My dear friends, when you come to a city, you probably want to visit the most famous scenic spots of special interest. Nanjing has many places of historic interests and has been capital for six "dynasties." But if you leave Nanjing without visiting Dr. Sun Yat-sen's Mausoleum, undoubtedly you have missed the most arresting and famous tourist attraction of the city.
Talking about the Mausoleum we should have an idea about Sun Yat-sen, the great pioneer of Chinese democratic revolution. Mr. Sun's original name is Sun Wen and styled himself Yat-sen. So foreign friends would call him "Dr. Sun Yat-sen". Since he took "Woodcutter in Zhoushan" as his alias when he took part in the revolutionary activities, he was respectfully and widely called Mr. Sun Zhongshan in China. On October 12, 1866, Mr. Sun was born in a farmer's family in Caiheng village of Xiangshan county (the present-day zhongshan City), Guangdong Province. When he was still young, he had great expectations. He studied medicine in Honolulu, Hong Kong and some other places and after graduation he worked as a practitioner in Gangzhou, Macao and other places Later he gave up medicine as his profession to take part in political activities. In 1905, he set up China Alliance Organization in Japan and he was elected president. He put forward the famous guiding principle- "driving the invaders out, restoring the sovereignty of China, establishing a republic and equalizing the land ownership" and the Three People's Principles-"Nationalism, Democracy and the People's Livelihood." On October 10, 1911, the Wuchang uprising broke out and Dr. Sun as elected President of the Republic of China by representatives from seventeen provinces. On the following New Year's day (January 1, 1912) Mr. Sun took the oath of office in Nanjing. From then on, Mr. Sun experienced Yuan Shikai's usurpation, the Second Revolution, "Campaign Protecting the Interim Constitution." In 1921, Mr. Sun took the position of President in Unusual Times in Guangzhou. At the first National Congress of Kuomintang held in Quangzhou in 1924, he perfected the original Three People's Principles and put forward Three people's New Principles. He also proposed the policies of "Making an alliance with Russia and the Communist Party of China and helping the farmers and workers." In November 1924, in spite of his illness, Mr. Sun went up to Beijing to discuss state affairs with General Feng Yuxiang.
Unfortunately, he broke down from constant overwork and passed away on March 12, 1925.
The location of the Mausoleum was chosen by Mr. Sun himself. Here is exactly a good place to build a mausoleum. You may wonder: Mr. Sun was born in Guangdong but died in Beijing. For his whole life he traveled throughout China for the revolution. Why did he choose Nanjing as the venue of his tomb?
It is said that far before Mr. Sun took office in 1912, the abbot of Lingu Monastery had recommended him that his place is good for fengshui, because it faces the plain and is backed up by green mountains as its protective screen. On March 31, 1912 Mr. Sun resigned as a political compromise for the sake of the union of the North China and the South China. One day of the early April, he went hunting with Hu Hanmin around the Piety Tomb of Ming Dynasty. They took a rest in the place where the Mausoleum is located now. Mr. Sun looked around and said "If possible I would like my countrymen to allow me to have this place to bury my coffin." Surely, the fengshui of the Zijing Mountain is not the basic reason for the location of Mr. Sun's mausoleum. The basic reason is that, he said on dying "After my death, you can bury me at the foot of the Zijin Mountain in Nanjing in memory of the Revolution of 1911, because Nanjing is where the temporary government was founded. "So although Mr. Sun stayed in Nanjing not a long time, it had a special meaning to him. Fundamentally speaking, the reason he chose Zijing Mountain as his permanent resting-place is to commemorate the revolution of 1911 and to encourage the revolutionaries.
In order to respect Mr. Sun's wish, the Preparatory Committee of Sun Yat-sen's Funeral, including his wife Song Qingling and his son Sunke, examined the area and chose the site for the Mausoleum. They delimited 2000 mu and offered a reward in newspaper for the best design of the Mausoleum. Among all the contribution, young architect Lu Yanzhi's design, a design in the shape of a bell, was highly praised and gained the first prize and he himself was invited to supervise the whole project as well.
On March 12,1926, the first anniversary of Mr. Sun's death, the project got started and 3 years later, it was completed in spring of 1929. It cost 1.5 million silver collars totally. Unfortunately, LuYanzhi, the young architect with great gift, suffered when supervising the project, and died at 35, just before the completion of the Mausoleum. The completion ceremony was held on June 1, 1929 and Mr. Sun's remains were transported from Beijing to Nangjing. From then on, Mr. Sun has slept here for nearly 70 years.
