The history of Nanjing
One of China’s four ancient capitals, Nanjing, in Jiangsu province on the banks of the Yangtze, has witnessed extremes of human joy and suffering over its long history since before the first Chinese dynastic rule over 2000 years ago. From its role as the rich, millennial-old southern capital to the twentieth century ‘Rape of Nanking’ in the Second World War, the breadth of Nanjing’s history is surpassed by few cities. Today it is still a bustling town, but unlike its more exuberant neighbour, Shanghai, Nanjing has retained much of its ancient charm. The main cultural sites are the old city wall, the Sun Yat-sen mausoleum, the cultural monuments atop the Purple Mountain of Z?j?n Sh?n, and the sobering Nanjing Massacre memorial hall – it’s hard not to be moved in a place that still brings visiting locals to convulsive tears or stoic grim-jawed silence. Another distinct treat is the Fuzi Miao Market, where you can buy all manner of produce, including button-sized turtles by the basketful.