This is the end

To end the day in Nanjing, Nanjing Express after (4) lights on Fuzi Miao, direction Hunan Lu
There, not the night market I expected with vendors near their small stall, but a great shopping street with boutiques open into the night after 21 hours.
Remember what Huaihai Lu in Shanghai, but in much less time – Huaihai Lu, in terms of length and businesses is the equivalent of the Champs Elysées in Paris.
But we find a frenzy of shopping quite comparable to the time of day. Of course some malls that you welcome and a “Happy Shopping”, without forgetting the essential KTV (karaoke).

Nothing so very typical. Unless the typical cities it is now more than these malls?

At least the place is alive … and yet sufficiently informed to be able to walk there at night
Then I take one of the streets on my left looks more lively. The Yunnan Lu perhaps?
A pedestrian street completely and visibly seething.
Of both sides, a large number of restaurants of all kinds. I also believe that not far away is the University of Nanking and its Foreign Students Dormitory. Cosmopolitan place it is.
Walkabout, bath flashing neon lights, more to Nanjing this time.


It is also in this area that I spotted the cinema, I mentioned in my overview, where I almost let me try elsewhere.
But the fatigue of the day wet and program perspective for the next day because I have had this evening. Finally I would probably have done better to go, when you know what happened to my program tomorrow …

Nanjing Express was the result and it was pretty much at the end. Hunan Lu was not bad to finish the day to wander the streets of Nanjing at night and take a little pulse of the city in a different place.
The next day, the lifting is fresh greenery in Nanjing as I walked, but especially in the rain, rain, rain and rain re … STOP!

Day in Nankin

Finally, although friendly, the visit to the temple Fuzi Miao is fast enough, and perhaps less than there know a little more, do not bring anything exceptional.

But luckily for me, the surroundings of the temple are more promising.
I leave the temple and small lights to find the area of ​​Fuzi Miao and other illuminations.


If the morning since we had not stopped to advise me to go through Fuzi Miao, it is perhaps not so much for its temple for the neighborhood itself.
A pedestrian appearance already very pleasant to cut traffic adds vibrant atmosphere lively neighborhood.

It is indeed one of the busiest Nanjing, especially during holidays as was the case for me.

Construction of traditional house restaurants and fast food, but also clothing stores and souvenir shops.

Between them, it is possible to hire a pedalo, or strolling through the aisles of a market for a little while relatively large.

Again, many points in common with the old city of Shanghai, the market more
But the most fun is yet when night falls and the lights district. Flashing neon lights, colored lights, flash cameras mixture of tourists … fireworks a traditional day revived Chinese. It has to shine!

Nankin china

Continuation of the journey of the day with Fuzi Miao.

Leaving Zhonghua Men, it’s easy to get there. I just had to go up the street Zonghua read Nan north to Jiankang Lu
To mark the entrance of the place, a traditional door, hard to miss in the middle of Zhonghua read thoroughly modern.

That’s good, I can finally leave the deafening noise of traffic and turn to my right where the air traffic less dense …

Fuzi Miao and yes, it is a pedestrian area!
Pedestrian area marked by a large traditional door in the middle of urban traffic …? It reminds me a lot Nanshi the old city of Shanghai!
But before a district, Fuzi Miao is a Confucian temple. I had seen so far that Buddhist temples, Taoist temples, this is the opportunity to see a priori any other type.
Fuzi Miao Temple Entrance
The entrance to the temple is not necessarily well signposted. In any case, to me, it took me turn a bit to find it. First past the front door of Zhonghua Lu, you have to walk a little time on Jiankang Lu, and finally guided a bit by the crowd to the inner streets of the neighborhood, turning on the left to go in another small door traditional. The temple is not far away, behind a small square, facing the canal. The time to learn for any student rate: not all the same price, 20 yuan. Gulp, it had better be good Confucius Temple!

