Feeling the History: Dr. Sun Yatsen Mausoleum & the Ming Tomb

Authored by:
Jennifer Rives

Jennifer Rives

On Wednesday, our students got to go to the Dr. Sun Yatsen Mausoleum and Ming Tomb along with students from Rice University studying on a different program in Nanjing. The Mausoleum is located at the foot of the second peak of the Purple Mountain in Nanjing. 

Group picture in front of Dr. Sun Yatsen Mausoleum, by Ruthie Stein

When we got to the Dr. Sun Yatsen Mausoleum, it was clear that the weather was nice and there were lots of tourists. The line to get in was long but worth it. We scanned our QR codes to get through the gate and then started the uphill journey.

Making the journey to the mausoleum, by Ruthie Stein

On the granite archway at the front of the mausoleum, it says “universal love,” which was an important message from Dr. Sun Yatsen. The students listened to Ji laoshi give a short lecture on why we were at the mausoleum of Dr. Sun Yatsen. To summarize his introduction, Dr. Sun Yatsen was a major founder of the People’s Republic of China and is even considered to be "the Father of modern China." Chinese people deeply respected him and wanted to show their appreciation of him and his work by making the mausoleum. To get to him, visitors have to climb 392 stairs. 

Ji laoshi teaching students about the mausoleum, by Ruthie Stein

After hearing this short history lesson, we all departed to head up the stairs. Some students were filled with energy and rushed ahead, and some lingered behind to take scenic photos. We all got to the top of the stairs and took a group photo and then entered the mausoleum of Dr. Sun Yatsen.

Climbing up the 392 steps, by Ruthie Stein
Group picture at the top of the stairs, by Ruthie Stein

Within this mausoleum, it is disrespectful to take pictures and talk, so it was a somber atmosphere as we walked through to view his coffin/resting place. We all admired the Italian white marble statue of Dr. Sun Yatsen which marks his burial spot. We exited the mausoleum and, once again, saw the great beauty of Nanjing in front of us from the top.

View from the top of the mausoleum, by Ruthie Stein 
Xavier and Melody at the top of the mausoleum, by Ruthie Stein

Then, we went to the Ming Tomb. To get to the Ming Tomb, we took golf carts from the mausoleum to the entrance of the tomb. Once inside, students again listened to Ji laoshi give a brief overview of the history of the Ming Tomb.

Taking golf carts to the Ming Tomb, by Ruthie Stein
Ji laoshi giving the history of the Ming Tomb, by Ruthie Stein

This part of the trip felt very in tune with nature. There were trees all around us with the sun shining through, and we could hear the songs of birds and feel the bites of mosquitoes. We got to the Ming Tomb by again walking uphill, but we had a short rest at a tourist shop halfway in between, where a few students bought souvenirs.

Owen with the pocket watch that he bought, by Ruthie Stein
Natural scenery surrounding the Ming Tomb, by Ruthie Stein

Once we got to the hill on which we could see the Ming Tomb, students were thrilled to get to see such a monument and jumped for joy! We continued to the top of the Ming Tomb and were engrossed in the beauty of the tomb’s architecture and history. Students were proud to be able to witness this part of China’s history.

Jumping for joy at the Ming Tomb, by Ruthie Stein
Taking pictures at the top of the Ming Tomb, by Ruthie Stein

After seeing the Ming Tomb from the hill, we headed back to the bus. Along the way, part of the group went to take pictures with stone animals. The other part of the group found a snack shop at which we ate ice cream.

Stone lion at the Ming Tomb, by Ruthie Stein
Eating ice cream after a full afternoon of walking, by Ruthie Stein

We all made it to the bus and back to school by 6 PM. When we got back, students were still full of energy and in a joyous mood after having seen such scenic spots in Nanjing.

Happy faces full of energy at the Ming Tomb, by Ruthie Stein
Heading home after visiting the Ming Tomb, by Ruthie Stein
On the bus back to school with smiles, by Alex Altoff

 

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