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capital of Zhejiang Province, China
municipality of China
John Rabe (1882-1950) was a German businessman and Nazi party member who is widely celebrated in China for his efforts to protect civilians during the Japanese occupation. This house was his residence from 1932 to 1938. It is now a museum dedicated to telling the story of Rabe's life and the Nanjing International Safety Zone that he helped to establish and which is credited with saving thousands of lives.
The tallest (450-metre, 89-story) building in the city and the seventh tallest building in the world. Hosts an expensive restaurant and a bar at 78th floor. Also there is a public observatory at the 72nd floor.
Built during the reign of the Jiaqing Emperor (1796-1820), this is the former residence of a Gan Xi, a famous scholar and civil servant. It is said to be the largest traditional private residence in Nanjing and has over 300 rooms. The residence is administered by the Nanjing Folk Museum (南京市民俗博物馆) and has many exhibits on traditional Chinese culture.
A small museum focusing on the Taiping Rebellion (1843-1868), a piece of history not well known in the West. This was one of the bloodiest conflicts in recorded history — some estimates put the death toll higher than for World War I, and it was certainly much worse than the American Civil War at about the same time, even though the Chinese used more primitive weapons. It was a crucial moment in China's relationship with the West, modernity, and its relationship to its own imperial history. It was partly a religious movement; the leader claimed to be God's second son, Jesus' younger brother. The quasi-Christian, peasant-led rebellion overran an area greater than Texas with Nanjing as its capital. At different times it threatened both the foreign settlements in Shanghai and the Qing government in Beijing, though it did not take either. On exhibit are documents relating to Taiping history and the grinding reduction of their movement by enterprising Qing generals and their European auxiliaries, culminating in the siege of Nanjing. Next door are the beautiful Zhanyuan Gardens.
Spend half a day exploring the headquarters of past emperors and the Nationalist government. The Palace includes the former offices of many top governmental officials, including Chiang Kai-shek and Sun Yat-sen, as well as the former residence of Sun Yat-sen. It is one the few places in mainland China where the flag of the Republic of China still flies. Informational placards around the palace are partly in English. Closed on Mondays.
Once an imperial examination testing center for the entire Jiangsu region, this museum comprises a tiny fraction of the once-massive original buildings. The rest of the site is a massive, labyrinthine market; a top tourist draw in Nanjing and a place where you can get all your haggling out of your system. Get your picture taken with the Confucius sculpture and grab some tea on one of the gondolas on the canal. On the southern side of town next to Zhonghua Gate and the Taiping Museum.
A memorial for the hundreds of thousands of Chinese who died at the hands of Japanese troops in Nanjing during World War II. Two partially excavated mass-burial sites reveal victims remains in situ, accompanied by insightful information boards around the walkway. The elongated sites sympathetically restrained architecture and beautifully maintained gardens are interspersed with sculptures, murals and other artworks that inspire solemn meditations. Close to the entrance is the recently opened museum exhibiting multitudes of photos, videos and objects to tell the full story, somewhat even-handedly, that can easily occupy you for hours. Captions are in English, Chinese, and Japanese. Entrance lines can be long, so plan accordingly.
The southern gate of Nanjing's city wall; this massive gate is one of the best preserved parts of Nanjing's city wall, and one of the best remaining examples of early Ming defensive architecture extant anywhere. The wooden castle at top was destroyed by fire, but the immense masonry (each complete with the mason's name and home province by order of the emperor) substructure remains. Two courtyards contain an archery range and vegetable gardens. The main gate has three immense depots within where, long emptied of provisions, you can find some scale models and exhibits about the gate. In one depot you can find an air raid siren used during the Japanese attack on the city.
One of the best viewpoints in the city. 40元
The palace was built by the first Ming Emperor in 1366 and stretched 2.5 km in length. It was completely destroyed in the Qing Dynasty and what remains today barely hints at its size. In the tree shaded southern half are the small section of wall holding the huge arches of the Meridian Gate, five stone 'Outer Dragon' bridges and a array of megaliths, some baring fragments of carvings. The site was effectively a prototype of Beijing's Forbidden City as the layout was copied by the Emperors grandson when he moved the capital northwards in 1421.
This 6-km bridge over the Yangtze has sculptures that are classics of Chinese sociallist art; with workers and farmers carrying tools, soldiers carrying weapons, and all of them holding books, most likely Quotations of Chairman Mao Zedong (better known as The Little Red Book). The bridge was built after Soviet advisors left China during the Sino-Soviet Split of the 1960s, and is therefore the first major project built entirely by Chinese, without foreign help. A new town is being constructed on the other side, which may include a direct subway connection in the future.
Mausoleum of the Hongwu Emperor
Resting place of the leader of the 1911 revolution and first president of China. A beautifully designed complex that features of fusion of traditional Chinese and Western architectural styles. Closed on Mondays.
The three sections of a gigantic stele, which the Yongle Emperor commissioned for the mausoleum of his father the Hongwu Emperor can be seen here in situ. The project was never completed, as the Ming engineers realized that there is no way the stone monoliths could be moved out of here to Ming Xiaoling.
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