This ancient temple, show me my Lonely Planet guide, was a center of Confucian studies for more than 1500 years. It was damaged and rebuilt several times.
Well actually, at least in regard to architecture, the temple is not very different from Buddhist temples, finally my perspective uninitiated. There are also those boxes filled with incense sticks that the faithful come to light any time of the day.

Features of Confucian temple?
Although initially it is not dedicated to a deity but Confucius, the famous Chinese thinker, Kongzi Kong Fuzi or 孔子 孔夫子 (hence the name of the temple, Miao temple 庙 meaning precisely), which has greatly influenced the Chinese thought. I refer you to the excellent Wikipedia article on this subject for more information.

Thus there are two rows of statues of disciples of Confucius, the traditional drum and bell before which you can have your picture taken in hitting, with currency …
Within the first hall of the temple, a widespread burning of Confucius.
At night, the temple is quite nice to visit with the lighting that is in place. It is true that for a temple, small bulbs of all colors, it can be a bit kitsch, but I love these little lights that give a new face to the scene.
Last attraction of the temple, the back room which includes a scene filled with musical instruments it is possible to manipulate if they pay I think. That pays for sure songs are on demand offers a panel at the entrance of the room. I’m not quite a fan of traditional Chinese music to pay up to 100 yuan for it. But I had the pleasure at the same time to find a seat to rest 2 minutes, to attend a demonstration of instruments made in a small Chinese under the watchful eye of his mother.

Nanjing Nanjing china

All the gates of the city are already Ming fortresses, the door Zhonghua is the largest.
It has 4 rows of doors, which makes it almost impregnable.

Whereas previously it could house a garrison of 3,000 soldiers in the vaults of the first gate, today it is the souvenir shops that occupy these rooms.
Near the entrance is a small history museum walls.

After spending the first gates and gardens of bonsai hosted them, it is possible to go upstairs


It rubs then these old stones that have survived the centuries, finally something quite exceptional in China when we know with what systematism the Chinese have eliminated traces of their culture and their past in different periods of their history.
Here in the amount of stone stairs, I found one of those entries with its origin, name and rank of foreman of the factory, the name of the man who had fashioned and perhaps even date of manufacture. It was necessary to ensure that the brick was made correctly, because if it broke, it should be replaced.

And yes, they had the culture of manufacturing defects for repair …

Arrived on the first floor, then you can go to each of the 3 different doors at the front of the site.
In fact, it should not be practiced a lot, saw weeds which ran between the stones forming the ground … But once we were able to move onto the more the first front, we can return to observe the highest fourth door overlooking other, and seven galleries in passing that I found very useful for me shelter from the rain that had begun to crack down on Nanjing.
Then, armed with a good umbrella, I got on the 4th door.
To do this, you must go through the Ma 马 道 Dao. It is a grand staircase with side passage without a large walk perfectly smooth from top to bottom, and wide enough to raise a horse.

Utility installation: allow faster delivery to the heights of the city with a horse transport from start to finish!

Today 2 Ma Dao that frame the door from the top of the highest door, fourth, to the bottom, are each guarded by an impressive array of Ming soldiers in toc.

Once on the roof of the fourth door is a great place naked opens our eyes.

The ideal for kite! Moreover there is a small hut where some men are now bustle to repair.

Regardless of the gray sky, the place completely discovered hosts several amateur Chinese love to kite wherever they can, even and perhaps especially their historical sites …

Finally another attraction summit this door here you can have a view of the city.
Off Mount Purple seems rather gray in the foreground a few low houses, but a little further as the towers of the modern city.

Zhonghua Men

After visiting the Memorial Nanjing Massacre, continued with my day Nanjing Zhonghua Gate, Zhonghua Men history back almost 600 years ago, at the time of China’s dynasties, including in Nanjing at the time of Ming Dynasty.

Precisely, enjoy it to learn more about the history of Nanjing.
Flag bearing the name of the dynasty “Ming”
Now considered one of the most beautiful cities in the country with its 5.3 million inhabitants, during its long history it was capital several times.

