Ming Tombs 明陵

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Ming Tombs 明陵

50 kilometers northwest from the center of Beijing lies this magnificent treasure. Ming tombs are the mausoleums of 13 emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644). The site was chosen by the third Ming Dynasty emperor Yongle (1402-1424), who moved the capital of China from Nanjing to the present location of northwest Beijing. The site of the Ming Dynasty Imperial Tombs was carefully chosen according to Feng Shui (geomancy) principles. According to these, bad spirits and evil winds descending from the North must be deflected. The mausoleums have been perfectly preserved the graves of each of the emperors. During the Ming dynasty, the tombs were off limits to commoners but in 1644 Li Zicheng's army ransacked and set many of the tombs on fire before advancing and capturing Beijing in April of that year. Because of its long history, artifacts and unique architecture this attraction is valuable both historically and culturally.

The layout and arrangement of all 13 mausoleums are similar but vary in size as well complexity. It was originally built only as the tomb of Emperor Zhu Di and his empresses called Changling. Naturally, this is still most magnificent tomb. The succeeding twelve emperors had their tombs built around Changling. Only the Changling and Dingling tombs are open to the public. Changling, the main attraction of Ming Tombs, is the largest in scale and is perfectly preserved. The total internal area of the main building is 1956 square meters. There are 32 huge posts with the largest measuring about 14 meters in height. The Lingsi Palace in the second yard is worth visiting because of its unique structure made entirely of camphor wood. The ceiling is colorfully painted and supported by sixteen solid camphor posts and the floor is tiled with gold bricks. Dingling, the other tomb open to the public is about 27 meters underground. It is the mausoleum of Emperor Zhu Yijun, the thirteenth emperor who occupied the throne the longest during the Ming Dynasty, and his two empresses. The main features are the Stone Bridge, Soul Tower, Baocheng and the Underground Place. The entire palace is made of stone and thus, is very stable.  You can view the coffins of Emperor Zhu Yijun and his two empresses displayed with many rare and precious artifacts including the gold imperial crown Those with a heart problems may not be suitable for the underground environment of these tombs. The Ming Tombs were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in August 2003. They were listed along with other tombs under the “Imperial Tombs of the Ming and Qing Dynasties” designation.For any details, please consult our guides who will do their best to make sure you don’t miss out on this gorgeous attraction.

Address: Tianshou Hill, Yanshan Mountain, Changping District
Admission Fee:
Changling Tomb: CNY 30 (Nov.1 to Mar. 31)
                               CNY 45 (Apr. 1 to Oct. 31)
Dingling Tomb:    CNY 40 (Nov.1 to Mar. 31)
                               CNY 60 (Apr. 1 to Oct. 31)
Zhaoling:               CNY 20
Shenlu:                  CNY 15 (Nov.1 to Mar. 31)
                               CNY 20 (Apr. 1 to Oct. 31)

Opening Hours:  Changling Tomb: 08:30 to 17:30
                             Dingling Tomb: 08:30 to 18:00
Transportation: Tour Bus No. 1, 1zhi, 2, 2zhi, 3, 3zhi, 4, 5, 5zhi; City railway to Lishuiqiao Stop
Tel: 010-60761424; 010-60761888; 010-60763104; 010-89749383

Last Updated ( Friday, 19 June 2009 16:22 )  

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