Friday, we left for a weekend excursion to Nanjing. Nanjing is one of the oldest cities in China. It has served as the country’s capital during the Ming Dynasty, but today is best known for the Yangtze River and the Nanjing Massacre.
We took the slow train there, which took approximately 12 hours and tested out the hard sleepers.
We then visited the Fuzi Temple, also known as the Nanjing Confucius Temple. Constructed during the Song Dynasty, this temple was a place to worship Confucius.
Our first stop in Nanjing was the Zhongshan Botanical Garden, which was made in memory of modern-day China’s founder Dr. Sun Yat-sen. It is the first national botanical garden in China.
Later on Saturday, we went to the Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum, which is one of the biggest imperial tombs in China. It was completed in 1431, and the first Ming Dynasty emperor and empress are buried there.
One of our last stops on Saturday was the Mausoleum of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the father of the Republic of China. The whole complex covers 20 acres, but to get to the actual mausoleum, we had to climb 392 stairs!
The Nanjing Massacre/Rape of Nanjing was a period of mass murder conducted by the Japanese on the Chinese during World War II. An estimated 300,000 people died in six weeks. The museum was on a site of one of the mass murders.
We went to Yuantoushi Wetlands Park, where we saw the Yangtze River – the longest river in Asia.
Our last stop in Nanjing was the Zhonghuamen Citadel, which is the largest gate of Nanjing’s city wall. The city wall was first constructed in the Southern Tang Dynasty and later reconstructed in the Ming Dynasty. The citadel is 128 meters long and 118 meters wide.