Zhongshan Mountain located in the suburb of eastern Nanjing, also known as the Purple Mountain. It is one of the small mountains that only consists of 31 square kilometers but contains 200 heritage and scenic sites to visit. Basically, we can divide into five must-see sites which are the Ming Tombs ( Ming Xiaoling), Linggu Temple, Dr. Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum, Mei-ling Palace (actually a villa), Music Stage, Ocean World. Although shuttle cars are available to take you to different areas because each of these areas covers a lot of grounds making much walking necessary. Attempts to cover all in one day will be futile. One must leave something for another day.
Ming Mausoleum construction started in 1381 and end in 1405. First constructed as the tomb for the Ming emperors but then the capital was moved to Beijing and all the succeeding Ming emperors were buried in the Ming Tomb of Beijing. Moving toward the Ming Mausoleum is a sacred way (神道)guarded by 6 pairs of stone animal statues of the Ming period carvings, both in standing and sitting position.
Samples of the stone statues of other animals below.
The path curved to avoid going through the tomb of Sun Quan of the kingdom of Wu during the period of three kingdoms and others. The path continued turning onto Wengzhong Way guarded by four pairs of stone figures of ministers and generals.
Then we come to the Tablet Hall, which was renovated by
Qing Emperor Kangxi on his order to protect the Ming Tomb during his visit to pay homage, an action to pacify the rebels of the Ming Dynasty at the time.
Finally, the Ming Tower appears. Built above a rectangular Citadel has the commanding post of the Ming Mausoleum. The Southern side has three arch doorways and one each on the other three sides.
Mei-ling Palace (美齡宮) was the villa built for Soong Mei-ling the first lady and wife of Chiang Kai-Shek, Chairman of the National Government. The mansion was purposely built as a love nest for the couple and they spend much time there. The roof has 1000 phoenixes carved on the tiles and there were 34 marble pillars with a phoenix carved on top of it for the 34 birthdays of Madam Soong Mei-Ling.
An aerial view will show the trees form a necklace with the villa as the diamond of the necklace. The mansion was built with a mix of Chinese and Western styles and was also used as a relax official entertaining site.
There is an exhibition of Madame Soong Mei-ling’s paintings with President Chang Kai-Shek’s calligraphy. Madame Soong Meiling had many accomplishments, mainly associated with seeing China through the most difficult times of early Republic and the time of Japanese aggression as well as World War II.
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen’s Mausoleum covers an area of 20 acres. This is the burial site of Dr. Sun Yat-Senn (1866-1925), the “Father of the Republic of China”. He successfully led the Chinese revolution against the Qing Dynasty which ended the monarchy rules of the past to the modern democratic system for the people. His doctrine of the “Three Principles of the People” became the main philosophy guiding the Chinese government. The Mausoleum is closed on Mondays. We will need revisit at another time.
The open-air music stage is nearby the Sun Yat-Sen’s Mausoleum. It is a stage for musical performances and speeches.