Golden Dragon Museum; Yi Yuan Gardens & Kuan Yin Temple
A living history of the presence of the Chinese people of Bendigo and vicinity from the gold rushes of the 1850’s to the present day. The museum features the world’s longest and oldest imperial dragons, internationally significant processional regalia, intricately carved furniture, beautifully embroidered costumes, several hundred Chinese coins, some dating back to 221 BC and a range of items from the renowned artisans and craftsmen of China from centuries past.
The Yi Yuan Classical Chinese Gardens comprises traditional Chinese architecture with lotus pond and fish in a serene and tranquil setting decorated with sculpture and colourful hand painted murals. Based on similar gardens contained within the imperial palace in Beijing they were built by Chinese artisans in 1996.
Traditionally Buddhist in design, the Kuan Yin Temple is dedicated in name to the Goddess of Compassion and Mercy and contains numerous colourful murals.
The museum was built to house the original 19th century Textiles collection and Imperial Dragon Loong owned by the Bendigo Chinese Association. Since then the collection has grown considerably.
The 1880s textile collection has outstanding cultural heritage values. The items of historical regalia provide exceptional testimony to the unique cultural tradition the Chinese Introduced to Bendigo in the 1850s. They are rare due to the great social, cultural and political upheavals that swept through China in the twentieth century.