In fact, the Nanking region has been inhabited for over 5000 years. But from the 5th century BC it was the strategic conflict in many Warring States period, and finally found stability with the advent of the victorious Qin Dynasty (3rd century BC J. – C.) But the sixth century saw the decline after calamities and peasant revolts. While Xi’an is the capital of the empire, Nanjing was razed and sees its historical heritage destroyed.

Until 1356, when a peasant revolt led by Zhu Yuanzhang overthrew the Mongol Yuan Dynasty, while capturing Nanjing, Beijing and 12 years later. Zhu Yuanzhang, alias Hongwu, is established then the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty, and its capital is Nanjing that will provide immediately a huge palace and huge ramparts.
The glory of Nanjing lasted until 1420, when the third Ming emperor, Yongle, transferred the capital to Beijing

It will then wait for the 19th and 20th centuries to see new Nanjing prominently in the history of China. Instead of signing “unequal treaties” in 1842 at the end of the Opium Wars which will formally ceded Hong Kong to the British theater Taiping Rebellion and their massacre by the Qing after their capital, and , in the 20th century, the capital of the Republic of China, besieged and massacred by the Japanese in 1937, the capital of the Kuomintang from 1928 to 1937 and from 1945 to 1949, she was finally “liberated” by the Communists took power in all countries.

Pfffiou! A destiny rather stormy for this city that has undergone many changes. Fortunately, it has preserved the heritage of its heyday in the Ming Dynasty.
North Entrance Gate Zhonghua
This heritage, for its part, the most impressive, is found in the walls of the Ming City, which are simply the longest ever built in the world: 33 km, two thirds of which are still standing.
And punctuating the walls, there are no fewer than 13 gates still remaining, the most important are the Door Centre (Zhongyang Men) north of the city, and the Zhonghua Gate (Zhonghua Men) located it at the Southern . It is she that I visited. (Attention elsewhere, entrance fee, 15 yuan, 10 yuan for students)

NAnjing memorial 2

We can add the rape of at least 20,000 women 11 to 76 years, and children bayoneted and killed by a bullet. Many tortures that were even encouraged by Japanese officers, who regarded them as normal in wartime.


Along the Transition to Copper Footprints, you will discover also 40 meters long, the footprints of 222 eyewitnesses and survivors who participated in the International Tribunal of the Far East for the trial of Japanese war criminals.


Next door, we also find a poem inscribed on a copper plate. Then a little later, the Place Cemetery will present a series of stelae commemorating each mass murder, a wailing wall with the names of some victims and dotted deci beyond holes to get the green light symbol prayer for life.
In the same fiber, the place is organized around a large area with white statues representing stacks of skeletons, contrasting with the green of the vegetation symbolizing the vitality and spirit of resistance of the inhabitants of the city.



Moreover, the designers of the memorial were well thought not only want to burn the memories of the Chinese. Everywhere explanations of sculptures, inscriptions, documents, data are in Chinese, English, and Japanese.

But sometimes these explanations are far from necessary. Exposure skeletons were discovered buried as the photos showing mutilated course are self-explanatory.
Strangely, while the outer part of the museum was very imprint of meditation, exhibition areas crudest were more animated by the Chinese who rushed to the windows and jostled around photos.
Candles to be lit garlands that suspends …
I also found a genuine willingness Chinese parents to explain to their children what had happened there, perhaps their grandparents for some. Children sometimes somewhat frightened by what they could see or feel simply because the atmosphere of the place is quite involved.
Memorial fulfills its function of remembrance and education. He eventually including a room on the Sino-Japanese reconciliation after 1945. Perhaps a way to practice this ancient Chinese proverb engraved on a memorial wall:

“Past experience, if not forgotten,
serve as a guide for the future. ”

Memorial Nanjing

he first place I visited Nanjing was the Nanjing Massacre Memorial. Although not really what is more gratifying for sightseeing. A little anti-chronological method of discovery as well. But a visit to some interesting and significant that seeks to know the history of 20th century China.
A bit like you would visit the Memorial of Caen in Normandy.
As I said in my little overview of my brief visit to Nanjing, living in China, I have come to know and try to understand the events of the history of China, we are also often misunderstood in the West.

