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  A monument to 100,000 Communist revolutionaries killed on this site─used by the Guomingdang as an execution ground─was erected in 1950.In the sixth century, the legend goes, a Buddhist monk, Yun Guang, lived and preached here. So eloquent was he that the heavens showered flowers upon him, and these turned into beautiful little agate stones. These rain-flower pebbles are sold to visitors in containers of water to enhance their coloration.


  The three peaks of Zijinshan (the highest is 448 metres, or 1,470 feet) from this evergreen scenic area east of Nanjing. Some of the city’s most famous sights are to be seen in this region.

  The first emperor of the Ming dynasty, Hongwu, was buried here in 1389, alongside his Yangtze Riverempress, Ma Hou, who died in 1382. the tomb, begun in 1381,is recorded as having taken 100,000 labourers 32 years to complete. Most of the buildings of the mausoleum have been destroyed; the Taipingr rebels plundered the vicinity and in the 1800s. The tomb is poor condition compared with those of Hongwu’s descendants, who were buried outside Beijing after the capital was moved there. The wall around the tomb is 22.5 km long. The former approach to the tomb formed a long, windings-shaped path. But now visitors miss much of the Sacred Way because Ming Ling Lu leads directly to the tomb. Along the Sacred Way are pairs of stone animals and, at the far end, statues of warriors and civil servants. The style of carving is typical of the early Ming period.

  The original Sacred Way started near the town of Weigang. The Xiama Men in the town is engraved with instructions “get down from your horse”. Yangtze RiverAt this point,all horseriders were to dismount, in respect for the Emperor, and walk the rest of the dstance to the tomb. The second gate, Da Jing Men, is on Zhongshan Ling Lu. Opposite is Sifangcheng Pavilion which is near Shi Xiang Lu, the section of the sacred Way is found in the middle of a traffic strip on Weng Zhong Lu. Here there are stone statues of four civil officials and four generals.

  Continuing on Weng Zhong Lu, you reach the Ling Xing Men and the Jing Shi Qiao(three parallel stone-arched bridges) at the entrance of the tomb. Following the brick avenue lined with cedar trees you reach Weng Wu Men(the fist outer wall and the five gates). Passing through the Weng Wu Men, you reach the Stele Pavilion (Bei Dian) containing five stone stele, including one engraved by Qing Emperor Kang Xi in 1699. You can also see a plaque posted on the outside of the building by the Qing government in 19.9 commanding the preservation of the tomb.

  Next comes the Xiaoling Dian (sacrificial Hall). The original was constructed in 1383, but was destroyed during the Taiping Rebellion of 1850-1864. This Qing reconstrucion was built in 1873, and is a much smaller one than the original. It sits on top of a raised rectangular flat platform with several titers. The stone base of this platform and its tiers Yangtze Riverare decorated with the remains of protruding stone animal heads resembling alligatrors. In fact they represent a legendary animal, the lishou, which was a Ming symbol.

  Continuing on up the long tree-lined avenue, you reach the Inner Wall, which is painted red and has a single gate. Passing through this inner Red Gate, the long tree-lined avenue continues until you cross a stone arched bridge (Da Shi Qiao) and reach the giant rectangular Ming tower. A tunnel cuts through the center of the building at an inclined angle and enmerges at the back, from where a flight of steps ascends to the top of the tower. Four walls are all that remain of a building that once stood there. From the top you have a view of the whole approach.

  Behind the Ming tower sits the Bao Cheng or treasure mound. Inside this circular mound are the unexcavated tombs of the first Ming Emperor and his wife. To reach the Ming tombs either take Ming Ling Lu and Weng Zhou Lu from Zhongshan Men to the main gate of the mausoleum, or take Zhongshan Men to the main gate of the mausoleum, or take Zhongshan Ling Yuan Lu from Ling Hang Gong Lu, near Weigang village, to see the whole Sacred Way from its
starting point.

  Nanjing's most famous landmark is the elegant blue and white mausoleum of Dr Sun Yat--senYangtze River (1866--1925), father of the Chinese Republic. Dr Sun's body was kept at the Bai Yun Guan Temple in the Western Hills of Beijing until this mausoleum was completed in 1929. 'Universal Love' are the characters above the triple--arched centre gate, through which an avenue of tall trees leads to the main gate, with four Chinese characters inscribed saying "All for the nation", "Serving the public under heaven" and "The world belongs to everyone". A flight of 392 marble steps leads to the memorial hall in which is a gypsum statue of a seated Dr Sun (sculpted in France by a Polish friend, Landowski). Dr Sun's remains are beneath a recumbent marble statue of him (executed by Japanese associates) in the circular crypt behind the hall. His wish had always been to be buried on Zjin Shan in Nanjing. The site for his tomb was selected by his wife, Song Qing Ling, on April 21, 1925. The mausoleum was designed by Lu Yanzhi and the colours are those of the Guomindang flag. The perimeter of the entire site was originally meant to take the shape of a giant bell, symbolic of Sun himself as the human alarm bell, but the growth of trees has now obscured this.

  The full distance from the Gate of Universal Love to the Ceremonial Hall is 700 metres. There are a total of 14 flights of stone steps. Although the view from the top is spectacular in the daytime, a visit at night is worthwhile because the mausoleum is floodlit, the crowds are gone and admission is free.

  After passing through the Mausoleum Gate, you ascend two more flights of steps and reach the second terrace with its Bei Ting (Tablet Pavilion), inside which is a stone stele engraved with the words, "The Guomindang party buried its Prime Minister Sun Zhongshan here on June 1, 1929.'

  From the Tablet Pavilion you ascend eight more flights of steep steps to the third terrace andYangtze River its Ji Tang (Ceremonial Hall), behind which is the tomb chamber itself. Above the three arched doorways of the Ceremonial Hall are engraved the characters for the Three People's Principles (San Ming Zhu Yi) of Nationalism (min zu), Democracy (min zhu) and People's Livelihood (min sheng), which were the core of sun zhongshan's ideology. Ascend the final short night of steps leading into the Ceremonial Hall and you will see a white marble statue of a seated Sun Zhongshan. On the east and west walls of the hall is engraved the complete text of Sun Zhongshan's book, "Outline of National Reconstruction" 0ian Guo Da Gong)'
  At the back of the room is a small doorway which leads into the Mu Shi Li Ceng (Tomb Chamber). This is a circular room with a dome over the top. In the centre the room lies a white marble statue of Sun Zhongshan in a reclining position. Below this lies his coffin.

  Exit the Ceremonial Hall and walk around the outside of the building to your right and you can visit the back of the domed Tomb Chamber which is known as the Mu Shi Wai Ceng (Tomb Fort). Here there is usually an outdoor display of photographs showing the construction of the tomb.

Nanjing and Its History

What to see in Nanjing (1): Sights Within The City

What to see in Nanjing (2): Sights Within The City

• What to see in Nanjing (3): Sights Outside The City Centre

What to see in Nanjing (4): Sights Outside The City Centre

What to see in Nanjing (5): Sights South & East of Nanjing