Ming Palace

(明故宫)

Unlike the Forbidden City in Beijing, the Ming palace, built in 1367, did not survive.

Ming Palace,originally enclosed approximately five square kilometers, was used for more than half a century by the first three Ming emperors. It had three large courtyards linking vast raised halls flanked east and west by altars and temples. Burned to the ground by Yongle and only partially reconstructed, it was abandoned altogether when the Ming moved to Beijing; the Manchu looted it, and it was bombarded by Qing and Western troops during the Taiping rebellion. Now, apart from the Five Dragon Bridges there is nothing left but the enormous bases of the palace columns, and random fragments of the Meridian Gate. All the loose stones were gathered, arranged in lines here in the park, and called the “GardenofCarved Stonesfrom the Ruins of the Gate of Heavenly Worship.”

Some remnants are now open to the public in the Ming Palace Ruins and Wuchaomen Park, which stand opposite each other on East Zhongshan Dong Road. The former has a restored grand palace gate, now covered in advertisements for new real estate and art exhibitions.The latter carries a more significant relic: Wuchaomen. This grey-brick gate was the main portal to the Palace and now serves as the background for Nanjing senior citizens for their dancing, tai chi boxing and saxophone practice.


Ming Palace Ruins Park and Wuchaomen Park, Zhongshan Rd(East), near Metro Line 2 Minggugong Station; open daily 6:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

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