Xuanwu Lake Gates, Nanjing – Ticket Price, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

xuanwu lake gate, nanjing

Nanjing, a city steeped in history, is adorned with a treasure trove of ancient gates that guard the memories of bygone eras. Among these, the Xuanwu Lake Gates stand as testaments to Nanjing’s historical grandeur, and each gate tells its own unique story.


Table of Contents


Shence Gate:

Shence Gate (神策门), situated at the northwest corner of Xuanwu Lake, is one of the thirteen Ming Dynasty city gates that encircled the heart of Nanjing. It features an outer wengcheng (an additional defensive structure), and two concentric walls, forming a complex and robust defense system. The gate also boasts two auxiliary gateways, not aligned with the main gate, adding to its architectural intrigue. The main archway, a single-span structure, is supported by arches in the typical Ming style. Resting atop the gate is a triple-eaved Qiaolou (penthouse) added during the Qing Guangxu era, demonstrating the fusion of architectural styles from different dynasties.

Taiping Gate:

Located at the southeast corner of Xuanwu Lake, Taiping Gate is another of the thirteen Ming Dynasty city gates. It served as the northern gateway to Nanjing, the capital of the Ming Dynasty. The eastern side of the gate’s fortifications is aptly named the “Dragon’s Neck.” In its modern restoration, Taiping Gate has been adapted to accommodate contemporary traffic, transforming it into a three-arched city gate. The main gateway is equipped with four lanes, while each of the two auxiliary gateways features two lanes, resulting in an impressive total width of approximately 72 meters.


Jiefang Gate:

On the southern bank of Xuanwu Lake lies Jiefang Gate, a relatively recent addition to the historical city gates of Nanjing. It was established in 1954, characterized by its single-span arch structure. Jiefang Gate symbolizes the spirit of liberation, reflecting the historical significance of the liberation of Nanjing during the Chinese Civil War in 1949. This gate, though not as ancient as some of its counterparts, plays a vital role in preserving and transmitting the city’s history to future generations.


Xuanwu Gate:

Xuanwu Gate, nestled in the central-western part of the western bank of Xuanwu Lake, stands as one of the significant entrances to the city. Established in 1909 during the reign of the Qing Dynasty’s Xuantong era, it was initially known as Fengrun Gate. This gate was created to facilitate the movement of visitors attending the “South China Industrial Exposition,” providing easy access to Xuanwu Lake. In 1928, it was renamed Xuanwu Gate, and the prominent educator Cai Yuanpei was invited to inscribe its name. In 1934, two additional gateways were added to the left and right sides of the main gate, enhancing its architectural grandeur. In 1984, a city gate tower was constructed, and it has since been maintained through various restoration efforts.

Among the four major gates surrounding Xuanwu Lake, Xuanwu Gate is the most prominent and historically significant. These gates are not merely passageways but also tangible links to the city’s rich past. They serve as both guardians of history and symbols of Nanjing’s resilience and endurance.


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Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour0.5 – 1 hour
Ticket Price30 RMB
Opening Hours8.30 – 17.00
Telephone Number0086-025-58869797

Location and Transportation

The Xuanwu Lake Gate, also known as the Xuanwu Gate or Xuanwu Men in Chinese, holds a significant place in the history of Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, which was once the capital of several Chinese dynasties. Built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the gate originally served as the main entrance to the Xuanwu Lake area, a sprawling recreational and cultural zone. Its strategic location at the southwestern corner of the Nanjing city walls made it a crucial defensive point, guarding the city against potential invasions.

To get there, you can choose the following ways:

Bus: Take bus 1, 8, 22, 25, 28, 30, 33, 35, or 56, get off at Xuanhu Lake Park Stop (玄武湖公园站), and walk about 200 meters to the south to reach the gate.

Metro: The nearest metro station to Xuanwu Lake Gate is Xuanwumen (玄武门) on line 1. After getting out of the station from Exit 3, walk about 50 meters to the east to reach the gate.


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