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Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum

The Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum, built in 1926 and completed in 1929, is an excellent work designed by a young Chinese architect Lu Yanzhi. It was named key cultural relics site under State's protection in 1961.

At that time, more than 40 works were submitted by Chinese and foreign contestants, and after going through the procedures of open display and selection through appraisal, the design offered by the first-prize winner Lu Yanzhi, because it was based completely on the "spirit of ancient Chinese architecture".

The Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum, completed in 1929 after 4 years of construction, is located at the southern foot of Zijin Hill and has an area of over 6,684 square meters. A stone archway was set up at the entrance, from which one goes through a gently sloping long deity path to the front gate, and then to the large stone-tablet pavilion. After passing the pavilion, the gradient increases, then one climbs wide steps alternating with platforms which rise one after another, to reach the sacrificial hall. The gradient of the whole course goes from gentle to steep, creating a solemn atmosphere. The overall plane of the mausoleum is in a bell shape, with the implied meaning of an "alarm bell".

The front part of the plane of the sacrificial hall is close to a square. There is an angle room in each quadrangle. In the back part, a short corridor is used to link the round coffin chamber, while the whole structure is in a convex shape. Its exterior appearance is a multi-eave Chinese-hip-and-gable roof covered with dark blue glazed tiles. The angle room consists of four solid wall piers. Walls and pillars are all white stone, which, set off by the blue sky and green trees, look very elegant, neat, dignified, quiet and solemn.

The marble statue of Dr Sun Yat-sen is placed at the center of the sacrificial hall. The four round pillars and the lower part of the left and right walls are inlaid with black polished marbles. Mosaic is used to inlay the pattern of blue sky and bright sun; the ground is in red mosaic, with the implied meaning of "the ground is red all over". The center of the round coffin chamber is in a round depression, surrounded by white stone balustrades. Placed there is the stone statue of Dr Sun Yat-sen. The coffin is sealed up and deposited underground. The Chinese hip-and-gable roof is inlaid with the pattern of blue sky and bright sun. The classicist French coffin chamber handling method is adopted for the layout of the coffin chamber

The Zhongshan Mausoleum is the first state-level modern memorial structure designed by the Chinese themselves. The Ming and Qing mausoleum technique is used for overall planning, but, although an outer shell of wooden structural form is added to a modern structure, its shape is innovative. At the same time, for a special building whose spiritual meaning far outweighs its material significance, content and form are still coordinated.

In January of 1928, the Zijin Hill was included in the administration of Zhongshan Mausoleum. After the liberation, about 1,000 trees were planted in the Mausoleum, making it a rare large forest park near metropolis.

Lu Yanzhi was only 31 when he designed the Zhongshan Mausoleum. He also won the first prize in the competition for designing the Guangzhou Zhongshan Memorial Hall. In 1929, when the Zhongshan Memorial Hall was under construction, he died at the early age of 35. 

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