Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Wutaishan Gymnasium

The Wutaishan Gymnasium is an indoor arena in Nanjing, China. The arena is used mainly for indoor sports such as basketball, and it hosted the final round of the 2002 FIBA World Championship for Women. The facility has a capacity of 10,000 people.

Tong Ren Tower

The Tong Ren Tower is a building project in Nanjing, China which is under construction. When completed in 2007, it will be 182 metres tall with 48 floors. Construction began in 2003 and was designed by P & T Architects & Engineers Ltd. A 68 storey building design for this site was cancelled in 1996 however it was redesigned and resulted in its approval. The building will be used for offices.

Taiping Kingdom History Museum

The Taiping Kingdom History Museum () is a museum dedicated to artifacts from the Taiping Rebellion. It is located in Nanjing, .

The building was originally a palace of the first ruler of the Ming Dynasty, . In 1853, it became the residence of Yang Xiuqing, a military leader in the Taiping Rebellion. In 1958, it became the site of the current museum.

Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum

The Mausoleum of Dr. Sun Yat-sen is situated at the foot of the second peak of Mount Zijin in Nanjing, China. Construction of the tomb started in January of 1926 and was finished in spring of 1929. The architect was Lu Yanzhi, who died shortly after it was finished.


Dr. Sun was born in Guangdong province of China on November 12th, 1866, and died in 1925 in Beijing, China. On April 23rd, 1929, the Chinese government appointed He Yingqin to be in charge of laying Dr. Sun to rest. On May 26th, the coffin departed from Beijing, and on May 28th, it arrived in Nanjing. On June 1, 1929, Dr. Sun was buried there. Sun, considered to be the "Father of Modern China" both in mainland China and in Taiwan, fought against the imperial government and after the ended the monarchy and founded the Republic of China.

Selection of the Design

A committee decided to host a design competition for the plans for the Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum. The committee published advertisements in newspapers on May 5, 1925, inviting architects and designers within China and abroad to send plans. In exchange for a ten yuan charge, the committee would provide the designer with twelve pictures of the site.

The design would have to adhere to guidelines. It had to be done according to an ancient Chinese style, it had to have special and memorial substance, and it had to evoke the Chinese architectural spirit and add creativity. Designers were asked to keep the proposed construction costs within 300,000 yuan. Over 40 proposals were received.

On September 20, 1925, the committee convened in Shanghai and unanimously selected Lu Yanzhi's proposal.


Reclining on mountain slope, the majestic mausoleum blends the styles of traditional imperial tombs and modern architecture. Lying at the mountainside, the vault is more than 700 hundred meters away from the ''paifang'' on the square below, which is the entrance of the mausoleum. There is a three-tier stone stand on which a huge bronze , an ancient Chinese vessel symbolizing power, perches. To the north of the square, the ''paifang'' towers high. Beyond is the 480-meter-long and 50-meter-wide stairway which has 392 stairs, leading to the vault. On both sides, pine, cypress, and guard the way. At the end of the stairway is a gate which is 16 meters high and 27 meters wide. The tri-arched marble gate is inscribed with four Chinese characters written by Dr. Sun, "Tian Xia Wei Gong" which means "What is under heaven is for all". Inside of the gate, there is a pavilion in which a 9-meter-high stele is set, which is a memorial monument set by the Kuomintang . A few stairs up is the sacrificial hall and the vault.

In front of the sacrificial hall there stands a pair of ''huabiao'', ancient Chinese ornamental columns, which are 12.6 meters high. The sacrificial hall is actually a palace of 30 meters in length, 25 meters in width and 29 meters in height. In the center of the hall a 4.6-meter-high statue of Dr. Sun sits. The statue was sculptured out of Italian white marble. The ceiling of the hall features the flag of the Kuomintang. Biographical information on Dr. Sun is available to visitors in the hall. North of the hall lies the bell-shaped vault, wherein lies the sarcophagus of Dr. Sun.

Architectural influence of the Mausoleum's design is evident in Taiwan's Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.

Recent events

On 27 April 2005: then-Kuomintang Chairman Lien Chan, his wife, and other KMT members visited the Mausoleum. It was the first visit of KMT members to the site since 1949.

On 15 November 2006 another visit was made to the Mausoleum by Dr. Sun's granddaughter, Sun Huiying, who was by then over eighty years old.

In May 2008, Wu Po-hsiung became the first ruling Kuomintang chairman to visit the Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum since 1949. There were concerns that the 392 steps leading to the tomb would be too taxing given Wu's leg injuries.

Stone City

The Stone City is the popular name of an ancient fortified city within the current city of Nanjing. Almost all of the original city is gone; all that remains are portions of the massive city wall.

The original town was built during the Warring States Period by the kingdom of . The city was expanded during the Later Han Dynasty and a wall, about nine thousand meters in circumference, was built around the existing Chu-era city. Today the Stone City lies within the confines of Nanjing's Qingliang Park. The ancient city is strongly enough associated with Nanjing that Nanjing itself is sometimes referred to as "Stone City".

Second Historical Archives of China

The Second Historical Archives of China is located on 309 East Zhongshan Rd., Nanjing, Jiangsu Province. It was formerly the relic of West Palace of Ming Dynasty. It was founded in February 1951, and originally named "Nanjing Historical Documents Management Bureau". From 1964, it became affiliated to the State Archives Administration of the People's Republic of China, and was renamed ''The Second Historical Archives".

The Second Historical Archives of China collect archives of former central governments during the Republic of China period , including the governments in Nanjing, Guangzhou, Wuhan and Beijing. It also has the archive of government led by Wang Jingwei during Japanese occupation era. In addition, there are a large quantity of documents concerning celebrities and senior officers of Kuomintang in modern China.

Potential users need to be aware that the Archives has that it is severely restricting access to files from October 2008 onwards, as part of a comprehensive ditigitization program that aims to restrict access only to digitized files.

Purple Mountain Observatory

Purple Mountain Observatory , also known as Zijinshan Astronomical Observatory, is an astronomical observatory located on the Purple Mountain in Nanjing, China.

The longtime director of the observatory was Zhang Yuzhe .

The observatory discovered the periodic comets 60P/Tsuchinshan and 62P/Tsuchinshan, and also the non-periodic C/1977 V1 , also known as Comet 1977 X.

Many asteroids were also discovered at the observatory, including the Trojan asteroids 2223 Sarpedon, 2260 Neoptolemus, 2363 Cebriones, 2456 Palamedes, as well as the eponymous 3494 Purple Mountain.