China Nanjing City:
Nanjing, the capital city of Jiangsu Province, is an old and beautiful city. It is located as a plain within the middle lower reaches of the Yangtze River, facing the Ocean in the east, and not far from Anhui Province and Zhejiang Province in the south, near the Hubei Province and Henan Provice in the west and Shandong Province in the north. As a city close to rivers and lakes, Nanjing is proud of its well-situated geographical conditions and abundant natural resources. Also, Nanjing is a well-known ancient cultural city. Since the 3rd century AD, it has been the capitals of 10 dynasties or regimes, i.e., the Eastern Wu, Eastern Jin, Song, Qi, Liang, Chen, Southern Tang, Early Ming, the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, and the Republic of China. As one of the "six ancient cities" in China, Nanjing has had been the center of economy, politics and culture of middle lower reaches of Yangtze River in ancient and modern times, and that has been leaving behind effulgent traditional culture. Today, as one of four core cities in the Yangtze Delta, Nanjing is increasingly playing a great role in the economic zone of the national macro productivity layout. Nanjing is a comprehensive industrial base region, an important communication & transportation centers and one of the four scientific research & education centers in East of China. It is also the second largest business center next to Shanghai in the east of China.
As a famous historic city, Nanjing ranks with Xi¡¯an, Luoyang, Beijing, Hangzhou and Kaifeng as six major ancient Chinese capitals. The fossils of Homo sapiens, those of ape-men¡¯s skull caps discovered at Tangshan in the east suburbs of Nanjing indicate that Nanjing was home to a large community of human beings in the late period of the mid-Pleistocene epoch 350,000 years ago. As far back as the late Spring and Autum Period (770-475 B.C.) Prince Fu Chai of the state Wu erected a ¡°metallurgical city¡± in the vicity of present-day Chaotaingong, where large quantities of bronze vessels were cast and smelt. After the conquest of Wu by the state of Yue in 472 B.C., under the supervision of Minister Fan Li a ¡°Yue city¡± was built at Changganli outside today¡¯s Zhonghua Gate. This even, which took place almost 2,470 years ago, resulted in the emergence of a walled city at Nanjing.
In A.D. 229 Emperor Sun Quan of the Wu Kingdom in the Three Kingdosm Period made Nanjing (known as Jianye at the time) his capital, which had its central axis at today¡¯s Taiping Road, with the Qinhuai River in the south and Xuanwu Lake in the north, and was crisscrossed by bustling streets. After that, Nanjing was again made antional capital (then know as Jiankang) of Eastern Jin (317-420) and of Song, Qi, Liang and Chen in the Southern Dynasties Period (420-589), thereby earning for the city its fame as the ¡°ancient capital of six dynasties¡±. Nanjing in those periods boasted a brilliant culture, a thriving commerce, and a large population of anything up to 1,400,000 people. Nanjing became the nation¡¯s political center again in 1368, when Zhu Yuanzhang founded the Ming Dynasty and named the city his capital. It took him 21 years to build a wall 33.65 kilometers in girth around Nanjing, then the largest city in the world.
In 1853, when the Taiping peasant insurgents stormed into Nanjing they made it the capital of their Taiping Heavenly Kongdom and renamed it Tianjing, a name which stayed for only 11 years. Dr. Sun Yat-sen established the Republic of China ans was chosen as its Provisional President in Nanjing on December 29, 1911, after the victory of the 1911 Revolution that ended the monarchy of the Qing Dynasty. Nanjing became the capital of the Republic on April 18, 1927, when Chiang Kai-shek proclaimed the inauguration of the National Govenrment there. The People¡¯s Liberation Army forces conquered the Presidential Palace and established the people¡¯s government on April 24, 1949 after Mao Zedong and Zhu De issued the order to launche an attack across the country.
