Before Beijing became the capital of the People's Republic of China in 1949, it had faced ups and downs in its status as the first city. In the early Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the honor fell to Jinling, today's Nanjing in Jiangsu Province, east China. However, Emperor Yongle (1360-1424) proclaimed Beijing the new capital in 1420. The relocation played a significant role in the stability and prosperity of the dynasty.
Capital Museum of China in Beijing traces the story of Beijing's transformation in its exhibition Capital Relocation—1420, From Nanjing to Beijing. Opened in January, the exhibition displays 267 cultural relics from cultural institutions in the two cities, including Nanjing Museum, the Palace Museum and the National Library of China. They showcase the political, economic and cultural development of the two capitals and give an intriguing glimpse of the lifestyle of the royals and high officials at that time.
After running for about six months in Beijing, it will travel to Nanjing as its second destination.
(Text and Photos by Wei Yao)
Copyedited by Sudeshna Sarkar
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