Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders

Top choice in Nanjing

In the city’s southwestern suburbs, the disturbing exhibits in the Memorial Hall of the Victims in Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders document the atrocities committed by Japanese soldiers against the civilian population during the occupation of Nanjing in 1937. They include pictures of actual executions – many taken by Japanese army photographers – and a gruesome viewing hall built over a mass grave of massacre victims. At times it feels overwhelming but visitors will begin to fathom the link between the massacre and the identity of the city.

The museum also helps explain how strong anti-Japanese feeling percolates within today's China. Detailed captions are in English, Japanese and Chinese, but the photographs, skeletons and displays tell their own haunting stories without words. Arrive early to beat the surge.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Nanjing attractions

1. Nanjing Normal University

1.85 MILES

Established in 1902 and located in the centre of town; the lovely campus is well worth an exploration.

2. Nanjing University

2.44 MILES

This delightfully historic campus is worth a stroll to appreciate its traditional architecture, lovely trees and green spaces.

3. Zhan Garden

2.48 MILES

If you don't have time to get to Suzhou, visit this delightful Ming-dynasty garden complex that once housed Taiping officials. The on-site Taiping History…

5. Zhonghua Gate

2.59 MILES

Fourteenth-century Zhonghua Gate has four rows of gates, making it almost impregnable, and could house a garrison of 3000 soldiers in vaults in the front…

6. Fūzǐ Miào

2.73 MILES

In the south of the city in a smartened-up pedestrian zone full of restaurants, the Confucian temple Fūzǐ Miào has been a centre of Confucian study for…

7. Jiangnan Imperial Examination Hall

2.78 MILES

The north section (北馆; ¥40) of this extensive subterranean museum, marked by the stunning reflection pool on Gongyuan Jie, has contemporary displays on…

8. Presidential Palace

3.04 MILES

After the Taiping took over Nanjing, they built the Mansion of the Heavenly King (天王府, Tiānwáng Fǔ) on the foundations of a former Ming-dynasty palace…