More peaceful than Sun Yat-sen's mausoleum is the tomb of the founder of the Ming dynasty, Zhu Yuanzhang (1328-98), also known as the Hongwu emperor. The tomb served as a model for subsequent Ming and Qing emperors' tombs in Beijing. The site has recently been polished up with funds from UNESCO after being deemed a World Heritage Site, but the explanations of the tombs are in Chinese only with strange diagrams. Zhu Yuanzhang was the only Ming emperor to be buried in Nanjing. The Sacrificial Palace, one of the tomb's main buildings built in 1383, houses memorial tablets. The Ming Tower, a rectangular citadel, served as the command point of the tomb. Nearby, Shixiang Lu is a pleasant walkway half a kilometer long lined with stone carvings of 12 pairs of animals. The second half of the passageway, flanked by pairs of soldiers and mandarins, leads to Four Square Pavilion, which consists of a tall stone tablet enclosed by four walls. Built in 1413, the pavilion's tablet contains 2,000 characters inscribed with the life story of the emperor Zhu Yuangzhang, written by his son Zhu Di.
- © Frommer's 2013
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