Introducing Presidential Palace
The site of Presidential Palace have been used as for provincial government buildings during the Qing Dynasty, the Celestial Palace during Taiping Rebellion period, the Office of the President of the Republic of China before the republic relocated to Taiwan in 1949. Presidential Palace is one of the largest surviving complex of modern Chinese (1840-1949) buildings. It mainly consists of the central axis, the west garden and the east garden. The current structures were mainly built between 1870 and 1930s. In the late 1980s, the palace was converted into the China Modern History Museum, a museum exclusively dedicated to China’s history from the 20th century onwards. The exhibitions place particular emphasis on the establishment of the Republic of China (1912-1949) and the beginning of the People’s Republic of China. Nowadays it is one of the few places in mainland China where the flag of the Republic of China can be legally displayed. Walk the same corridors of power that were trodden by Chinese political luminaries such as Sun Yat-Sen and Chiang Kai Shek, look into the same meeting rooms where they held fort all those years ago, and enjoy gardens and ponds within the walls of the compound.
Presidential Palace Fast Facts
• Chinese Name: Zong Tong Fu 总统府
• Best Time to Visit: March to October
• Recommended Visiting Hours: About 2 to 3 hours
• Things to Do: Photography, History, Architecture
• Opening Hours: 08:30-18:00 from Mar 1 to Oct 14; 08:30-17:00 from Oct 15 to Feb 28; Tuesday to Sunday
• Entrance Fee: CNY 40
• Address: No.292 Changjiang Road, Xuanwu District, Nanjing, Jiangsu Province
What to expect at Presidential Palace
Gate Tower of Nanjing Presidential Palace
Gate Tower is the landmark of Nanjing Presidential Palace. Gate Tower was the former outer gate of Liang Jiang Viceroy in the Qing Dynasty. The gate of the palace was called “Genius Gate” during the period of Taiping Heavenly Kingdom. Designed by Yaobin,the present Western style reinforced concrete gate tower was built by the Nationalist Government in December,1929. Three Chinese characters of “The Presidential Palace” engraved right in the middle of wall were personally inscribed by Zhou Zhongyue,the former Vice President of Examination Ministry of the Republic of China. A pair of stone lions in front of the gate are the remains of Liang Jiang Viceroy in the Qing Dynasty.
Official Building of National Government and Presidential Office (Zichao Tower)
The construction of this building began in 1934 and was completed in 1935. It was also named “ZiChao Tower”, after Lin Sen’s style name. Lin Sen was the former chairman of the National Government. The tower became the office building of the National Government and Presidential Palace successively after the victory of Anti-Japanese War. Two pine trees in front of the building were planted by Lin Sen in March, 1936.
“Xu Yuan” Garden
It had been the private garden of the Han Prince’s mansion during the early Ming dynasty. The garden was named after one of Han Prince’s first name. It became the garden of the Liang Jiang Governor-general’s Yamen in the early Qing dynasty. Then it was the western Garden of the Heavenly King’s Palace during the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom,the buildings here were seriously damaged by the Qing imperial troops in 1864,and were restored by Zeng Guofan later. When the Provisional Government of the Republic of China was founded on 1 January, 1912, President Sun Yat-sen settled his office and residence here. After the establishment of the Nationalist Government in April 1927, he Garden served as Headquarters of the Nationalist Revolutionary Army and the Military Affairs Council. As a typical southern Chinese garden, Xu Yuan owns a lot of scenic spots, such as Unmoored Stone-boat, Dusk Beauty Building, Forgetting-flying Pavilion, Pavilion of the Ripple, and Yinxin Tablet House, etc.
This was erected by Yin Jishan, the Liang Jiang Viceroy in 1746. The Pavilion was named “Unmoored Stone-boat” by the Emperor Qian Long in 1757. Hong Xiuquan and other kings of the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, and later President Sun Yat-sen and his subordinate, Huang Xing, the Minister of the Army, often discussed military matters here. It is the oldest construction in the compound of the Presidential Palace with northern Chinese style in the Xu Yuan Garden.
Office of Provisional President
This Renaissances-style building was firstly built in 1909 by Duan Fang, the Liang Jiang Viceroy of Manchu Government and was completed in 1910. Dr. Sun Yat-sen was sworn in as the Provisional President of the Republic of China on January 1st, 1912 and made it as his office. The first cabinet meeting was also held here on January 21st of the same year. Then it became the offices of various military organizations of National Government successively.
Tablet of “Yinxin Stone House”
Tao Shu, the Liang Jiang Viceroy, went to Beijing to report his work to the Emperor Dao Guang in 1835. He told the Emperor that there was a square stone at the center of a pond in his hometown in Hunan province. The stone was shaped like a seal, so it was called “Yinxin Stone”. The Emperor thought that was a very interesting story and wrote the Chinese characters “Yinxin Stone House” in big and small size to grant to Tao Shu. Then, Tao put the stone tablet carved with the Emperor’s inscriptions in the Liang Jiang Viceroy’s Official Residence.
Sacrificial Hall of Tao Shu and Lin Zexu
This hall was built in 1883 by Zuo Zongtang, former Governor of Liang Jiang Area in memory of Tao Shu and Lin Zexu.
How to get to Presidential Palace
• Take Metro line 2 or Metro line 3 and get off at Daxinggong Station.
• Take bus 9, 29, 44, 65, 95 or 304 to Presidential Palace.
• Rent a car/bus from GGC to enjoy a hassle free private transfer from hotels in Nanjing to Presidential Palace.
Additional travel advice on Presidential Palace
• The museum is closed on Mondays (expect for public holidays) and Chinese New Year’s Eve.
• The palace offer English interpretation service for an additional fee.
• Nanjing Library and 1912 Bar Street are within 5 minutes walk from Presidential Palace, visitors can go to explore if you are interested.