[Travel] Nanjing, the Sovereign Mausoleum

Third day and last day in Nanjing, I’m still sniffling though excited. Autumn is my favorite season in sub-tropic countries. After breakfast I take a 20 or so minutes walk to The Gate of China (Zhonghuamen) (中华门).

The wall was built during the Ming Dynasty under Emperor Zhu Yuangzhang also known as the Hongwu Emperor (洪武帝) under the advice of Zhu Sheng  (朱升). The Emperor made Nanjing the capital of the Ming Southern Kingdom. For more than 600 years the 33.676 km city wall stand still as a witness to history of Nanjing.


The  front gate


Horse ramp where the general or soldier can go up and down the wall.




One of the arch wall

It’s a long wall to be certain. Alas, can’t spend too long here since I still have 2 places to go. After taking the subway and stop at Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum Scenic Area, south gate. There’s a shuttle bus for 10 CYN going to the scenic area, but I saw some tourists walk the way up. So that’s an option too.


Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum (明孝陵) is located at the Purple Mountain (紫金山). The Ming tomb is considered as a world Cultural Heritage Sight by UNESCO. The tomb of the first Ming Emperor Zhu Yuangzhang, the Hongwu Emperor (洪武帝). The construction took 32 years and the Emperor was buried in 1398. The layout of the Tombs follow the Feng Shui way and accommodate the layout of the terrain. Entrance 70 CYN.

A spirit way (神道, Shéndào) in the Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum has statues to guard the ways. It starts with the Stone Elephant Road in 615 meters long with 12 animal from the Emperor’s menagerie including 2 mystical ones.


A pair of horses, symbolize the merits of the Emperor


The Qilin (麒麟), said to appear on the passing of a wise Emperor


A pair of elephants, majestic and strong


The exotic camels from the west


The Xiezhi (獬豸), a bear like Unicorn for justice


The Lion, the King of all beasts for the Emperor’s dignity and power


The Wezhong Road (翁仲路), a path guard with ministers and generals. It has the length 250 meters long.


Lingxing Gate (棂星门), the Dragon and Phoenix Gate


Golden Water Bridge, also known as the Five Dragon Bridge

 Civil and Military Gate




The Soul Tower (明楼, Mínglóu)


A little spooky entrance


View from the top wall


The hall inside is rather dark, with a small store for books and touristic items.


Going back the sacred way, I take a little detour to the south of the tomb and found Sun Quan (孙权墓) mausoleum from the Three Kingdoms era. He was the Great Emperor of Wu who founded the Eastern Wu with its capital in Nanjing.

As testament to history, the statue of said leader is standing stall over looking the hills, surrounded by plums trees. Should be amazing during the spring, but alas, autumn left the blossom trees a little dry. A little modest than the Ming tomb, but in honor of the Emperor, the spirit path way curve to include his tomb.


Sun Quan (孙权墓)

Still majestic with the autumn trees though

Modest it may be, I love the surrounding autumn trees and colors


Potato snack, cooked inside a coal barrel. These are good and surprisingly sweet.


Taking another ride on the bus and walk a little, I arrive at the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum (中山陵), leader of the Kuomintang party. Hail as “the Father of the Nation”, he was the head of the revolution that ended the last Dynasty in China, the Qing Dynasty and founded the Republic of China.

It was constructed for 3 years and is listed as a cultural sight. And it was a sight to see, full of tourists from local and international. School children and families. Also thieves. I lost my mobile phone here and have to buy a new one once I’m back in Shanghai.


The Entrance gate


The entrance detail


The Stele Pavilion erected in honor of Dr. Sun Yat Sen by the Kuomintang part after his death. The Stele is 8.1 meters high and 4 meters wide with inscription by Tan Yankai (譚延闓), featuring vigor and strength.


This old man taking a rest half way up.


Looks like an urn


Sacrificial Hall. A construction with Western and Chinese esthetic in mind.


Dr. Sun Yat-sen statue with 4.6 meter high, sitting with an open book on his lap

Details of the architecture


The Purple mountain view from Dr. Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum

All in all, I enjoy the cultural trip in Nanjing. I would love to check it out again, at least to see the plum blossoms in spring the mountain is famous for.

List trip in Nanjing:

[Travel] Nanjing, The Scholar Pursuit and Confucius
[Travel] Nanjing, Autumn in Qixia Mountain and Buddhist Temple
[Travel] Nanjing, the Sovereign Mausoleum

Source: Wikipedia, Lonely Planet, Travel Wiki, Historvius, Cultural China, Bamboo CompassNanjing.Jiansu.Net


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