Memorial House of the First National Congress of the CCP

  • Things to Do
  • Historical Buildings
Photograph Courtesy Yang Xiaozhe
374 Huangpi Nan Lu

In 1921, thirteen delegates, including Li Dazhao, Chen Duxiu, Chen Gongbo and Mao Zedong (who attended as a delegate of the Hunan Communist group), met in secret in a Shikumen house at 76 Xingye Lu to hold the first national congress of the Communist Party of China. Only a week later, the party was forced to move to Jiaxing after investigations from police in the then French Concession. Today, the renovated building is open to the public as a memorial to the birthplace of China’s Communist revolution.

The front lobby is an expansive, almost empty room with the Chinese flag looming large over a floral arrangement depicting the building itself in red and yellow. It’s the only room in the historical building that allows photos so feel free to snap away.

Up the marble stairs is the grandly titled ‘Exhibition of the Historical Relics Showing the Founding of the Communist Party of China’, which mainly consists of hundreds of revolutionary items ranging from the ‘leather-padded wooden chair in meeting room of the board of directors of Shanghai Municipal Council of International Settlement’ to pajamas worn by Yang Fengting. The amount of objects is a tad overwhelming, especially with much of it propaganda, but the well-laid out exhibition has plenty of well-translated, interesting English descriptions and leaves us with a greater knowledge of the early days of The Party.

The highlight of the exhibition is no doubt the wax-figure reproduction of the scene of the first national congress. All thirteen attendees are replicated with Mao Zedong standing, leading the meeting. The models are a tad lifeless but makes the visit slightly more interesting than staid images and descriptions.

While elsewhere the house is mostly roped off, the first meeting place is worth a quick stop for anyone wanting an easy way to learn more about China’s political background. For serious history-buffs, check out the Site of the Second National Congress of the Communist Party of China at No. 30, Lane 7, Chengdu Lu, near Huaihai Lu.

Venue name: Memorial House of the First National Congress of the CCP
Opening hours: 9am-5pm daily
Admission: Free
Metro: Huangpi Lu
English address: 374 Huangpi Nan Lu, Madang Lu, Huangpu district
Chinese address: 黄陂南路374号, 近马当路