The construction of Dr. Sun Yat-sen's Mausoleum was an important event in the history of Nanjing. In order to meet Mr. Sun's coffin, the first asphalt road was built from Zhongshan Port in the west to Zhongshan Gate in the east; it is 12 kilometres in length and also called Zhongshan Road. Up to today, Zhangshan Road is still one of the most important main roads. At the same time, the city gate Chaoyang Gate which was built in Ming Dynasty was renovated and Changed its name to Zhongshan Gate. Between Zhongshang Gate and Dr. Sun Yat-sen's Mausoleum, a road called the Mausoleum Road was built. Just as the people of Paris take pride of their les Champs-Elysees and the people of New York, the Fifth Avenue, the nanjing people are proud of their boulevards. And the 3 kilometers long Mausoleum Road is undoubtedly the best representative of these boulevards. Along both sides of the "green corridor" grows the main kind of tree in Nanjing as parasols Usually Chinese people call them French plane trees, in fact they are Chinese local products. Just because Frenchmen took them from Yunnan Province to France and later they transplanted them in their leased territory in Shanghai, that is why they got such a name.
Now, we are going out of the Zhongshan Gate and driving along the Mausoleum Road. The destination ahead is a square in shape of crescent. According to Lu Yanzhi's design, the place of the Mausoleum is like a "duo", a big wooden bell, which was used to announce a policy, decree or a war in ancient time. Duo's sound is loud and clear, implying to make the whole world peaceful and happy. The design reminds the people of Dr. Sun Yat-sen's well-known saying "The revolution is far from success and we should continue working hard." This saying also serves s an alert to the later generation. The crescent-shaped square is the bottom of the "Bell of Freedom".
Now, please look to the south. There is an octagon platform structured with reinforced concrete but covered with Jinshan stone of Suzhou. The platform is divided into three layers and each layer is enclosed by stone rails. The copper "ding" (an ancient cooking vessel) with two looped handles and two legs weighs 5000 kg. IT is 4.25 meters high and its diameter is 1.23 meters. It is one of the construction for memory of the mausoleum. The "ding " was built in autumn, 1933 with donation of students and teaching staff of the Zhongshan University and Mr. Dai jitao. One side of the "ding " is engraved with three characters "Intelligence, Humanity and Brevity". These three words are the school instruction of Zhongshan University. Inside of the "ding "stands a hexagon copper tablet on which Dai Jitao's mother's handwriting of the "Filial Piety" is engraved. To the bell-shaped mausoleum the "ding " is just like the pendulum. It seems to serve to alarm the whole nation by striking the bell.
Stepping on the steps, we will see a soaring memorial archway with four columns. The archway was built between 1931 and 1933, 12meters high and 17.3 meters in width. It is made of huge Granite from Fujian Province, but its structure is in Chinese traditional wood structure style. Now, look up at the shining words inscribed on the horizontal board. The word in English mean fraternity. They were written by Dr. Sun Yat-sen. The word are taken from a Tang Dynasty poet Han Yu's "Fraternity is humanity " .It is said that Mr. Sun very much liked to write these two words to others. Dr. Sun devoted his whole life to bourgeois democratic revolution with great fraternity and struggled for the national independence and freedom fro scores of years. So we can say that "fraternity" is the best generalization of his life.
Further from the Fraternity Archway, there is a road leading to the mausoleum. The road is 480 meters long and dozens of meters wide. The whole design of the mausoleum gives prominence to Chinese traditional style, grand, solemn and specific. In order to embody the greatness of Mr. Sun, the Mausoleum followed the example of ancient mausoleums and was built against mountains and the coffin chamber was placed at the top of the mountain that is 160 meters high. In addition, the plants of the Mausoleum are symmetric, which make it feel more solemn. Now, please look forward to the north, along the hillside, situate the mausoleum Gate, the Stele Pavilion, the Memorial Hall and the coffin chamber right behind. The pines, cypresses, ginkgoes and maples on the both sides of the road represent Mr. Sun's revolutionary spirit and lofty quality. They take the place of statues and stone beasts which usually flanked the sacred road in ancient times. Among the trees, cedar is one of the "four kinds of tree for appreciation" and has been honored as the tree of Nanjing City. The grand archway at the end of the Mausoleum Road is the formal beginning of the mausoleum area. IT is 16 meters high, 27 meters wide and 8.8 meters deep. It is made of granite from the Fujian Province, too. Inscribed on the horizontal board of the middle passage is Dr. SunYat-sen's handwriting. It means that the state doesn't belong to one family but belongs to the entire nation and the common people. This is the goal for which Mr. Sun struggled for his whole life and it is also the excellent explanation of the Democracy of the Three People's Principles. We have passed the gate of the Mausoleum, then in front of us is the Stele Pavilion. The 9-meter high stele in the middle of the pavilion was engraved with 24 gold-plating characters of Yan Zhenqing style, "Chinese KMT buried Premier Sun here on June 1, 18th year of the Republic of China". These words were written by one of the founder members of KMT, Tan Yankai. When talking about setting up a stele, Wang Jing wei and Hu Hanmin were arranged to write an inscription for Mr. Sun, but two years passed, yet nothing they could write. Because they thought that Mr. Sun's merits couldn't be generated by word, then they chose to use the present from to praise Dr. Sun without engraving an inscription.
