not only hoped to occupy a dominant position in politics, but also attempted to control the economic lifeline of the Northeast.
In order to achieve this goal, the Frontier Bank was built near Marshal Zhang’s Mansion in 1930, covering an area of 4,967 square meters. The building celebrates a Chinese-Western style of architecture.
In addition to handling general banking services such as deposit lending, discounting and currency exchanges, Frontier Bank also had the right to issue currency and act as the agent of the treasury. It was one of the largest banks in Northeast China.
The Zhang family’s shares accounted for more than 95 percent of the bank’s total capital, making it in effect the private bank of the family.
The current Shenyang Financial Museum has several exhibition halls to showcase financial history, currencies from all over the world and simulated scenes of the former bank, making it a great place to acquire knowledge about finance.
Address: No 48 Shaoshuaifu Alley, Chaoyang Street, Shenhe District, Shenyang
Transportation: Take bus 105, 113 or 117 to Dananmen Station and walk about five minutes
Tickets: 30 yuan ($4.28) for Shenyang Financial Museum, 50 yuan for Shenyang Financial Museum and Marshal Zhang’s Mansion Museum
One of the interior displays at Shenyang Financial Museum [Photo/sipaphoto.com]
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