Meiling Palace, also known as "the residence of the chairman of the national government", is located at the foot of Purple Mountain, Xuanwu District, six kilometers from the city center of Nanjing. This palace is one of the most spectacular and elegant architectures in Nanjing with a total area of over 2,000 square meters, which is reputed as "the First Villa in the Far East".
History of Meiling Palace
Meiling Palace was built since 1930 and finished in 1934. Originally as the residence of the chairman of the National Government, it was later converted into a lounge for senior officials of the Yeling Mausoleum of Zhongshan Mausoleum. After the national government moved back to its capital Nanjing from Chongqing, Chiang Kai-shek and his wife Song Meiling often stayed here for worship and leisure. Since March 1984, Meiling Palace has been open to the public with its old interior furnishings.
The design of the building in accordance with the mountain scenery is similar to an emerald necklace. The ring road with green plane trees is the chain and the villa with shining glazed tiles under the sunlight looks like an emerald pendant in a distance.
The main building of Meiling Palace is a three-storey mountain palace with double eaves and covered with green glazed tiles. Its exterior is magnificent while its interior is luxurious. Woods are hidden around and flowers are fragrant all the year round.
Meiling Palace is a "phoenix palace". The whole Meiling Palace shows feminine traits strongly: there are 34 white marble pillars on the platform, each with a carved phoenix on it. Actually the number 34 indicates Soong’s birthday date, March 4th. In Chinese folks, the phoenix is an auspicious symbol used to describe the females. It is postulated that Meilling Palace was a gift to Soong May-ling from Chiang Kai-shek.