Going out of the pavilion, we'll see numerous layers of steps. The people of Nanjing often say that the steps in the Mausoleum ware as number as the stone lions on Lugou Bridge (known for Westerners as Marco Polo Bridge). So when coming here tourists usually ask, "how many steps on earth are there in the Mausoleum?" My friends, if you are interested you can count them.
Now we are coming near the top platform. Look, there are two big copper "ding". They were contributed by Shanghai municipal government of that time. Now, please look carefully. There are two holes in the bottom of the left "ding". Why? Just let me tell you .In late 1937, when the Japanese army attacked Nanjing, their shooting left two holes in the left ding. Now, although the circumstances have changed, the two holes always remind Chinese people not to forget the national humiliation. Not far away, there are two bronze dings in ancient style. They are presented by Mr. Sun's son Sun Ke and his family.
Ascending the steps, now we have reached the top of the platform. Here we can have a bird-view of what it is in the distance. The Memorial Hall is the half way up to the mountain and there are altogether 392 steps covered if you count from the archway of Fraternity. The vertical distance is 70 meters but the plane distance is 700 meters. If you count the steps from the Stele Pavilion, the number of steps is 290. In order to avoid monotone, the architect divided the 392 steps into 10 parts and every part has a platform and there are totally 10 such platforms. More marvelous, if you look up from the bottom, you can see that the steps extend to the top without stop and you cant see any platform. But if you look down from the top, you only see the platforms. The number of the steps, 392, is not a random number; it implied the number of Chinese population at that time-392 million.
Now we are in front of the Memorial Hall and the coffin Chamber. They are the major parts of the Mausoleum. The construction of these two building was supervised then by Lu Yanzhi, the gift young designer. If is when he was doing these two building he died of cancer. So when the later generation mentions him they would often say, "It is a great pity he died before his complete success." The structure of the Sacrificed Hall is of an ancient wooden palace style. It is 30 meters long, 25 meters wide and 29 meter high, surrounded by smaller constructions of fortress style and two 12.6-meter-high cloud columns. Its roof, with double-eaves and nine ridges, is covered with blue glare tiles. The outside of wall is covered with granite from Hongkong. The inscription on the horizontal board is engraved with seal characters cut in relief- "Naturalism" "Democracy" and "The people's livelihood". These are the most basic and general guiding principles of Mr. Sun's revolutionary activities. Above "Democracy", there is a horizontal inscription board with Sun's handwriting on it, "Fill the World with Justice".
Please follow me into the Memorial Hall. The floor is covered with white and black marble from Yunnan Province. The colors of white and black are among the traditional color for burial ceremonies in China. There are 12 black stone columns, with 0.8 meter as the diameter for each. You will see that the interiors of the walls around are inset with black marble. Now you can have a look at Mr. Sun Yat-sen's handwriting of "Programme for Founding a State", engraved on the east and west walls. The main colors of the Hall are black, white and blue, which are used to express filial piety in China. The inside windows are inlaid with smaltos. They present western flavors especially with floods of sunshine. The style of the whole structure is a blend of the East and the West, representing the well blended doctrine of Dr. Sun Yat-sen.
In the middle is the sitting statue of Dr. Sun Yat-sen in a robe. It is 4.6 meters high and the bottom is 2.1 meters wide. It was sculpted by the famous French sculptor Paul Arinsky whose native country is Poland. He was entrusted by the committee of Dr. Sun Yat-sen's Funeral for sculpting it. He chose the Italian marble as the material for the statue. In 1930, the sculpture was sent to the Mausoleum from Paris. Its total cost was 1.5 million francs. The sic relief below are pictures depicting Mr. Sun's life and revolutionary activities.
