Hangzhou Southern Song Guan Kiln Museum is located south of West Lake, near the bank of the Qiantang River. It is the first museum in China devoted to pottery and porcelain, and is built over and around the remains of the Jiaotanxia guan kiln. Guan kilns were those officially designated for the production of high-quality imperial porcelain. Jiaotanxia was one of two guan kilns of the Southern Song dynasty, the period when the technical excellence of celadon porcelain in China reached its zenith.
The museum consists of two parts: the exhibition area and the guan kiln site. The exhibition area includes exhibits of Hangzhou porcelain from past dynasties, displays relating to Chinese ceramics and the significance of the Southern Song guan kilns, and information on porcelain research and modern reproductions of ancient ceramic ware.
The excavation and restoration of the Jiaotanxia guan kiln gives visitors unmatched insights into the techniques of 12th-century porcelain manufacture. Of particular interest is the "dragon kiln", which extended over 40 meters (131 feet) up a hillside.