On our second day in Nanjing, we went to the two mausoleums located on the Purple Mountain. First up was the mausoleum of Dr Sun Yat-Sen, who is referred to as the “father of modern China”. We took a taxi as close to the entrance as possible as we had to climb 700 metres of stairs to get to the tomb itself.
We were lucky to have very nice weather that day, sunny and quite warm for a winter’s day which made climbing loads of steps a lot easier! There were many tourists so it was quite buzzy but not so many that there was a big queue to get inside the Sacrificial Hall. They didn’t allow any pictures inside the Hall so I can’t post any here but the most eye-catching item in the room is a huge stone statue of Dr Sun in the centre.
Getting down was a lot quicker than going up and so in no time at all we were back at the square. Next up was the Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum, one of the biggest imperial tombs in China. This mausoleum is also located in the Purple Mountains but judging from the map, it wasn’t really a distance that could be walked. Well, correction, it could be walked, it would just take ages. Thankfully, there was a little mini-tram from the entrance square that could take us to Ming Xiaoling. So we hopped on and off we went.
The Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum is sprawled across a bigger area than the Sun Yat-Sen Mausoleum, in fact, it is one of the biggest imperial tombs in China (albeit with a lot fewer steps than the Sun Yat-Sen Mausoleum). Oddly, there were very few people at this mausoleum even though there were lots of tourists at the first tomb.
We started off at a museum with various bits and bobs of Chinese history and then after that, we started down a pathway.
After a loooonnnng walk, we finally got to the mausoleum proper.
I was expecting some stone statues or a big tomb of some sort inside the main Hall but disappointingly it had a few stalls selling trinkets to tourists…