Nanking (Nanjing)


Hiller 09-035: Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum in Nanking 1

Following Mr. Hiller's footsteps and photographs, he first went to Dr. Sun’s Mausoleum (Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum), Hiller was good at walking around and capturing the moment.

Dr. Sun’s Mausoleum (Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum) is the tomb of Sun Yat-sen, known as the founding father of the Republic of China and the forerunner of the Chinese democratic revolution. This mausoleum is located in Nanking (Nanjing) of Jiangsu Province, which is the south of Zijin Mountain, the west of Linggu Temple and east of Ming Xiaoling (Ming Tomb).

After Sun Yat-sen died in Beijing in March 1925, the Chinese Nationalist Party built a mausoleum for him in Nanjing in accordance with his wishes. The Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum began construction in January 1926. In the spring of 1929, the main buildings such as the ceremonies were built. On June 1st, Sun Yat-sen was buried. The entire mausoleum was completed in 1931.


Hiller 09-040: Overlooking Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum


Hiller 09-062 : Woman with sitting lion statue on Elephant Road in Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum


Hiller 09-063: Man with elephant statue on Elephant Road in Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum

Actually, Ming Xiaoling had been finished more than 600 years. The wooden structure of many buildings does not exist any more, but the pattern of the mausoleum still retains the original grand style and the underground tomb palace is intact as well.

The main buildings and stone carvings in the Mausoleum including Fangcheng, Minglou, Baocheng, Baoding, Xiamafang, Dajinmen, Shengong Shengde monument, Shendao and Shixiang Road stone carvings, etc. are all remains of the Ming Dynasty. It preserved the original mausoleum which conclude the integrity of the building and the integrity of the spatial layout.

Ming Tomb is the head of Ming Emperors' Mausoleum, which represents the highest achievement of architecture and stone carving art in the early Ming Dynasty. It directly affects the shape of more than twenty emperors' mausoleums in the past 500 years of the Ming and Qing Dynasties which distributed in Beijing, Hubei, Liaoning, and Hebei according to historical process, the regulations and models of the Ming Tomb in Nanjing.

Ming tomb has a special status in the history of the development of the Chinese Mausoleum. Therefore, they have the reputation of “the first mausoleum of the Ming and Qing Dynasties”. Today, Ming Tomb (Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum) is still a famous and popular tourist sights in China. Many teachers would recommend and parents would choose here as the must-visit places when they taught history to their students or children.


Hiller 09-070: A introduction sign of The Ancient Armillary in Nanking


Hiller 09-071: Armillary sphere in Nanking 1

There is another different of view of Nanking when Mr. Hiller arrived at Purple Mountain Observatory.

Purple Mountain Observatory is located on the Purple Mountain in Xuanwu District of Nakjing which is the first modern astronomical research institution established by the Chinese. It is well-known as the “Cradle of Modern Chinese astronomy”.

There are some valuable things in Purple Mountain Observatory such as Armillary sphere (浑儀), which was made between 1431-1449, Ming Dynasty.

Nowadays, Purple Mountain Observatory has become one of the most important astronomy places in China. There is a remarkable discovery that On March 1, 2017, the Purple Mountain Observatory newly discovered a comet, and named it "Zijin Mountain".

Mr. Hiller's sight-seeing in Nanking is valuable and meaningful not only for himself, but also because he went to the most popular and important sights which are significant to China from the feudal period to modern times.

Everyone goes their places for some reasons, Mr. Hiller took a series photographs for Nanking and donated to our Special Collections and Rare Books as the best evidences for China and himself though we have never had a chance to know in detail why he went to these places. Anyway, it is honored for all of us to see, to feel, and to research these Nanking photographs between 1945 to 1948 in China.