Ming Tombs

 

 

 
50 kilometers northwest from Beijing City lies the Ming Tombs - the general name given to the mausoleums of 13 emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644). The layout and arrangement of all thirteen mausoleums are very similar but vary in size as well as in the complexity of their structures.
It was originally built only as Changling, the tomb of Emperor Zhu Di and his empress and concubines. The succeeding twelve emperors had their tombs built around Changling, and a grandeur Mausoleum area of the Ming Dynasty has been formed.
 
 
Only the Changling and Dingling tombs are open to the public. Changling, the chief of the Ming Tombs, is the largest in scale and is completely preserved. The total internal area of the main building is 1956 square meters. There are 32 huge posts, and the largest measures about 14 meters in height.
 
 
Dingling is under ground and about 27 meters deep. 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, which was unearthed between 1956 and 1958. The entire palace is made of stone. The Soul Tower is symbolic of the whole of Dingling and it forms the entrance to the underground chambers.