One of China's four great ancient capitals, Nanjing is home to a wealth of history—much of it illuminated through architectural sites. In Nanjing, the old and new stand side-by-side, offering a unique experience for visitors.
Don't miss these sites on your Nanjing itinerary.
Nanjing City Wall
Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang, founder of the Ming Dynasty, ordered the construction of the Nanjing City Wall to protect from invaders from 1368 to 1421. The original wall was nearly 22 miles long. Today, approximately 15.5 miles are still intact, with six sections open to the public. Zhonghua Gate is the best preserved, with the ruins of three castles located inside. Groups could learn about the history, then climb ancient bricks for impressive views.
Porcelain Tower Heritage Park
Built in 1412 during the Ming Dynasty, the Porcelain Tower was known as one of the Seven Medieval Wonders of the World before it was destroyed in the 19th century. In 2007, archeologists began excavating the tower's ruins, unearthing holy relics now housed in the Porcelain Tower Heritage Park. The reimagined tower boasts nine stories with viewing platforms.
Nanjing Niushoushan Cultural Park
Opened in 2015, Nanjing Niushoushan Cultural Park exhibits and preserves the cultural treasures of Niushou Mountain, a centuries-old sacred Buddhist site. The park consists of an opulent Buddhist palace spanning six floors underground, the Tang-style Usnisa Pagoda nestled in trees, and Usnisa Temple.
Sifang Art Museum
The Sifang Art Museum allows visitors to experiences the best of contemporary architecture, design and art in a lush forest setting—and features compelling permanent architecture and rotated curated exhibits.
Nanjing Green Towers Vertical Forest
Opening in 2018, the Nanjing Green Towers will be the first vertical forest built in Asia. The tallest tower will house 27 floors of offices, a museum, a private club and a green architecture school. The second tower will feature a 247-room Hyatt hotel with a rooftop swimming pool, along with shopping, dining and exhibition space on lower levels.
Photo courtesy of Nanjing Municipal Tourism Commission.