Historic Site sights in Yán’ān
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More accessible from town, this Revolution Headquarters Site is about 100m west of the post office. This was the first site occupied by the communists after their move to Yán'ān, before being abandoned because it was too easy for enemy planes to attack it. There's a photo exhibit about Norman Bethune, the Canadian doctor who became a hero in China for treating CCP casualties in the late 1930s.
Further south, this was the last site occupied by the communist leadership in Yán'ān. The improved living conditions at this site – houses rather than dugouts – indicate the way the CCP's fortunes were rising by the time it moved here.
Both Revolution Headquarters Sites can be reached by taking bus 1, which runs along the road east of the river and then heads up Shengdi Lu. Bus 3 runs along the other side of the river along Zhongxin Jie; get off when it crosses north over the river. Both of these buses start at the train station. Bus 8 also passes by these places and can be caught from Da Bridge (大桥). The taxi flag fall is Y5.
During their extended stay, the communist leadership shifted around Yán'ān. As a result there are numerous former headquarters sites. The most interesting, this site is located 3km northwest of the town centre. Here you can see the assembly hall where the first central committee meetings were held, including the seventh national plenum, which formally confirmed Mao as the leader of the party and the revolution. It's fun watching the red tourists pose in old CCP uniforms in front of the podium.
Nearby are simple dugouts built into the loess earth where Mao, Zhu De, Zhou Enlai and other senior communist leaders lived, worked and wrote.