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Updated by Joanna James on Mar 12, 2018
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Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Must Visit Iconic Sites in Nanjing - historic locations you can't miss!

A historical city in the Jiangsu province, Nanjing was once the capital of China during the Ming Dynasty. There are many landmarks and monuments from the old city worth seeing if you have the time.

1

Xiaoling Tomb of Ming Dynasty

One of the biggest imperial tomb compounds in China, this majestic mausoleum is the resting place of the founding emperor of Ming Dynasty, and his wife. The burial chamber covers an area of 1.7-square-kilometers, and is set in a breathtaking environment, filled with seasonal flora including plum blossoms, and maple trees. The 800-metre Sacred Path is probably the most iconic location; here, four pairs of stone warriors and beasts, act as guards to the tomb. Whilst most of the mausoleum has been renovated over time, the actual grave site is said to be behind the Ming Lou, the tallest building on site, and is yet to be unearthed.

2

Ming City Walls

Nanjing is one of the few cities left that still has well preserved remnants of its old city walls. The Nanjing City Wall consists of four parts - the outer, inner, imperial and palace city walls, out of which, only the inner walls and gates remain today. The rolling hills and meandering river made construction difficult; however, the ancient Chinese architects and engineers managed to pull off this massive construction effort by using various materials and thousands of skilled laborers. The wall is covered with inscriptions, each brick bearing the name of a artist, scholar or officials. The old Chinese characters are elegant to gaze upon and hold valuable cultural importance to the city.

3

Sun Yat-sen's Mausoleum

Nanjing is the resting place of Sun Yat-sen, the founder of the Republic of China. The revolutionist, who passed from lung cancer, was buried in the city of his birth, on Zijin Mountain. The grand mausoleum is built on a slope, and artfully blends the imperial tomb style with modern architecture. The mausoleum covers over 80,000 square meters, and is surrounded by a forest of pine, ginkgo and cypress trees. Whilst visitors are allowed to explore nearly every inch of the area, they are not allowed near the actual coffin or body.

4

The Confucius Temple

Located near the city's central district, near several serviced apartments in Nanjing, such as the Somerset Youth Olympic Nanjing, is the Confucius Temple. The temple was initially constructed on the banks of the river in the year 1034, since then it has been renovated and enlarged, creating a bigger complex used by scholars. Built as a place of worship for Confucius and to study his philosophy, the Fuzi Miao shrine, continues to serve as a local cultural centre since its establishment in 1034. The incense-filled temple has been destroyed and rebuilt several times over during the last few centuries, but the temple continues to serve those who seek to find philosophical answers through Confucius.

5

Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge

Constructed as a symbol of modernism in the 1960's, the double-decker rail-road bridge was the first of its kind to be built in the country. The bridge's decor boasts a strong Maoist theme; with statues of a worker, soldier, and more all waving Chairman Mao's little red book . visitors can climb up to the top and take in the panoramic views over the Yangtze River.

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