Zhongshan Mountain National Park ( 鐘山 “紫金山” 風景區: 美齡宮,明孝陵,灵谷景區,中山陵,音樂台)

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.

This path guarded by standing elephant

 

 

Path guarded by camels.

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.

a pair of stone statue of generals along the Wengzhong way
a stone statue of Ming minis

 

 

The first gate we come to into the Ming Tomb is the Civil and Military Gate. The Emperors enter through the center gate. The right gate is for the Prince and Princess. The left gate is for the Lords and Nobles.
Tablet was erected by Qing Emperor Kangxi extolling the Ming Dynasty.

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.

The inside is paved with square stone bricks
Inside the Ming Tower
Going up inside the stone Citadel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

see these trees planted around the villa and along the ring road
A 2000 square meter mansion has separate offices for secretary of Chang Kai-Shek and Soong Mei-ling as well as live-in quarters for guards and servants.

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 Arched gate preceding the Sun Yat-Sen’s Mausoleum inscribed his words “Universal Love”
On top of the stairs is the Mausoleum with inscription “World of Justice” advocated by Dr. Sun Yat-Sen
Seen from the closed gate is the stele inscribed “Here lies the Chairman of Kuomintang, Sun Yat-Sen

 

 

 

 

 

The open-air music stage is nearby the Sun Yat-Sen’s Mausoleum.  It is a stage for musical performances and speeches.

Xuanwu Lake(玄武湖) & Ji Ming Temple (雞鳴寺)of Nanjing, China

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XuanWu Gate, is the main entrance of XuanWu Park.   It is part of the old Nanjing’s city wall built in Ming Dynasty and the gate itself was reconstructed when XuanWu park opened to the public.

XuanWu Park used to be a royal park where emperors and his entourages hunt and have outings.  At other times it was a training ground for soldiers to enact fighting on the water.  Only after China became a republic that it was open to the public as a park.  It is the largest park with an enclosed lake on the ground in JianSu province.  XuanWu Lake comprises five islands connected by arch bridges.  The park always has many activities  and exhibitions going on and is a must visit attraction all year round.  20191110_150809-effects-collage

JiMing Temple borders the XuanWu Park on its southeastern side connected to the old Nanjing city wall. It is one of the oldest temple in Nanjing.  The original temple was build in 527 during the Liang Dynasty.  Since then, it was destroyed and reconstructed many times at different periods.  JiMing literal definition means the crowing rooster. Legend has it that there was once a poisonous centipede in the mountain of  JinHua,  embanking XuanWu Lake harming nearby people and animals. The Jade Emperor in heaven send the crowing rooster to control the devious centipede.  Even thou the crowing frightened the centipede, it did not impede its action.  The brave rooster sought to combat the centipede.  After a fierce fight, the centipede died but the rooster was badly poisoned by the centipede died too.  The people named the temple JiMing to commemorate the rooster.

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south-side of the Old Nanjing City Wall built in Ming Dynasty.
The temple for Kwan Yin Bodhisattva of Compassion _
Kwan Yin temple, Bodhisattva of Compassion

 

Nanjing, China “Confucius Temple & Qin Huai Area”

Nanjing, China, the ancient city, Jinling, situated at the Yangtze River Delta, and has historically served, on and off, as the governing center of China since the 3rd century to 1949.  It has been an important center of arts, cultures, and educational,  with  these continuous influences made Nanjing the nation’s most civilized city thus winning the 2008 U.N. Habitat Scroll of Honor Award.

 

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The Temple of Confucius, the first philosopher, and educator of China, showing here, his statue with his eight disciples on each side.
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Inside Confucius Temple is where people come to pray for good luck on exams as most scholars since 1034.  The present temple was build in 1984, o n the original site, after it was burned down by the Japanese in 1937.

Not far from here is the Museum of Imperial Exam and Imperial Academy.  Nearby is the Qin Hai River where scholars used to gather in tea houses on its water banks.

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The longest screen in China facing the Confucius Temple.  Where one can hire a boat to float along the Qin Huai River taking in the sight of this ancient marketplace.
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Scenes of the Qin Huai River

Here are a glimpse of the things in the market place.

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With in this area is the old residence of the famous Chinese statesman, philosopher, and poet, naming the “Black  Clothes Lane” whether it was named because during the Three Kingdom Period,  it was the barracks of soldiers who wore black uniform or the nobles at the time prefer to show dignity in black clothes.  During the Tang Dynasty, a poet named Liu Yuxi wrote a poem:  (It goes something like this:

Wild flowers flourish along the Zhuque Bridge                         The sun sets at the end of Wuyi Lane                                           The swallows that had swarm the place                                      Had all flown to normal homes

Another often visited place of the locals when they seek the leisure of times gone by is a walk through Old Gate East.