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This beautiful place in the south of the Zhonghua Gate is actually a hillock that is about 100 meters high and 3000 meters long. It is also the highest spot in the south of Nanjing. Like many other places of China, a beautiful legend blends and diffuses with history to give the site its name.
This story dates back to the time when the influence of Buddhism was felt strongly in the country. An enlightened monk named Yunguang came here to preach sermons from the top of the hills. His preaching not only moved people but the heavens above as well that rained in flowers. Wherever these flowers touched the ground they changed into beautiful, colorful stones. This is the little story that gives the place its name.
The Rain Flower Terrace is also known as the Agate Hillock because of the abundance of the colorful stones of that name. Also, the top of the hillock resembles that of a platform and that is what justifies the place being called a ‘terrace’.
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It is difficult to imagine how the history of this quiet, mesmerizing place had been drafted not in beauty but in blood. This is the site that functioned as an execution ground for the Nationalists when Nanjing became their capital in 1927. Later on, the Communists changed this place into a patriotic education base and constructed museums and other monuments. Even today, it is common to visit the place during the annual Qingming Festival, sweep the tombs of the martyrs and remember the Party’s struggle to power.
History has it that the Kuomintang reactionaries killed thousands of communists and patriots. It is said that 1,00,000 revolutionaries that constituted of communists, peasants, workers and intellectuals were executed over a period of 22 years. Later in 1950 this cemetery was founded in order to honor the martyrs who had envisioned a new transformed China.
Two 12 meter high pillar can be found at the entrance to the park. Inside, there is a 7 meter high granite sculpture kept on a raised platform. This was erected in memory of the martyrs, men and women, who sacrificed their life for the cause of the country. At the base of this monument are engraved the words: “Long live revolutionary martyrs”, written by Chairman Mao himself. This place is called Yu Hua Tai, an area of 86.87 hectares of artificial forest.
A beautiful and clear spring stream of sweet water can be found on the east hill of the Rain Flower Terrace. The crystal clear water makes even the bottom visible. It is said that when Luyoy, a famous literati, was an officer in the Song Dynasty, he once drank tea prepared with the water of this spring. He was so delighted by the heavenly taste that he praised it calling it "the second spring in south of the Yangtze River". Today, an elegant teahouse stands on the Rain Flower Terrace where visitors can taste this flavorful tea made with the spring water.
The site also hosts the Nanjing Museum of Rain Flower Pebbles which collects and conducts researches on the Rainy Agate. Structurally, it reminds one of ancient Chinese architecture. The museum has five sections: Entity, Intention, Pleasure, Leisure, and Road of Stone Derivation and showcases some of the most fascinating Rainy Agate stones.