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New OMSI Exhibit: The Life and Legacy of Genghis Khan, open through Feb. 15

November 14, 2020 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 8:00am on Saturday, repeating until December 19, 2020


Starting Oct. 24, journey back in time to learn about 13th-century Mongolia through stories, historical artifacts, live performances, and the enduring legacy of one of the world’s most controversial leaders at The Life & Legacy of Genghis Khan, the latest world-class exhibit to open at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), 1945 S.E. Water Ave., Portland. Visitors to the exhibit have the chance to uncover the facts and stories about the impacts of Genghis Khan and his descendants on world history and their continuing influence on the culture and people of present-day Mongolia.

This exhibit tells the story of how Genghis Khan, a poor, fatherless, nomadic boy, developed the skill and cunning to establish the largest land empire ever to exist, dominating three times more land in his lifetime than either Julius Caesar or Alexander the Great. Additionally, his descendents established the modern borders of nations from India to Iran, and Korea to China, and opened the trade routes that united East and West, forever after.

Presented in the Pacific Northwest for the first time, this world tour features nearly 300 spectacular objects. These rare and sophisticated weapons, costumes, jewels, ornaments, instruments, and numerous other fascinating relics and elaborate artifacts present the story of this legendary leader and his people. With hundreds of authentic artifacts, this historic exhibit offers the largest such collection ever to tour.

However, the exhibit is much more than a brilliant collection of artifacts; it’s an immersive experience. At the beginning of their journey, exhibit visitors will receive the identity of a Mongolian resident. Whether a warrior, spy, or princess, visitors will follow their life throughout the rise of the great Mongol Empire across six key scenes and eight unique galleries:

The Grasslands: Discover the daily life of a nomad on the high plateaus of Central Asia and learn about Genghis Khan’s earliest struggles as an outcast. Walk into a traditional Mongol ger (yurt) home. Stand in the midst of a herd of stampeding horses.

Rise of the Mongols: Learn how the young, charismatic Genghis Khan united warring tribes in order to form an unrivaled cavalry. Explore the equestrian culture and innovations in weaponry that Genghis Khan mastered in order to control four times more land than any empire in history.

The Walled City: Enter the recreation of Karakorum, the walled city, which became the capital of the Mongolian Empire after Genghis Khan’s son inherited the kingdom. See how life changed for the Mongols once they had vanquished all of their enemies, when arts and diverse religions and cultures flourished as the need for war subsided.

The Silk Road: Learn how Genghis Khan was a ruthless warrior but also a savvy statesman and benevolent ruler. Understand how he developed a written language and a sophisticated society with fair taxation, stable government, appreciation of the arts, religious freedom and open trade along the Silk Road. Explore this vital trade route which enabled the exchange of both goods and ideas between cultures.

The Palace of Kublai Khan: Enter the Chinese palace of Xanadu, the center of the Empire of Genghis Khan’s grandson, Kublai, who became the first Mongol to rule in China. See porcelain treasures and a sword with the emblem of a guardian of Marco Polo, among many others.

Mongolia Today: Understand the distinctive nomadic culture of Genghis Khan’s time which persists to this day as the nation and language he created lives on eight centuries after his rule. Mongolia is a country in transition as traditional ways intersect with the modern trappings of life in the 21st century. Through photography and music, catch a glimpse of this remote Central Asian country and its people.

Modern science has uncovered another legacy of Genghis Khan: his DNA. OMSI’s Genetic Connection exhibit explores gene inheritance and Y-chromosomal lineages to examine how DNA research has found 16 million men to be descendants of Genghis Khan. Visitors will collaborate to complete touch-free challenges as well as consider thought-provoking questions about the controversial actions of Genghis Khan and how genetics can influence our personal identity.

The Life and Legacy of Genghis Khan opens at OMSI on Oct. 24, and will be on view through Feb. 15, 2021. Guests can purchase tickets online at omsi.edu, via phone at 503-797-4000, or in person at the museum. Exhibit admissions are currently limited to 25% of regular capacity with staggered entry times, which is why it is recommended that visitors purchase tickets online beforehand.

Tickets & Pricing
Member Price: Free for OMSI Members
General Admission: Adult: $12, Youth (ages 3-13) $10, Senior (age 63+) $8

Museum Hours of Operation
Tuesday–Sunday: 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Monday: Closed, with the exception of Portland Public School holidays


November 14, 2020
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Event Category:


OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry)
1945 Southeast Water Avenue, Portland, OR 97214
Portland, OR 97214 United States
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