About Museum of the First National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party
The Museum of the First National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party is the site where Mao Ze Dong and a further eleven members of various communist groups from around China met for the first time as the National Communist Party.
The meeting took place on July 23 1921 and marked the birth of the party. It was soon discovered by the police and participants fled from the site.
Today, the Museum of the First National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party allows visitors to see the meeting place, with a reconstruction of the event.
Museum of the First National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party history
This commemorative museum was founded in 1961, 12 years after the Chinese Communist Party vanquished the Kuomintang and established the People’s Republic of China. Decades of devastating civil war and the unlikely rise of an assistant librarian to one of the world’s most powerful leaders all began in this quiet alley lane building.
Mao Zedong famously joined 12 other leaders here from July 23 to August 2, 1921, to lay out communist plans to revitalize a nation that continued to struggle after the fall of the Qing Dynasty in 1911. Mao Zedong represented the Changsha region where he took radical action and opened a bookstore to disseminate the flowering communist philosophy, hoping to assert a new approach to government. At the time of the First National Congress, there were 50 members of the Communist Party. Today, there are more than 70 million.
The museum has eight exhibition rooms divided into three sections that focus on the formation of the party, the history of the party in Shanghai, and the civil war that began in 1927. The First National Congress actually met in the basement, which has been restored to its 1921 appearance and is protected almost as a shrine, such that not even photographs are permitted. The rest of the museum contains authentic items from the period and features life-sized dioramas including a wax Mao preaching communion.
Museum of the First National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party today
The museum is situated in a fashionable pedestrian area and is a renowned historical attraction of Shanghai. The Site of the First National Congress of the Communist Party of China has received over 10 million visitors from home and abroad since its opening, with attendance rising to 1.8 million visitors in recent years after being rebuilt in 1999.
In 2017, shortly after being declared China’s leader for a second term, Xi Jinping visited the museum to pay homage to the origins of the Communist Party and to affirm its enduring authority. Xi and members of the Politburo were photographed in the main hall with their fists raised reenacting the original Communist Party oath.
Getting to the Museum of the First National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party
The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and entry is free. It is within walking distance from the South Huangpi Road Station of the Shanghai Metro. To get there by bus take bus 146 or 805 and get off at Madanglu Xingyelu Station, go along Madang Road for two minutes and turn east at Xintiandi Post Office or take the City Sightseeing Bus Line 1 to get there directly.
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