Th Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum, where Emperor Ming Taizu (respected title of Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang) and his queen were buried, lies at the northern foot of Mount Zijin (Mount Purple Gold), adjacent to Dr. Sun Yat-sen's Mausoleum on the east and Meihua (Chinese Plum) Mountain on the south. With a more than 22.5 kilometers wall, the mausoleum is the largest emperor mausoleum in Nanjing. Most of its ground wood-structured buildings were destroyed in 1853, with the brick and stone buildings still existent including Rectangular city, Inner Red Gate and Jinyue Tablet.
The sacred way started from Sifangchang (Rectangular city) which was a pavilion where a splendid carved stone stele for memory of Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang was enshrined, on which hymn by his fourth son was inscribed. Now, the top of the pavilion was gone. In the middle of the 1800-meter-long winding sacred way, there are 6 kinds and 12 pairs of animals guarding the tomb. Further beyond is a pair of decorative columns called Huabiao in Chinese. Four couples of ministers and generals have been standing there for centuries to accompany their His Majesty beneath.
On an inscribed stone tablet outside of the gate of the mausoleum, an official notification of the local government in the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) ordered to protect the tomb. Inside of the gate, there is a pavilion in which 5 steles stand. The one in the middle was inscribed with 4 Chinese characters, which was written by Emperor Kangxi in his third inspection tour. Behind the pavilion, there used to be other annexes, however most of them collapsed into relics from which the original splendor can still be traced.
On the south of Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum is the Meihua (Plum Flower) Mountain, which was formerly the tomb of Sun Quan, emperor of Dongwu. The mountain is covered with more than 10,000 plum flowers and it is always one of most attractive resorts for Nanjing visitors who appreciate the flowers in spring. Its scenic spots include the Plum Appreciation Pavilion and Bo¡¯ai (Extensive Love) Pavilion.
The Ming Palace was the blueprint for Beijing Palace, consisting of the Imperial City and Palace City with a combined name of Imperial Palace. Ming Palace, situated in the southeast of Nanjing City, used to be Zhu Yuanzhang's imperial palace in the Ming Dynasty. There were the Imperial Ancestral Temple, the state altar and all facilities of the imperial palace. When Zhu Di moved the capital from Nanjing to Beijing, he built Beijing Imperial Palace in imitation of Ming Palace in Nanjing. Ming Palace was destroyed in the war at the end of the Qing Dynasty. Now what remain are only some carved stones, building foundation, column base, etc. Before its destruction this palace was a splendid structure and the Imperial Palace in Beijing is said to be modeled after it. The palace was damaged by two fires and fell into disrepair after the Ming court moved to Beijing. The Manchus also looted the palace as did Qing and Western troops during the Taiping Rebellion. Today, all that remains of the former grandeur are some foundation stones, stone lions and the stone screen wall facing the former palace.
Nanjing Confucius Temple, located on the north bank of the Qinhuai river, is the holy shrine of Confucius, the outstanding ancient Chinese philosopher and thinker. The temple was first built in the Song dynasty. The Confucius Temple-centric area is a famous river scenery resort in Nanjing. Over the past 1800 years, it has remained one of most prosperous places of Najing, and rated as one of the top 40 tourist attractions in 1990.
Qixia Mountain, with another name of Sheshan Mountain, is situated 22 kilometers northeast of of Nanjing City. The name originated from the Qixia Stellar House erected in the mountain in South Dynasty. Qixia Mountain was well-known across South Yangtze River, not only for its Qixia Temple, Thousand Buddhas Cliff, Royal Stele and Sheli Pagoda, but also for its deep forests, clean springs and intoxicating scenery, which has created the name of The First Beautiful Mountain in Jinling (another name for Nanjing). In deep autumn, the red leaves on the mountain look like fire, covering the whole forest, so there is a saying of ¡°Spring in Niushou Mountain and Autumn in Qixia Mountain¡±.
