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15 July 2015

Humanities & Landscape

The Former Residence of Chairman Mao

The Former Residence of Chairman Mao is located at Shangwu Ground, Tudi Chong, Shaoshan village, Shaoshan Township. It lies on the south and faces on the north, and the building structure is like Chinese character "凹". On the east, it belongs to Mao's family, while the other side of the house belongs to Mao's neighbor. The two families shared the central room. On Dec. 26, 1893, Mao Zedong was born in the house. We can see Mao's family photo, everyday household utensils, all kinds of farm tools, and shoulder pole, bucket, hoe that used by Mao Zedong when he was young.



As the hometown of the great man of the generation, now Shaoshan is one of the important tourist zones in Hunan province. The major tourist sites including the Former Residence of Chairman Mao, Memorial Hall of Mao Zedong, Water-dripping Cave and Steles Forest of Mao's Poems.



The Former Residence of Chairman Mao 


Shaoshan is a small mountain village about 120km away from Changsha, the capital of Hunan province. On  Dec. 26, 1893, a baby was born of a relatively wealthy peasant family in this village. The child was to grow up to become China's Great Helmsman, Chairman Mao Zedong, and it was in this region that he spent his childhood and youth, attended school and helped his father with his work in the field.


The former residence of Chairman Mao is the most interesting site. Entered through a courtyard, the house is of a sunny yellow, mud brick walls, with a nicely thatched roof, and it is found on a wooded hillside, above some lush paddy fields. There are 13 and one half rooms in the Former residence, which include one and half central room, a kitchen, a dining room, three bedrooms and a guest room. Within the rooms are various personal effects of Mao and his parents, as well as photos of Mao's life.


This is the central room, used by two families: Mao's family and Mao's neighbor. Thus, there is only one half of the central room belongs to Mao's family. And this is the kitchen, where Chairman Mao often helped his mother doing some housework in his childhood. Go through the kitchen was Chairman Mao's parents' bedroom, and there are two photos of Chairman Mao's parents on the wall, and it was in this room where Chairman Mao was born.

Chairman Mao Memorial Hall 


The Chairman Mao Memorial Hall is commonly known as the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong or the Mao Mausoleum. It is the final resting place of  Mao Zedong, chairman of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China from 1943 and chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China from 1945 until his death.


Although Mao had wished to be cremated, his body was embalmed, and construction of a mausoleum began shortly after his death. This highly popular attraction is located in the middle of Tiananmen Square, in Beijing, the capital of China. On this site had previously stood the Gate of China, the southern (main) gate of the Imperial City during the Ming and Qing dynasties.


The remains of the Great Helmsman are on display for public viewing. People line up for hundreds of feet (dozens of meters) every day to see the former chairman, many paying tribute to him with flowers which can be rented at the entrance on the north side. There is a souvenir shop at the exit on the south side.

Comrade Mao Zedong Bronze Statue Square 


Comrade Mao Zedong Bronze Statue Square was built at Chairman Mao's 100th birth anniversary in 1993. It is located in the center of the core scenic area of Shaoshan. It is the main site for domestic and overseas tourists to commemorate Comrade Mao Zedong, the venue for a variety of large-scale events, and the distribution center for visitors who tour Shaoshan. Comrade Mao Zedong Bronze Statue Square was reconstructed and expanded at Chairman Mao's 115th birth anniversary in 2008. It is "Number One Project" in the Shaoshan major construction projects. Approved by the Central Government, "Small Displacement, Small Shift" program was used to renovate and expand Comrade Mao Zedong Bronze Statue Square based on the original one. After the reconstruction, the total area of the square is 100,000 square meters and the height of Comrade Mao Zedong bronze statue is 10.1 meters tall including the foundation. Backed by Shaofeng Mountain and facing the former residence, people in this magnificent and solemn atmosphere can have a better understanding of the extraordinary spirit of the great man Mao.
The Dripping Water Cave 


The Dripping Water Cave, about 3 km away from the village, is a very popular destination, possibly because of the fact that Mao allegedly spent 11 days here in the early days of the Cultural Revolution Years (1966-76.
Shaoshan Steles Forest of Mao’s Poems
Mao Zedong's Poetry Forest of Stone Tablets is located half way up the mountain of Shaofeng and about 3 kilometers away from Mao Zedong's Former Residence. It was formally opened in 1993, with a total area of nearly 20,000 square meters. The whole garden is divided into five parts according to Mao's revolutionary career and four periods by the chronological order.


The first part: Mao Zedong's poetry written in his youth.


The second part: Mao Zedong's poetry written during the time of Great Revolution and the second Revolutionary War.


The third part: Mao Zedong's poetry written in the time of Long March of the Red Army, Anti-Japanese War, and the War of Liberation.


The fourth part: Mao Zedong's poetry written after the establishment of new China.



On hillside stood steles engraved with Mao’s fifty poems. Among them, 28 is Mao’s original handwriting. Due to the poetic sentiment and picturesque layout, it is appraised as one of Hunan’s best scenic spots.
The Peak of Mount Shaoshan
Mount Shaoshan has an abundance of green and old trees. There are eight scenic spots and five marvelous spectacles. Tourists can climb to Shaoshan ancient temple on mountaintop while enjoying birds singing and pine trees whistling and beautiful scenery. Cableway is also available.


Travel tips:


This site is on the outskirts of Shaoshan (approximately 104 km outside of Changsha) and is easily reached by bus.

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