This memorial refers to the massacre of the inhabitants of Nanking during the occupation of the city by the Japanese during six weeks from 13 December 1937 to January 1938.
The atrocities perpetrated then were the cause of the death of between 300 000 and 400 000 Chinese civilians, executed in mass killings or assassinations individual. Cruelty which explains today’s protests against the Chinese pure and simple withdrawal of this tragic episode in Japanese textbooks.

Today Nanjing Memorial is a place of pilgrimage for all generations of Chinese. They were indeed large enough to be made when I’m gone. Moreover, coincidence with the October holidays?, This Monday, October 3rd entrance was free. The large cross with the fateful dates could be recognized from afar by many pilgrims that day.
The museum tour then proceeds as a circuit that begins and ends with the cross, and especially the Great Bell of Peace, which alone brings the symbolic significance of the period, as the Chinese can do.

So the tour begins on the evocation of peace after the terrible period of occupation.


The bell weighs 6.6 T because it was built for the 66th anniversary of the massacre.

As for the 300,000 victims, are evoked by that measure 3 m above the bell and by 3 columns with 5 rings, each representing a 0, all connected by the character 人 ren (Star 3 branches of the middle, the center which the bell is suspended).

Then the whole outer part of the visit of the memorial is very focused on the symbolism of the post-occupation.

The figures are very present, starting with the number of victims declined as architectural forms for the Great Bell of Peace, but also hammered on the walls, as the number engraved in the memories.
But beyond the numbers, the atrocities that are sought to symbolize and to denounce.
In 1982, a Chinese commentator asked: “How historical facts written in blood could they be hidden by lies written in ink?”
He continued:

Nanjing the beautiful

I go now to Zhonghua Men Gate. For that I’ll take a taxi. I must say it is not super nice and I did not have much time if I want to wrap everything in the afternoon.

That’s good for me, obviously in Nanjing, a taxi is quite easy thing. Of my stay, I never had to wait more than 5 minutes to catch one.
Both Beijing taxis are red, those in Nanjing are green. Price: 8 yuan care, and 2.40 yuan per kilometer, which I find quite expensive compared to Shanghai and Beijing.

Something against it by really good I think, is counting the remaining time for the traffic lights. We see everywhere in the city.
The count is the same for the green light, red and even orange color count changing the color of the light which it relates. The malignant Nankinois


3. The door of the Ming City, Zhonghua Men

Time for a taxi, and now I make a leap in time.
After 30 years of synonymous changes in China, I find myself at the time of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), during which Nanjing was the capital of China.
Zhonghua Men is with Zhongyang Men, one of the 13 Ming city gates that remain today. The walls of the Ming City is indeed another important component of the city of Nanjing, and Zhonghua Men with 4 rows of doors is one of the remarkable points.
A particular item will be dedicated, but already I can tell you that it was a good place to get an overview of the city.

find a room for the night not too expensive
visit the Nanjing Massacre Memorial
take a tour of the door of the city Ming Men Zonghua
go to the Fuzi Miao area and visit the Confucian temple
go take a look at the Bell Tower and Drum Tower
and end at Market Night Hunan Lu
4. The district Fuzi Miao Confucian Temple and

A short distance from Zhonghua Men, is the Fuzi Miao area. I am therefore went walking and umbrella.
Since Zhonghua Men, a light rain fell on the city. But I was determined to go through this area which we did not stop talking to me from my small cab in the morning, as that by chance had worked for 8 years before coming to Nanjing to Shanghai.
Fuzi Miao, hear the Chinese talk, it’s the neighborhood of Nanking to see. The ideal is to find in the dark, as I had planned, hehe
I also talk about later in another article, but in fact I found this lively neighborhood. It made me think including the Old City of Shanghai (Nanshi) with the commercial aspect developed beyond selling souvenirs. Illuminations, market, pedestrian streets, I loved to stroll umbrella in hand, and I have my first opportunity to visit the Confucian temple.

