Old site of Bombing of Chongqing starts trial operation
On September 28, visitors who had made reservations were touring the site. (Photographed by Qi Lansen/Vision Chongqing)
At the site of the “June 5th” tunnel tragedy in Chongqing, the sculptures on both sides of the long staircase show evacuees escaping from the tunnel and pouring out of the cave. (File photo) (Photographed by Qi Lansen and Cui Li/Vision Chongqing)
CHONGQING (CQNEWS) -- On September 28, the site of the Chongqing Bombing tragedy, located at Ciqi Street, Yuzhong District, was repaired and opened to the public on a trial basis. At the same time, the air defense tunnel under the site was opened to the public and tourists for the first time after 80 years. The site is free of charge from Tuesday to Sunday, with opening hours from 9:00 to 17:00, and visitors can make appointments through the “Chongqing Bombing June 5th Tragedy Historical Fact Exhibition Hall” WeChat official account.
The person in charge of the Chongqing People’s Air Defense Office, Chongqing Bombing Tragedy site is the first batch of national anti-war sites, Chongqing cultural relics protection units, is a powerful witness to the major historical events of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japan and the World Anti-Fascist War, recorded the brutal crimes of Japanese militarism, but also witnessed the unity of the people of Chongqing and the spirit of resistance of “getting stronger in the increasing bombing”.
During the anti-Japanese war, Chongqing became the main target of Japanese air raids in their strategic attempt to “force surrender by bombing”. On the night of June 5, 1941, 24 Japanese planes attacked Chongqing in 3 batches, and during the 5 hours of bombing, the three air defense tunnels in Yuzhong District (Shibati, Shihuishi and Yanwuting (now Ciqi Street) were attacked. On July 6, 1987, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the July 7 Incident, a ceremony was held to inaugurate the “Monument of the Japanese Invaders' Bombing of Chongqing” at the site of Ciqi Street. In March 2000, the Chongqing People’s Air Defense Office restored the original site, reshaped the stone sculpture, and decorated the interior, displayed historical photos of the bombing period, and opened it to the public. However, the air defense tunnel below the ground has never been opened.
The air defense tunnel was built at the end of 1938 by the Chongqing Air Defense Command together with the Chengdu-Chongqing Railway Engineering Bureau and other units for exploration and design, and is a large tunnel dug deep into the ground from the surface. This large tunnel is about 10 meters deep from the ground, about 2 meters wide and high, stretching about 2 kilometers flat, bifurcating into 3 holes in and out halfway, and can accommodate up to about 5,000 people for shelter. Later, due to the construction of CRT Line 1, the site was truncated with the Shibati tunnel. The site protection and restoration project site was the Yanwutin air defense tunnel entrance back then, was a national anti-war site with a construction area of about 455 square meters.
In September 2020, the Chongqing Municipal People’s Air Defense Office, based on the historical events of the “June 5” tunnel tragedy, adopted the site protection and repair method to restore and display the original appearance of the site and create a national patriotic education base integrating history, culture and tourism.
The Chongqing Bombing tragedy site opened this time comprehensively adopts modern new technologies and techniques to recreate the original appearance of history in order to commemorate the compatriots who died in the Chongqing Bombing, especially the “June 5th” tunnel tragedy.
The site has 3 floors with a total construction area of 1,181 square meters. It includes six parts of a prologue hall, the massacre from the air - the invading Japanese army’s bombing of Chongqing, the “June 5th” tragedy - the coming of the Great Tunnel tragedy while getting stronger in the increasing bombing - the people of Chongqing stood firm in the bombing with memory of time and space - the warning of the tunnel tragedy, and the postscript. (Translated by Wang Junli, Fathom Language Limited)