NANJING, formerly known in the West as Nanking, is one of China's greatest cities. Its very name, "Southern Capital", stands as a direct foil to the "Northern Capital" of Beijing, and the city is still considered the rightful capital of China by many Overseas Chinese, particularly those from Taiwan. Today, it's the prosperous capital of Jiangsu province, benefiting from its gateway position as a major port on the Yangzi River. With broad, tree-lined boulevards and balconied houses within Ming walls, Nanjing is also one of the most attractive of the major Chinese cities, and although it has become rather an expensive place to visit, it offers a wealth of historic sites.
Among the three major downtown focal points, Xinjiekou and Fuzi Miao are the most interesting areas for simply wandering, with historic buildings, pedestrianized shopping streets, canals and some good restaurants. Both the excellent Nanjing Museum and the sober Memorial to the Victims of the Nanjing Massacre, commemorating one of the worst atrocities of World War II, are well worth visiting. However, the biggest draw for tourists is the green hill beyond the city walls to the east of the city, Zijin Shan, with its concentration of important cultural relics. Chief among these is Zhongshan Ling, the mausoleum of Sun Yatsen, the first president of the new Republic of China, who established his provisional capital in Nanjing in 1911. His tomb is today one of the great centres of pilgrimage of the Chinese.