Dr. Sun Yat-Sen’s Mausoleum

(AAAAA Scenic Areas中山陵)
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  • Covering an area of 80,000 square meters (about 20 acres), Dr. Sun Yat-sen's Mausoleum is located in the Purple Mountain Scenic Area in the east suburb of Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province. As the mausoleum of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the father of the Republic of China, it is considered the Holy land of Chinese people both home and abroad. With deep historical significance, magnificent architecture and beau... >>more
  • Ticket (票价):
  • Free
  • Time (营业时间):
  • 8:30-17:00(Closed every Monday)
  • WebSite (网址):
  • www.zschina.org.cn
  • Tel (电话):
  • 84446111
  • Traffic (交通):
  • Metro Line 2 to Xiamafang Station or Bus 201路(原游1线),9 to Zhongshanling Park Stop, transfer “博爱线”
  • Address (地址):
  • Zhongshan Scenic Area, Xuanwu District





Covering an area of 80,000 square meters (about 20 acres), Dr. Sun Yat-sen's Mausoleum is located in the Purple Mountain Scenic Area in the east suburb of Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province. As the mausoleum of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the father of the Republic of China, it is considered the Holy land of Chinese people both home and abroad. With deep historical significance, magnificent architecture and beautiful scenery, it is a must see when visiting Nanjing.Dr. Sun Yat-sen (1866-1925) was a great forerunner of the Chinese democratic revolution and led by Dr. Sun the Chinese people brought down the corrupt rule of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and ended 2000 years of the feudal monarchy system, which led the people into a new age. 

The majestic mausoleum's construction was started in 1926 and completed in 1929. The whole scenic area represents an alarm bell as seen from the air, symbolizing the noble spirit and heroic efforts of Dr. Sun Yat-sen's devotion to the Chinese people, fight of oppression and wining the independence of the country. Facing south, the structures, along with the mountain ascends gradually along with the central axis line running from south to the north and is regarded as the most outstanding mausoleum in the china's modern architectural history.

Traveling along the marble road, firstly you will arrive at half-moon square in the south of the Mausoleum. It is understated and modest, while endowing grandeur to the Mausoleum. Then at the entrance stands the great marble Paifang (memorial archway) on which is written 'Bo Ai' meaning 'love'. Through Paifang there is a Passway of 480 meters (about 1574 feet) long and 40 meters (about 131 feet) wide, on both sides of which stand orderly pine and cypresses trees. Continuing forward to the end of the Passway, there is the Frontispiece, standing some 16.5 meters (about 54 feet) high and 27 meters (about 88 feet) wide. The Frontispiece has three archways, each of which has a pair of symmetrical enchased copper gates. Four Chinese characters are inscribed on the lintel over the doorways written by Dr. Sun Yat-sen meaning 'the world is commonwealth', which fully explains the cause he struggled for during his life. Through the Frontispiece is a pavilion made of marble, in which a great stele, 9 meters (about 29 feet) high and 4 meters (about 13 feet) wide, was erected by Kuomintang in memory of Dr. Sun Yat-sen. On the stele there are carved just 24 Chinese characters and no epitaph as people think that there are no words capable of representing this giant of modern China.

Through the Pavilion, climbing along the stairs upward, the Sacrificial Hall is your next encounter. Here is the highest place of the Mausoleum, some 158 meters (about 518 feet) high. The Sacrificial Hall is located in the center of this plateau. It is an Alhambresque construction combining the architectures of both China and the West and is 30 meters (about 98 feet) long, 25 meters (about 82 feet) wide and 29 meters (about 95 feet) high. Around the Sacrificial Hall, there are two 12.6-meter-high (about 41 feet) Huabiao, ornamental columns like those in Tiananmen Square. Entering the Hall, a 4.6-meter-high stone statue of Dr. Sun Yat-sen sits in the center. He wears long gown with eyes facing forward, with an open book on his lap, demonstrating the wisdom of the great thinker. At the foot of the statue, there are six embossments exhibiting in vivid pictures Dr. Sun Yat-sen's glorious life and struggles in his revolution. The door of the tomb is in the center of the back wall. The whole tomb is a hemispherical in shape, with the marble coffin of Dr. Sun Yat-sen set in the center of the chamber. His white marble statue rests atop the rectangle coffin, under which this historical giant forever sleeps.Around the Mausoleum there are many memorial buildings such as the Zhengqi Pavilion, Open-air Music Hall, Waxwork Home of Democratic Revolution, the Sun Yat-sen Museum and so on.

Reading in Depth:

Dr. Sun Yat-sen, known in Chinese as Sun Zhongshan, is the great forerunner of Chinese democratic revolution. He was born in 1866 in Guangdong Province, which is near Hong Kong, and died of liver cancer at Beijing in 1925. At the age of 12, he went to study in Honolulu, Hawaii with the support of his elder brother. There he spent five years and received primary western education. At that time, China was under the rule of the feudal Qing Dynasty. Its corruption and incompetence resulted in frequent peasant rebellions, foreign invasions and huge amount of indemnity. Dr. Sun Yat-sen was sad when he saw the poverty of the country and the miserable life of its people upon his return. He decided to do something for the poor and this idea led him to Hong Kong to learn medicine. When graduated in 1892, at age of 26, he became a doctor and started to practice medicine in his hometown and Macao.

However, he gradually realized that by being a doctor he could not save the whole nation from the miserable life. Thus he gave up his medical career and turned to politics. In 1894, Dr. Sun Yat-sen submitted a petition to the Qing government stating his view of China’s political reform but was rejected. With great disappointment, he left the country and went lobbying widely in the United States, Europe and Japan, trying to win support among overseas Chinese. In 1905, he founded the “Chinese Revolutionary League” in Tokyo, which is regarded as China’s first bourgeois party. The party outlined its program as “Expelling of the Manchurians, revival of China, establishment of republic and equalization of land”. In the meantime, Dr. Sun Yat-sen put forward the famous “Three Principles of the People”, namely “nationalism, democracy and people’s livelihood”. In the following years, he staged several armed struggles against the Qing government, which, although ended up in failures, greatly shook the root of the feudal rule.

On October 10, 1911, an armed uprising broke out in Wuchang, Hubei Province. The revolt quickly spread to other provinces of the country and succeeded in overthrowing the Qing Dynasty at last. This event is known in Chinese history as 1911 Revolution. In November, delegates from 17 provinces involved in the revolution held a meeting in Nanjing and elected Dr. Sun Yat-sen provisional president of a new republic. On the first day of 1912, Dr. Sun Yat-sen inaugurated his presidency in Nanjing and proclaimed founding of the Republic of China, which formally marked an end to the 2,000 years’ feudal system in China. So, he is honored as the father of modern China.

Why was Dr. Sun Yat-sen buried in Nanjing instead of his hometown or Beijing where he died? In the spring of 1912, he went hunting to the Purple Mountain with his friends. The magnificent environment there fascinated him so much that he told his companions “I’d like to request the people to give me a piece of land and be buried here after my death.” In his sickbed he once again expressed this wish.

Immediately after he passed away, his wife, Madame Soong Ching Ling and the funeral committee sponsored a competition among world architects for the design of his mausoleum. A young man named Lu Yanzhi won the first prize and was appointed as the chief architect for the project, which began in 1926. Lu worked so hard that he died before the construction was completed in 1929. On June 1st that year, Dr. Sun’s remains were moved from Beijing where he was temporarily entombed and buried here.

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