A Time Capsule: Exploring the Old Capital at the Presidential Palace (总统府)

Authored by:
Jennifer Rives

Jennifer Rives

This Thursday, students got to discover the history of Nanjing by exploring the Presidential Palace (总统府).

The entrance of the Presidential Palace, by Xavier Zurita

Nanjing was the capital of China during the Ming Dynasty, which lasted from 1368-1644. After that, during the Qing dynasty, the capital was moved to Beijing. Then, after the Xing Hai Revolution in 1911, Sun Yatsen (孙中山) became the provisional president of the Republic of China and moved the capital back to Nanjing. The Presidential Palace is where he worked and had his office in Nanjing. 

Sheng laoshi teaching students the history of the palace, by Ruthie Stein
The golden throne inside the Presidential Palace, by Calypso Riebe
Kennedy looking out of the palace room window, by Ruthie Stein

When we walked through the palace, it felt like a traditional museum. There were artifacts behind glass, timelines with important dates and events related to the founding of the Republic of China, plaques with information about key figures in the development of the Republic of China, and even wax statues of those important figures.

Looking at the displays inside the palace, by Ruthie Stein
Walking through the hallways between rooms, by Ruthie Stein
Katy taking a picture of the information on a plaque, by Ruthie Stein

The rooms of former government officials were open so that we could look inside and see where they conducted their official business. The students got a quick glimpse of each office and thought about what it must have been like to be a leader at that time in China's history. 

Sun Yatsen's office inside the Presidential Palace, by Dustin Chau

After we toured the inside of the palace, we walked around the Xu Garden. Inside the garden, there were a couple of small lakes and plenty of scenic areas with trees, flowers, Chinese-style buildings, and rock statues.

The lake inside the garden, by Katy Kettel
Trees inside the garden, by Xavier Zurita
A boat on the lake, by Arianna Almaguer 

The students enjoyed leisurely walking around the garden and taking pictures while also completing their community conversation activities for the day.

Jasmine looking through a window, by Hailey Fagiano
Emily and Melody posing in a pavilion in the garden, by Khalil Edwards
Ry posing with rocks in the garden, by Jasmine Zeng
Khalil posing with the art at the palace, by Khalil Edwards
Dustin, Emily, Reid, and Melody inside a pavilion, by Melody Dao

The garden was a great place to relax and take in the history of the palace and city. After this trip, students realized how important the city of Nanjing really is to China's modern history and development. 

Group photo at the front of the palace, by Ruthie Stein


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