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Home Travel in Jiangsu Chaotian Palace
Chaotian Palace

  Chaotian Palace
In the east of the Mochou Road (mò chóu lù 莫愁路) towards the Water West Gate (shuǐ xī mén 水西门), there lies a towering palace with yellow glazed tiles and red walls on the Yecheng mountain (yě chéng shān 冶城山), setting among the green trees. This is the famous imposing Chaotian Palace (cháo tiān gōng 朝天宫), a group of ancient palace-style buildings which has the highest level, the largest scale and the most complete preservation in the south of the Yangze River (cháng jiāng 长江).

Chaotian PalaceThe Mountain Ye (yě shān 冶山) where the Chaotian Palace located was once the situation of the oldest city "City Ye" (yě chéng 冶城), which can be described as the birthplace of Nanjing. The heavenly ancient architectural group occupies an area of approximately 70,000 square meters. It is grand in scale and quite very well preserved.


Chaotian PalaceThe Chaotian Palace has a long history and is rich in culture. It was said that in the late spring and autumn period, the king of State Wu (wú guó 吴国) Fuchai (fū chāi 夫差) once established the workshop in this place for smelting and refining weapons, thus brings the name Mountain Ye (Smelted Mountain). After that, all the emperors of the successive dynasties constructed palaces and temples here, their names were alternated and the buildings were abandoned for several times. After the Ming Dynasty found the Nanjing capital, Chaotian Palace was constructed and became the place for royalties to practice the royal etiquette before grand ceremonies of the imperial court and was also the place for junior princes and dukes to study the dynasty’s civil and military and to have an audience with the emperor. The current buildings date from the late 1800’s, though they have been renovated and restored since then.


Chaotian PalaceThe homage to the dynasty emperor etiquette performance (cháo hè tiān zǐ lǐ yí biǎo yǎn 朝贺天子礼仪表演) is Nanjing’s famous performance. It is under the tutelage of the Ming Dynasty experts of Nanjing Museum; strictly adhered to the original Ming Dynasty formula arrangement. There are altogether 6 stages with 11 procedures, namely "the arrival of the good fortune" (the imperial tour of inspection  jià xìng 驾幸), "memorial to the throne" (jìn biǎo 进表), "the pass of the system" (chuán zhì 传制), "having the audience with the emperor" (jìn jiàn 进见), "dancing accompanied by music in peaceful life" (yuè wǔ shēng píng 乐舞升平) and "the returning back to the palac" (huán gōng 还宫). The actors have reached 250 people; there are hundred plays of civil and military dance which recalls the sing and dance in vast celebration of peace at the flourishing age in the early Ming dynasty.

Chaotian Palace

Chaotian Palace
Admission fee:
Morning: RMB 30 (has the rite performance of Ming dynasty)
                        Afternoon: RMB 20 (without performance)
Opening hours: 8:00 a.m. — 5:00 p.m.
Tel: 025-84200177
Traffic: You can take bus No.43, 306 or bus Line Middle Six (zhōng liù xiàn 中六线) to get there.
Attraction nearby: Nanjing Museum