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Former Residence of Dr. Sun Yat Sen

Add:7 Xiangshan Rd, near Sinan Rd

Tel:021-6437 2954

Time:9am-4pm

2013-01-30

A walk down Sinan Road from the end of Huaihai Road leads you to the house at the corner of Sinan and Xiangshan roads where Dr Sun Yat-sen and his wife Soong Ching Ling lived from 1918 to 1924, when the street was known as Rue Moliere, one of the city's most picturesque streets. Now the house is on the list of national cultural heritage sites.

Dr Sun, who founded the Kuomintang party in 1905, is revered as the founder of the Republic of China and was a key figure in the 1911 revolution that toppled the country's last emperor.

Soong is one of three famous Soong sisters. She married Sun Yat-sen in 1915, first provisional president of the Republic of China. Her sister Soong Mayling was married to Chiang Kai-shek, leader of the Kuomintang Party in the 1940s. Soong Chingling was known for her patriotism and charitable spirit.

It was in this building that Sun decided to cooperate with the Communist Party for the first time. When Soong returned to Shanghai from Chongqing after World War II, she found her house on Xiangshan Road, where she'd lived with her husband, abandoned and damaged.

Soong returned to the house on Xiangshan Road in late 1947 and in the spring of 1949, her brother-in-law, the former Kuomintang leader Chiang Kai-shek, directed that she be allowed to live in the white villa, shaped like a ship, at 1843 Huaihai Road M. She lived there until she moved to Beijing in 1963.

After the war, Madam Soong offered the villa as a memorial to her late husband. It is now open every day to give visitors an intimate glimpse into a remarkable period in China's history.

 The two-story European-style villa was bought by some overseas Chinese as a gift for Sun to support his revolution and he wrote several books there. It was listed as an important historical site and placed under the state's protection, opening to the public in 1988.

The area just beyond the boundaries of Fuxing Park feels almost like walking through a back street of London. While Xiangshan Road leads on to the bustling Huaihai Road, this area is a picture of serenity.

Many heavyweight people in China's contemporary history once lived by the park, including "Young Marshal" Zhang Xueliang and Zou Taofen, a famous journalist, political commentator and publisher.

The garden house is more than 100 years old and was placed under national protection in 1961. Some precious photos are still kept in the building, including group photos of the Communist Party and Kuomintang.

A three-story building next to the residence is a memorial to Sun. More than 300 precious relics are on display in the new 700-square-meter museum, including articles he and his wife used during their daily lives and pictures of their friends and colleagues. Its first floor showcases historical objects and documents reflecting Sun's life and revolutionary experiences. The second and third floors are offices. Items on display include his officer's sword, military maps and writing tools.

A 60-centimeter-high brass statue of Sun, donated by an anonymous local collector, is the most precious of the articles on display. The statue depicts him sitting in a chair with a script lying open on his knees. The statue was made in the 1930s by Paul Landowski, a French sculptor. It is the only replica of the white marble statue placed in the Dr Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum in Nanjing (Jiangsu Province).

Relics related to the 1911 Revolution which were donated by Shen Hansheng, a collector from Wuhan, Hubei Province, are also on display in the museum. According to officials from the memorial, renovations are done every 10 years in an effort to protect the historic building.

To get there: Metro line 1 (Huangpi Road station). Bus No. 02, 17, 24, 36, 42, 96, 781, 786, 911, 920, 926

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