Chaotian Gong (Heaven Palace)

Entrance Fee CNY25
Free for children under 1.2m (3.9 feet).
Opening Hours 9:00-18:00, ticket selling stops at 17:00;
Closed on Monday.

Located just two kilometers from Nanjing’s city center, Chaotian Palace stands as the epitome of ancient grandeur in South China. Spanning a vast area of approximately 40,000 square meters, it is revered as the highest-grade, largest-scale, and best-preserved ancient complex in the region. Its name, Chaotian, meaning “worship the gods,” was bestowed by Zhu Yuanzhang, the founding emperor of the Ming Dynasty.

With a rich history spanning 2,500 years, Chaotian Palace has witnessed the ebb and flow of dynasties and the evolution of Nanjing’s cultural landscape. Originally established during the Spring and Autumn Period as a center for metallurgy workshops and the construction of weapons, it was later rebuilt and renamed as Chaotian Palace by the Ming government in 1384. During its zenith, it served as the largest and most prestigious Taoist temple in Nanjing, boasting hundreds of rooms and halls spread across an expansive area.

In 1866, during the Qing Dynasty, the temple was converted into a Confucian Temple, reflecting the shifting religious and cultural dynamics of the time. Today, Chaotian Palace is home to the Nanjing Municipal Museum, which showcases a vast collection of over 80,000 artifacts spanning the city’s illustrious history.

Visitors to Chaotian Palace are treated to a fascinating journey through Nanjing’s rich cultural heritage, with exhibitions and displays offering insights into the city’s storied past. Whether marveling at its architectural splendor or delving into its historical artifacts, Chaotian Palace stands as a testament to Nanjing’s enduring legacy as a cultural and historical hub.

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