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Chiang Kai-shek Mansion

The famous Kuomintang leader Chiang Kai-shek (1887 - 1975) had married four times during his long life. The first marriage of Chiang was at his age 14; his mother introduced him a designated girl and arranged the wedding. This kind of marriage was a norm at that time in China. December 1, 1927, Chiang Kai-shek formally married well-known Chinese stateswoman Song Meiling (1897 - 2003) at a posh Shanghai hotel. Song had been the official wife (once had been the First Lady of China) in the life of former Nationalist leader. But before that, Chiang Kai-shek had married twice. The first one was a maid servant of a fashionable prostitute in old Shanghai. The second was Chen Jieru, to whom Chiang had a seven-year marital relation.

May 16, 1922 there was a coup done by a warlord named Chen, during which Chiang Kai-shek frequently visited the mansion of Dr. Sun Yat-sen. Chiang told him that he would like to follow Dr. Sun's way in engaging the democratic movement, which was successfully led by him. Chiang had attained the trust of Dr. Sun. In the mansion, he encountered the wise and beautiful Song Meiling, the younger sister of Dr. Sun's wife, Song Qingling (1893 - 1981). For the sake of his future political ambition, Chiang asked Dr. Sun and Song that he want to marry Meiling, but the proposal was strongly opposed by the Song Family. Chiang Kai-shek had made keen effort years after years, eventually approved by the oldest sister Song Ai'ling (1889 - 1973) in 1927, Chiang Kai-shek and Song Meiling went travel along Jinshan Monastery in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province, for about ten days. The tour had favored the heart of Meiling. In October, He visited the mother of Song in Japan and followed the Song Family's tradition to be Christianized. Divorced with his first wife, and ended the relations with his two "concubines", Chiang married Song Meiling in December the same year in Shanghai.

Just after the wedding, the couple was quite hard to find a suitable house for their cohabitation. They went to and fro in Shanghai and Ningbo, finally Song Ziwen, the elder brother of Meiling found a grand garden villa located on 9 Dongping Road in Xuhui District. Since then, the couple had stayed here longer then in other places on Mainland China. Now the house becomes the former residence of Chiang Kai-shek in Shanghai.

Chiang Kai-shek MansionThe three-storey house is facing south with good scenery, the elegantly sloped tops are of French style. In the east portion's first floor is a grand stateroom that can accommodate about 40 people simultaneously. During the stay of the couple, Song Meiling loved to screen American films for guests' leisure here. On the second floor is the master room, which was the bedroom of the famous couple with a bathroom. Gracefully decorated walls and gorgeous teak made floor are the feast your eyes on. The balcony here commands a good view of the villa's garden. There are living room, dining room and a study in the middle of the house. On the western side are the dwelling rooms for bodyguards and servants.

In the past there was a tiny creek flowing through the meadow garden with a lot of rockwork in the water. Now the west side some small buildings are erected but the pond and grassland remained, the whole scene looks like a classical Chinese garden.