01 November 2010

It takes balls to guard a Princess, oh wait...

Nestled in a hidden part of Beijing, there is a museum dedicated to those who suffered a punishment worse than death. It is the Beijing Eunuch museum. Eunuchs were male servants and protectors of female members of the royal family. At a young age, these servants were castrated. This was done to ensure that they would not sleep with members or concubines of the royal family (though I don’t see why they couldn’t just use female servants). This practice of castration dates back into ancient China. It peaked during the Ming Dynasty before finally ending with the fall of the Qing in 1911. The museum is located at the tomb of Tian Yi, a eunuch from the Ming Dynasty, it is one of the most well preserved eunuch tombs in China. 

The museum features many artifacts excavated from the tomb as well as a realistic diorama of the castration process. The victim would be held down by several men while another did the procedure. This was all done with no anesthesia, and it would take months to heal before one could even walk again. However most of the time they just died of blood loss, infection or the extreme pain. The boys “package” was then wrapped up and placed in a case which was then placed on a roof beam in the boy’s house. When he died, his goods were then buried with him. One of the most famous Eunuch’s was Zheng He, the famous Chinese explorer. 

Another section of the museum is dedicated to Sun Yaoting, the last surviving Eunuch from the Qing Dynasty who died in 1996. 

So next time you’re looking for an interesting place to go in Beijing, check out the Eunuch museum! Unfortunately, I was unable to find the exact address. If your into this sort of thing, you might want to check out the Icelandic Phallological Museum as well.


  1. Take the Subway Line 1 (red) to the last stop on the West side of town - Pingguoyuan. From there yo will need to take a taxi (RMB14), which takes only a few minutes. It is near a temple called Fahai Si which you can also visit in the area.