The Hiroshima Peace Memorial (often called the Atomic Bomb or A-Bomb Dome) is probably the most recognised building of Hiroshima and has become a symbol of the destructive power of the worlds first atomic bomb.
Opened in 1915 as the Hiroshima Prefectural Commercial Exhibition, the building changed its name to the Hiroshima Prefectural Products Exhibition Hall in 1921 and again to the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall in 1933. The A-Bomb Dome sits to the edge of Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park and is the focal point of the the parks memorials.
The original target for the bomb was a nearby T shaped bridge but the bomb missed that target and exploded around 150m directly above the top of the dome. Built of reinorced concrete it is one of only a handfull of buildings to survived the blast with the majority of the citys wooden buildngs being completely wiped off the map with very little trace of their exsistance.
After the war the building was was soon nicknamed the A-Bomb Dome (or Genbaku Dōmu in Japanese) and was planned to be torn down along with much of the citys half damaged buildings. In 1966 the city decided to preserve the damaged building as a memorial to the thousands who died in the blast.
The A-bomb dome is one of two pre war buildings in the park, a rest house not far from the dome also survied with with little damage to its outer walls and was resored and still in use today. Other notable pre war buildings in Hiroshima include the Honkawa Elementary School Peace Museum, part of a former school on the opposite of the river to the peace park that has been kept as a museum for students to learn about peace, while in the city centre the former Bank of Japan Building suffered very little damage and is now used as an art gallery.
The A-Bomb Dome is located in the Peace Memorial Park and is only a short walk across the river from Hiroshima’s city centre.