Nanjing trip

anyway, I had time to do a survey, to visit some places in the city and bring back some pictures
Train tickets purchased three days before I left last Monday so the apartment at 6:45 am to head to the Shanghai Railway Station to catch my train which left two hours later.
Obviously I was not the only one who planned to take the train. The waiting room was booked for 2-rail height, and even there the wave of traffic has fallen. Fortunately there is a giant TV screen to wait all this world …

So, 8:50, I’m in my place in my car “sitting hard” and we leave the station. I paid 47 yuan for the 4 hour trip that I will go through Kunshan, Suzhou, Wuxi, Changzhou, Zhenjiang before finally arriving in Nanjing just before 13h.
The journey has not been the first comfort. The car packed, sometimes my neighbors began to 2 on the same seat, which inevitably would compress me against the window, and made the position for reading and writing difficult to maintain. But hey, I could handle, and I could record my journey on the small program that I concocted to express my stay.
Knowing that I had to leave the next day in the late afternoon, I was quite proud to be able to optimize routes to see everything I wanted in the time with the light conditions that were required.

Nanjing is that there are a lot of things to see.
Current capital of Jiangsu Province, it has more than 5.3 million inhabitants. But mostly it was 2 times the capital of China, first in the Ming Dynasty, and finally at the turn of the twentieth century when it was the capital of the Republic of China. A great city is now developing rapidly, but still retains, which is rare in China, relics of the past Dynasties: this is what attracted me to spend two days here.


Just off the train, I hasten to buy a city map to 4 yuan sold on a small table just before the exit of the station. Here I am dressed to follow my program for the day:

find a room for the night not too expensive
visit the Nanjing Massacre Memorial
take a tour of the door of the city Ming Men Zonghua
go to the Fuzi Miao area and visit the Confucian temple
go take a look at the Bell Tower and Drum Tower
and end at Market Night Hunan Lu
1. To find the room, it was very fast.

At the exit of the station, as the output of any stations, I alpaguer made by 20 people who were there to offer tours of Nanjing to the day on small laminated panels. It does not interest me, I was there for 2 days
By cons, where they are clever is that the other side panel plastic, they have a tariff table for hotel rooms. Ah, there you interest me …
The girl offered me 200 yuan / night for a single room, I told him, “You are dreaming!, I’m at 50 yuan.” And it was heard on 60

Then the girl took me to the hotel in question. Along the way of course we did the chat and she tried to sell me the services of a guide, a driver and everything you can imagine to visit Nanjing. But I resisted.

Arrived at the hotel just behind the train station, my daughter negotiates prices with hostesses. In fact hotel, rather it is a building with rooms to rent for the night. Time to take a tour to see the holding of thing, it’s not good mirobolant, but for one night we will be content …
Anyway, 13:20, I come with a room for the night, Nanjing me!

find a room for the night not too expensive
visit the Nanjing Massacre Memorial
take a tour of the door of the city Ming Men Zonghua
go to the Fuzi Miao area and visit the Confucian temple
go take a look at the Bell Tower and Drum Tower
and end at Market Night Hunan Lu
2. The Nanjing Massacre Memorial
I wanted to go through this memorial. This reflects the atrocities committed by Japanese soldiers on civilians during the occupation of Nanking in 1937, killing nearly 300,000 people.
These atrocities are now causing repeated tensions between Chinese and Japanese, because the Japanese refused to include it in their history books this dramatic episode.

Indeed, in the history books of the French, I do not remember it is not mentioned.
But to live in China, I also learned to know and try to understand certain events in history that are often ignored in the West.

This is why I wanted not to leave Nanjing without visiting the memorial, which I will present in a separate article.