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Nanjing(Nanking)

Naniing(Nanking), located Hear the mouth of the Changjiang (Yangtze)River, is one of China’s oldest and largest cities. It is the capital of Jiangsu(Kiangsu)Province as well as its Economic and cultural center.

The city began to take shape more than 2,400 years ago and was the capital of six different dynasties from 229 to 589, then later of the Tang dynasty for a few years in the roth century. When the first Ming emperor, Zhu Yuanzhang ascended the throne ln l368, he made Nanjing the capital of his empire and proceeded to build it on a grand scale. Most of Nanjing city proper is still within the bounds of the Ming city, which is prob ably the largest walled city in the world. Its surrounding walls are 34 kilometers(twenty miles)long and 15 to l8 meters high. The capital was moved to Beijing(Peking)in l403, however, when Zhu Yuanzhang’s fourth son Zhu Di usurped the throne a year after his father’s death. This was when Nanjing (Southern Capital) became known by its present name. The city has also been called Shitoucheng, or”Stone City”a name from much earlier times, about the 4th century B. C. Ruins of the wall of that ancient town are still visible. The city was seriously ravaged when Manchu invaders over can the south in the l7th century. Then when the Taiping Peas ant’s Rebellion(Kingdom of Heavenly Peace)swept through south and east China in the mid-I9th century. Naniing was captured by the insurgent forces and made their capital. Fierce fighting took place in the city before the rebellion failed. After the Chinese democratic revolution of loll which overthrew the last feudal dynasty in China the Provisional Government of the Republic led by Dr Sun-Yat-sen was established in Nanjing. It become the seat of the reactionary Kuomintang regime, however after Chiang Kai-sbek betrayed the revolution in l927 And remained so until it was liberated in April, 1949.

As would be expected, Nanjing has many sites of unique historical interest. The Mausoleum of Sun Yat—sen draws∞any visitors. Set on the southern slope of the Purple Hills, it covers An area of some three thousand hectares. A bronze statue of Dr. Sun Yat sen stands before the gate. Opposite the statue is a massive triple-arch gateway on which is a plaque inscribed with “Fraternity” in Dr Sun’s brush writing. A broad 400-meter-long walk leads to the main entrance of the mausoleum, from where a magnificent view of the building opens up. Sheltered on three sides by green mountain slopes, the mausoleum has 392 granite steps leading up to the memorial hall. These in four flights with platforms between so as not to exhaust the climber.

The memorial hall itself is built of off-white granite with two-tiered roofs of deep-blue tile. It is simple but elegant Inside the hall is a white marble statue of Dr. Sun Yat—sen seated with an unfolded document on his knees as though pondering over an unfinished project. Excerpts from his works are engraved in the surrounding marble walls. At the rear of the memorial hall a vault enclosed by a balustrade contains another marble statue of Dr. Sun Yat—sen, this one in lying posture. Buried beneath this statue are his remains. The Sun Yat sen Mausoleum is outstanding for its architecture, the designing having been done by the engineer Zhuang Yongchang, who also designed the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Guangzhou(Canton).

A1so the Purple Hills is Xiaoling, the mausoleum of the founding emperor of the Ming dynasty, Zhu Yuanzhang. Al though many of these buildings were destroyed during warst some idea of the splendid architecture is still to be had. The approach to the mausoleum is one and a half kilometers long and lined on both sides by giant stone of animals warriors and court officials. Perhaps the most important of the extant structures is the “ Citadel of Treasures”, built in 1383. Records say there were one hundred thousand pines and a thousand deer in the mausoleum park, and that it was guarded by 5,500 men. Xiaoling Guard is still today the name of a town.

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