"Ming Tombs - Ming Dinasty "Shi san Ling"" Ming Tombs Tip by blue_sky04
Ming Tombs, Beijing: 85 reviews and 205 photos
The Ming Tombs are located in Changping County, about fifty km northwest of Beijing. The tombs, covering a hilly area of 40 acres, was selected in 1409. Dragon Hill lies to the east and Crouching Tiger Hill to the west.
In 1424 the Yongle Emperor, Zhu Di, was the first Ming Emperor to be buried here in his mausoleum called the Changling. He was the third Ming Emperor. His father and founder of the Ming Dynasty, Zhu Yuanzhang, was buried in Nanjing. All in, 13 of 16 Ming Emperors were buried in this royal necropolis, including Empresses and many concubines, some buried alive to accompany the Emperor to his "life after death."
Only three tombs are opened to the public - Changling of the Yongle Emperor, Dingling of the Wanli Emperor and Zhaoling of the Longqing Emperor.
Dingling, Tomb of Certainty, is the resting place of the 13th Ming ruler, the useless Wanli Emperor, Zhu Yijun, whose claim to fame was his long life. He ascended the throne at the age of ten years and ruled for 48 years. When the Dingling was completed in 1581 after 6 years of construction & 38 years before his death, he held a grand feast to celebrate his future interment.
The discovery of the entrance to the 27 meter deep underground chamber of Dingling tomb is interesting. A small tablet was unearthed in the vicinity and the Chinese characters indicated a site and a depth. Archaeologists on following the instructions discovered a doorway to Dingling and started evacuation in 1956. Within two years the excavation was completed and the tomb was found to have jewellery and artifacts including jade belts, golden chopsticks and a crown worn by the Wanli Emperor himself. The underground chamber is made up of five marbled hall -- a central hall surrounded by four other halls.
Don't forget to visit the small museum at the Dingling Tomb where you can see the jewellery, artifacts and some photos.
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