Nanjing, which means “southern capital”, was once the heart of the political administration of China during the period of the Republic of China (1912-1949), colloquially known as “Min Guo”. Nanjing is also the burial place of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the founding father of the Republic of China. With the largest number of cultural relics from the era of the Republic of China, Nanjing has become a window for people to understand and interpret the history of the Republic of China.
Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Mausoleum
Located at the southern foot of Zhongshan Mountain in Nanjing, the mausoleum is the tomb of Sun Yat-sen, the great forerunner of Chinese democratic revolution. His coffin was placed here on June 1, 1929. Oriented to the south, the mausoleum is bounded by the Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum to the west and the Linggu Temple to the east. With its ridges and hills, it is a grand and magnificent setting, and the whole mausoleum looks something like a “bell”. The Altar hall is a palace-style building, with three arched gates. The lintels are inscribed with the words “nationalism, democracy, and the livelihood of the people” (the Three Principles of the People). The marble statue of a sitting Sun Yat-sen can be found in the Altar Hall, and walls are inscribed with the text of the Fundamentals of National Reconstruction written by Sun Yat-sen.
Music Stage of Sun Yat-sen’s Mausoleum
The Music Stage, built between 1932 and 1933, is located in the southeast of the square of Sun Yat-sen’s Mausoleum. Lying at the center of the garden, the Music Stage is semicircular, and big walls form the backstage. Similar to the Echo Wall of the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, the big walls function to gather together the sound waves. In front of the Music Stage is a crescent-shaped lotus pond, and there is a spring at the bottom of the pond. In front of the pond is a semicircular lawn, where audiences can appreciate song and dance performances. In addition, you can find many pigeons here.
Presidential Palace (Nanjing)
The Presidential Palace (Nanjing), located at 292 Changjiang Road, was the former government office of the Republic of China. In the Qing Dynasty, it was the government office of the Liangjiang Governor. During the period of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, it became the palace of the Heavenly King Hong Xiuquan. After the revolution of 1911, Sun Yat-sen was elected as the Provisional President and the swearing-in ceremony was held here. In 1948, the Government of the Republic of China changed the original outer gate of the government office of the Liangjiang Governor to a European-style gate engraved with the characters “Presidential Palace”.
Nanjing Officials Residence Cluster along Yihe Road
Known as the “Official Area of the Republic of China”, the “Embassy District” and a “Model Area of Modern and Contemporary Architectures”, the Officials Residence Cluster along the Yihe Road was where the important military and political officials of the Republic of China lived, along with rich and powerful people and foreigners before the liberation. The cluster has European-style villas with gardens, and the building area comprises 69 hectares, including a green area which accounts for 65 percent of the total. It is the largest mansion district in Nanjing and even in China, and the most top-grade residential area from the Republic of China period that has survived in Nanjing today. Many well-known people once lived here, such as Chiang Wei-kuo and General Marshall, etc.
Nanjing Botanical Garden (Zhongshan Botanical Garden)
Nanjing Botanical Garden, built in 1929, was formerly known as the “Sun Yat-sen Memorial Botanical Garden”. Located in the Zhongshan Mountain Scenic Area, the garden is close by Zhongshan Mountain, Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum and Meihua Mountain to the east, and the Ming Dynasty city walls to the south. Covering an area of 186 hectares, it enjoys a mild climate, lush vegetation and forests. With its exquisite natural scenery, the Nanjing Botanical Garden is renowned as a “fairy land of plants” in Nanjing. It is the first national botanical garden in China and one of four major botanical gardens in China.
Memorial Hall of Meiyuan New Village Nanjing
The Memorial Hall of Meiyuan New Village is located on both sides of Meiyuan New Village Street, around the eastern segment of Changjiang Road, east of Nanjing. It consists of the former site of the Delegation Office of the Communist Party of China, the Exhibition Hall of Historical Data on CCP-KMT Negotiations in Nanjing, a bronze statue of Zhou Enlai, and the Zhou Enlai Library. It is a modern historical site and a revolutionary museum.