Friday, April 22, 2011
Visiting historical sites has always been my great interest for I believe those places will not only refresh my mind but also give me insight of what ever happened in the past. The valuable thing of learning history is you could always learn from past experience and apply the positive things. One of beautiful historical places in Guangzhou is Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall or Zhong Shan Ji Nian Tang in Chinese. It was the first historical monument I visited with my friends. As far as I remember, there was no admission charge. However, if you want to enter the main hall, you have to buy a ticket. Unluckily, when I went there, the hall was closed for public because it was being used to hold a national conference attended by important people.
Beautifully erected at the foot of Southern slope of Yuexiu hill, the memorial hall was built to commemorate Sun Yat Sen, the forerunner of Chinese democratic revolution against the Qing dynasty. Sun Yat Sen (孫中山, Sun Zhong Shan) is considered the Founding Father of modern China by China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Born on November 12, 1866 at Cuiheng village of Guangdong province and reputed as the leading figure and the first President of China, Sun Yat Sen was well known for his Three Principles of the People - nationalism, democracy, and social well-being. He believed these principles are the guidelines to establish a modern China. He was passionate about his dream and dedicated his whole life to accomplish this task.
Initially, the building was the governor's house of Guangdong and Guangxi province, which was later used as Sun Yat Sen's presidential house when he ran his official role as president in 1921. The construction of the building was completed in 1931 and sponsored with funds raised by the local people and overseas Chinese after Sun Yat Sen died in Nanjing in 1925. Designed by a reputable architect of modern China, Lu Yanzhi, the construction started in January 1929 and completed in October 1931. Before the liberation, the building was severely damaged because of poor maintenance. In 1922, the building was partially destroyed by a coup. It was also seriously damaged by the Japanese troops in World war 2. And in the same place, they signed their agreement and surrendered to the Chinese government. The government then took the initiative to repair the building, which was completed in 1998. Since its first establishment, the building has undergone at least 8 renovations, including the ventilation system, acoustics, seats, ceiling, corridors and bronze statue. In the 1998 restoration, 60 million Yuan was spent to repair all facilities such as air conditioning system, lights, acoustic equipment, seats, remodeling the VIP room, makeup rooms and the stage. After the renovation was completed, the building was reopened for public.
Sun Yat Sen memorial hall has blue glass roof and eight pillars that are all hidden in the walls with red pillars and yellow walls inside the hall decorated with colorful paintings. This grand building has architectural design that indeed reflects solemnity.
On the main entrance hangs a wooden slab with four Chinese characters “Tian xia wei gong” [the world is for the people] written by Dr. Sun Yat Sen himself. In front of the main hall is an impressive five-meter-high bronze statue of Dr. Sun Yat Sen that was erected in 1956. At the base of the statue is engraved a sentence "the Outline of the Foundation of the Country of the National Government". Surrounding it is a garden of beautiful flowers of various colors, making your trip even more memorable.
The bronze statue of Sun Yat Sen standing sentinel in front of the Memorial Hall. The statue shows Sun Yat Sen as the leading figure with charisma who has successfully pioneered China to become a modern country.
The beautiful lawn in front of the memorial hall
Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall is a key historical site protected by the government of Guangzhou province. Not only functioning as a memorial hall to pay tribute to Sun Yat Sen, the hall also serves for cultural, artistic, educational, academic, and recreational purposes. It does not only act as a grand theater with modern acoustics, but it is also a city landmark visited by tourists and locals annually. The hall is a symbolic building in Guangzhou where many conferences and performances are held. In the past, only a few gatherings and performances were held, however, it has now become the main venue for major entertainment performances like singing and dancing, ballet, symphony, chorus, acrobatics and magic.
Occupying a large area of 60,000 square meters, the hall has an octagonal structure facing the south. The ceremonial hall is the main building of the hall that has 47 m high and two stories of almost 5.000 seats. It consists of arch over the gateway, auditorium, several storeyed buildings, and a memorial hall. Inside the hall is a display gallery that shows pictures and letters of Sun Yat Sen.
Majestic gate as the main entrance to the Memorial Hall. The gate reflects traditional Chinese architecture.
Me in front of the main gate
It was almost 12 pm that we decided to move to our next visit, Chen Clan Academy. Before we went there, we would like to have some food to eat first for our lunch. My friends, if you have been overtired with the city's life, you could visit this place to get some refreshment. This place does not only give you an opportunity to touch the great man in Chinese history, but also provides you with historical insight in a solemn surrounding.
Personal experience and additional information from other online articles