Shaoshan,the Fomer Residence of Chairman Mao,is a county-level city which is located in Xiangtan City,South Central China's Hunan Provicne.Nowadays, Shaoshan is one of the top attarctions of Hunan Province because Shaoshan is one of the four major revolutionary memorial lands of China, which has been well known in the world because of Mao Zedong, a great leader of China.
What to see in Shaoshan?
With fascinating scenery, Shaoshan Scenic and Historic Area is mainly composed of the Former Residence of Mao Zedong, Shaofeng Peak, Dishui Cave, Qingxi and Heishizhai scenic areas.
The Former Residence of Mao Zedong
The Former Residence of Mao Zedong is one of the national AAAA scenic spots. The residence named Shangwuchang, is located in a valley which is well landscaped. The house that faces the south was built with adobe and grey tile- roofed. It is of a half-timbered structure, and used to be a normal farmer house in the south of China. In the front there are rice fields and pools, in the back there is a hill with diverse trees, on the left there is a vegetable field and on the right there are vegetable fields, rice fields and grain-sunning ground. It covers a land area of 566.39 square meters, with 20 rooms. The east part of the residence with 14 rooms belonged to Mao's family, whilst the west part with 5 rooms belonged to his neighbors, and the living room was shared by the two families.
Mao Zedong was born here on Dec 26, 1893. He spent his childhood and boyhood here. In the fall of 1910 he left this village for study. After he joined the revolution, Mao Zedong returned Shaoshan for 5 times, for the purpose of revolution, inspecting or visiting his villagers.
This residence was destructed in 1929 by Kuomintang, after 1950 its original appearance was recovered. In April, 1961, this former residence was announced by the State Council as a Key National Historical Reservation Unit, and then in 1982 its name was changed to Former Residence from Original Residence.
Now all the rooms have been renovated to be their original appearance and layouts: their bedrooms (Mao, his parents and his two brothers'), the living room, kitchen and other rooms. The historical relics include: the furniture in Mao's bedroom and his parents' bedroom (bed, wardrobe, desks, stool and chair), the jar and cupboard in the kitchen, stone grinder, man-driven irrigation tool and the harrow in the Farm Implements Room, the rice pestle and man-driven blower for rice in the Pestle Room.
The Water Dripping Cave
The Water Dripping Cave,also called "Dishuidong" in Chinese, is Chairman Mao’s villa which is 3 km away from his former residence. It consists of Water Dripping Valley, Tiger Resting Lawn (Huxie Lawn), Dragon Head Hill, No.1 Building, and other scenic spots.
The cave is 2.8 km long with a stream flowing through it. Many trees and flowers grow here. Visitors can find over 30 species of trees including gingko, privet, and the rare cycas a genus of the Cycadaceae family, as well as over 100 species of flowers such as azalea, rose, and chrysanthemum.
In 1966 Chaiman Mao return Shaoshan for the last time and spent the time in the Dripping Water Cave.The No.1 Building is held famous because Chairman Mao lived there for 11 days in 1966 and is the main building of Water Dripping Cave. It has been established as an exhibition hall where the office, bedroom, dining room, and conference room, as well as Mao’s daily supplies, are completely preserved.
Mao Zedong’s Bronze Statue Square
Built in 2008, It covers an area of 102,800 sq m . It is divided into a homage paying area, a commemorating area, an assembly area, and a leisure area. The statue is 3.7 tons (3,700 kg) in weight, and 6 m in height. The statue's entire height including the bronze base is 10.1 m, which symbolizes October 1st, the date the PRC was founded. The statue vividly presents Mao's gentle demeanor with shining view and light smiles.
The Steles Forest of Mao Zedong’s Poems
It is 3 km away from his former residence. It covers 20,000 sq m, and consists of 100 pieces of white marble and granite on which 50 poems by Chairman Mao have been carved. The different shaped steles present a beautiful landscape together with the scenery of Shaoshan Peak. The whole scenic area is divided into five parts according to Mao’s revolutionary career and four parts by chronological order. At the exit from the forest stands a giant poem stele which is 12.26 m in width, 8.3 m in height and 0.99 m in thickness. The width of 12.26 represents Mao’s birthday on December 26, and the thickness of 0.99 represents the date of Mao’s death on September 9.
To the south of the Former Residence of Mao Zedong, Shaofeng Peak, with the height of 518.9 meters above sea level, is the highest peak in Shaoshan County and the 71st mountain of Nanyue. The main tourist attractions in the area include the Stele Forest of Chairman Mao's Poems, Shaofeng Temple, Liuchao Pine, Ancient Rouge Well, etc.Under a clear and boundless sky, standing on Shaofeng Peak, we will take in general picture of Xiangtan, Xiangxiang, and Ninxiang at a glance.
Limpid Stream Scenic Area
At Qingxi Town of Shaoshan City, there is a boulevard named Hero Road, at the north end of which is the Square of Young Mao Zedong’s Statue and at the south end is Swan Hill, on which the Martyrs Cemetery lies. Located on the hill which is around 200 m from the local railway station, the 12.26 m Statue of Young Mao Zedong was made to symbolize his birthday of December 26th. The statue vividly embodies Mao’s ambitious verve in his youth. The Martyrs Cemetery is built to commemorate the martyrs of Shaoshan, but there are no actual martyrs buried there. Homage is paid to them by the building of pavilions, museums or statuaries.
The Memorial Museum of Mao Zedong
First built in 1963, the Memorial Museum of Mao Zedong was restored in 2003 in celebration of Mao’s 110th birthday. There are 12 exhibition halls, eight of which display Mao’s achievement throughout his life and the remaining four are for special topics. Memorial Park is characterized by the duplication of various sites reflecting Mao's life; such as the Well Pavilion at Hunan No.1 Normal University where Mao studied for four years, South Lake with a boat on it where the first conference of the Chinese Communist Party was held, and caves and a pagoda in Yan’an (a city in Shaanxi Province considered as a sacred revolutionary land). The Memorial Hall is the most magnificent building in the park. It displays the introduction of this great leader in different periods and the white marble statues of Mao and his other six family members.
The Mao Zedong Relics Museum
It is divided into three areas; a basic exhibition hall, a special topic exhibition hall, and a temporary hall. The main exhibits are the porcelains, discs and tapes he used and some art masterpieces. The Mao Zedong Library was built to celebrate his 100th anniversary in 1993. It is the only library in China that is named after Chairman Mao. The number of items in the present collection has reached 120,000 and includes newspapers and journals Mao read in his life, his manuscripts and various books published at home and abroad, and his written articles and monographs concerning his thoughts.
Water Dripping Cave
A purpose-built conference center used by Mao for a week in 1966, now an amusing museum exhibiting memorabilia such as the ping-pong table he used during his stay there.
Shaoshan is well-known as the hometown of Chairman Mao Zedong where he was born and undertook the revolutionary activities in his youth. Due to the advantaged natural environment and the history, it has become a well-known scenic area, also regarded as a sacred place to commemorate the Chinese revolution.