Chairman Mao’s former residence reopens to bigger crowds as pilgrims arrive from across China amid CPC’s centenary
Published: Apr 26, 2021 08:31 PM
Chairman Mao's former residence. Photo: VCG

Chairman Mao's former residence. Photo: VCG

The former residence of late Chairman Mao Zedong in Shaoshan, Central China's Hunan Province, saw a hot reopening after a closure of more than 50 days for renovation, as people from around the country arrived and made pilgrimages to the residence amid celebrations for the centenary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) this year.

The residence received more than 10,000 visitors on Sunday, above its daily visitor ceiling of 9,000, an employee at the Shaoshan Mao Zedong Memorial Museum - a national demonstration base for patriotism education that displays Mao's life deeds, thoughts and personality - told the Global Times on Monday. The passion continued on Monday, with nearly 10,000 reservations for the day as of 11 am.

Reservations are not yet being taken for the upcoming May Day holidays, but the site expects to receive about 16,000 to 17,000 visits every day by then, according to the staff member.

In order to ensure a good experience for tourists and avoid congestion, there will be some precautionary measures during the May Day holidays to manage the mass influx of visitors, the staff member said.

This year marks the centenary of the CPC. "Red tourism" sites like the residence have become popular tourist destinations, as people visit revolutionary memorial halls to pay respects to the martyrs and learn China's history. 

Liu, a staff member in the reservations office who has been working at the museum for nearly three decades, told the Global Times that the residence has been popular all the time since it was opened to the public in 1951, and the centenary of the CPC has brought more visitors this year.

To celebrate the centenary of the CPC, the museum has also planned a series of activities like exhibits and online events, Liu said.

Since the residence was opened, it has received more than 100 million domestic and foreign visitors, the Xinhua News Agency reported. The heavy visitor load, which goes on all year, and the influence of the humid climate in southern China made renovation an urgent task.

The renovation, which started on March 31, included repairs to leaking roofs and damaged wooden parts and walls of the house, and maintenance and greening of the surrounding roads. 

The residence, 104 kilometers from Changsha, capital city of Hunan Province, is on a wooded hillside. Mao was born here on December 26, 1893, and lived here until the fall of 1910, when he left and went to study elsewhere. He returned several times for revolutionary activities. 

It was built in the typical style of houses in rural southern China, with mud brick walls and green tile roofs. When seen from the air, the whole complex forms a concave shape. Mao's family lived on the east side and their neighbors on the west. The middle hall was shared by the two families.