Passing through the Hall, we have come to the Coffin Chamber. There are two doors that you need to get through. The outer door consists of two American-made safety door leafs which are made of copper. The nails on them and the mysterious beasts on the copper loops are typical of traditional Chinese. The horizontal inscription board was engraved with "The noble spirit will never perish " which was Sun's handwriting for the 72 martyrs' tomb in Harangue Mound of Guangzhou .The second door is a single copper leaf engrave with seven characters "Mr. Sun Yat-sen's tomb" which were written by Zhang Jing jiang.
The tomb is a half globe in shape. The design of KMT emblem is mosaicked in the vaulted dome. The floor of the round room is covered with marble. The room's diameter is 18 meters and the height is 11 meters .The walls are covered with pink marbles. The circular marble pit is 1.7 meters deep and 4.35 meters in diameter. It is enclose with 1-meter-high white marble rails. In the pit lays Dr. Sun Yat-sen lying statue in Zhongshan Suit. This is sculpted in accordance to Mr. Sun's remains by a Czechoslovakian sculptor. His copper coffin is lying about 5 meters below the sculpture. You may ask why on earth the clothes Dr. Wears for the sitting statue are totally different from those for the lying one? In those years, the leftists and the rightists inside of the KMT had severe conflicts. The rightists, headed by Chang Kai-shek wanted to restore the ancient ways and opposed revolution. They insisted that Mr. Sun should wear long robe, while the leftists insisted he wear Zhongshan Suit. Since they had different opinions thus the two statues have different clothes styles.
My friends, I'm afraid you must be concern about whether Mr. Sun remains are in the tomb or not. In fact, his remains had a unusual experience. After his death, his remain were dealt with antiseptic and placed in Biyun Monastery in Beijing in March, 1925. When the warlord Zhang Zong chang was defeated by the North Expeditionary Army and withdrew to Beijing in 1926, he ascribed his failure to Mr. Sun's remains and decided to burn them .It is the patriotic general Zhang Xuelian who sent troops to protect the remains. Unfortunately they were once exposed to the air though they were safe again. On May 28, 1929, Mr. Sun's coffin was sent to Pukou from Beijing by Jinpu Railway, and on June 1 it reached the Mausoleum. After the Grand Ceremony of Feng'an, the coffin and the remains were put into the pit and used cement to concrete it .The bottom of the tomb is granite. Under the copper coffin, there is a specially made wooden pad and enclosing the coffin is a well-sealed crystal box. After the breakout of the Resistance War against Japan, KMT government planed to transport the remains to Chongqing and at the end of the liberation war, Chang Kai-shek planed to transport it to Taiwan this time. Because it was not an easy job to take the coffin out and the work might do damage to the remains as well, this plan was fiercely attacked by the engineering field and the left wing of the KMT. At last Chang gave up the plan. So the remains have stayed here safely up to today.
Passing through the door in the back wall of the square outside you will arrive at the Mausoleum Park. The back wall of the park is an "Exhibition of Construction of Dr. Sun Yat-sen's Mausoleum ". The Exhibition contains nearly 200 precious historic materials which show the construction of the Mausoleum and the process of the transportation of Mr. Sun's remains.
Beside the main structure, there are also some constructions around the Mausoleum built in memory of Mr. Sun. Most of the constructions are built after 1929 with the donation of those from both all trades in China and overseas Chinese. The Fraternity Pavilion on top of the Plum Hill is built with the donation of a Taiwanese compatriot. IT was completed on November 12,1993, the 127th anniversary of Mr. Sun's birthday.
Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Sun struggled for a better China for his whole life and overthrew monarch feudalist system which lasted for more than 2000 years. He carried out the three principal policies of "Making an alliance with Russia and the Communist Party of China and helping the farmers and workers" in his later days. The great feat Mr. Sun has achieved has gained great respect and praise from people from both home and abroad. After liberation, both central and local governments have exerted great efforts in preserving this excellent heritage.
Now, as one of the "Top Forty Tourist Resorts in China" Dr. Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum receives numerous Chinese and international friends every years. People come here to pay homage to Mr. Sun. Today, the unification has become the main tendency in terms of the relations between the Chinese on both sides of the Straits. I believe that most Chinese people, from both home and abroad, are expecting from the bottom of heart the coming of the day when our country is united and getting more prosperous. At that time, when hearing this. Dr. Sun would smile and be satisfied for sure in the other world. OK, thank you very much for your cooperation. Good-bye and good luck!