The Stone City is also called Ghost-Face City. On the remains of the Jinling City built by Emperor Wei of Chu State in 333 BC at a place 500 meters west of the Qingliang Mountain, there was a red rock around 6 meters long and 3 meters wide, like a fierce-looking face with a nose and eyes, which was called ¡°Ghost Face¡± therefrom. During the Three-Kindom period, Sunquan of East Wu State built a city on what was formerly the Jinling City in 212 AD in order to control the safety of Jiankang (former name of Nanjing), and the city was name as Stone City. In the Ming Dynasty, Zhu Yuanzhang consolidated and fixed the Stone City when expanding the city walls of Nanjing. The Stone City, surrounded by mountains and rivers, was strategically locaed anddifficult of access, and has been renowned as a strategic location since ancient times.
The Yuhuatai Platform, cemetery for revolutionary martyrs, is a famous revolutionary resort and tourism scenic area in Nanjing. The Revolutionary Martyrs Memorial stands at the top of the cemetery for martyrs, with a height of 42.3 meters. This figure indicates that the liberation of Nanjing on April 23, 1949 was won by fearless struggle and sacrifice of numerous revolutionaries.
The Second Spring of Jiangnan (or the south of the Yangtze River) on the east of the Yuhuatai obtained its name from Luoyou, a poet in South Song Dynasty. It was told that when visiting the Yongning Tempble at Yuhuatai, Luo You found a spring in the temple and quite appreciated the color and taste of the spring water, and thus named it as ¡°the Second Spring¡±. In comparison, the Galu (Sweet Dew) Well, one of the oldest wells in Nanjing, has a history of more than 1,700 years, with its water clean and sweet.
Dr. Sun Yat-sen's Mausoleum is situated on the southern slope of the Zijinshan Mountain (Purple Gold Mountain) in the eastern suburb of of Nanjing. The remains of Dr. Sun, who was a pioneer of Chinese democratic revolution was buried here on June 1, 1929. The mausoleum, shaped like an alarm bell, is built at the foot of the mountain. A feeling of respect may be aroused when climbing by the steps.
The Sacrificial Hall is the major part of the mausoleum, integrating the Chinese and western architectural styles. It is 29 meters high, 30 meters long and 25 meters wide. On the door of the hall inscribed the six characters of Nation, Civilian Rights and People¡¯s Life. There is a horizontal board inscribed with the words of ¡°Healthy Trends Under Heaven¡± written by Dr. Sun Yat-sen on top of the middle door. A statue of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, designed by a French artist, was instituted at the center of the hall. Six relief sculptures were carved at the base of the statue, on which the revolutionary activities of Dr. Sun Yat-Sen were recorded.
Besides, the resorts in the Mausoleum scenic area also include the Concert Platform, Liuhui Waterside Pavilion, Classics Tower and Guanghua Pavilion.
In ancient times the Xuanwu Lake was known as Sangpo, Moling Lake, Hou Lake or Kunming Lake. It was said that there emerged a black dragon during the Liusong Period of the South Dynasty, so the lake was named Xuanwu Lake. In the North Song Dynasty, Wang Anshi initiated a new law to replace lakes with fields. In the Ming Dynasty, Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang erected high walls and recovered the lakes from fields, so that the Xuanwu Lake became a natural city moat. The Xuanwu Lake Park was officially opened to visitors in 1911.
The Xuanhu Lake is surrounded by mountains on three sides and is adjacent to the city on one side. The park covers an area of 476 hectares, seventy percent of which is water surface. The lake is dotted with the five green islets of Huanzhou, Yingzhou, Liangzhou, Cuizhou and Lingzhou. There is a structured setup of pavilions, platforms, buildings, halls and corridors in the park, with fisheds swimming and boats running, forming a splendid picture. The willows on the Huanzhou islet, the flowers on the Yingzhou islet, the trees on the Cuizhou islet, the Chrysanthemum flowers on the Liangzhou islet and the mountain haze on the Lingzhou islet show their respective features and make the park one of the most favorite attractions of Nanjing citizens.