"Ming Tombs" Ming Tombs Tip by Blatherwick

Ming Tombs, Beijing: 85 reviews and 205 photos

  Tomb of Ding Ling
by Blatherwick

The Ming Dynasty Tombs site was chosen by the third Ming dynasty emperor Yongle (1402 - 1424), who moved the Capital City of China back from Nanjing to the present location of Beijing. Later, tombs of succeeding Ming Dynasty Emperors were also situated here, totaling 13 in all. At present, three tombs have been excavated. The largest and the one most often visited is that of Ding Ling. There really isn't much to see in the place as anything of note has been removed and taken to museums.

After establishing his Capital City and the newly built Imperial Palace of residence (the Forbidden City) in 1420 CE, the Emperor set to work on selecting his burial site and creating his own mausoleum. The Shisan Ling site was selected by Emperor Yongle and he was the first to be entombed there.

The site of the Ming Dynasty Imperial Tombs was carefully chosen according to then customary Feng Shui principles. According to these, bad spirits and evil winds descending from the North must be deflected; therefore, an arc-shaped area at the foot of the Jundu Mountains north of Beijing was selected. This 40 square kilometer area - enclosed by the mountains in a pristine, quiet valley full of dark earth, tranquil water and other necessities as per Feng Shui - would become the necropolis of The Ming Dynasty.

Address: 50 km north of Beijing
Directions: Tour buses combine this place with a visit to the Great Wall at Badaling.
Website: http://www.drben.net/ChinaReport/Beijing/Landmarks-Hotspots/OutsidetheCity/Shisan_Ling-Ming_Dynasty_Tombs/Beijing-MingTombs-ShisanLing-onlinesources.html

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Aug 3, 2005
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