The Imperial Tombs of China

Eastern Qing Tombs, photo by treasuresthouhast on Flickr

China is one of the greatest powers of the world today, but that is no news to anyone. Even thousands of years ago, Chinese civilization was known for its science, culture and art, and the heritage of the past is held in very high regard today. The Ming and the Qing Dynasties were two of the most powerful lines of rulers that China has ever seen, and they have shaped the fate of the country since the 14th centuries. Naturally, these rulers are still in a place of honor in Chinese history and culture, but their tombs are more than just mementos of important historical figures – they have become attractions on their own, thanks to their inimitable architecture and many treasures. The Imperial Tombs of China are among the most interesting attractions in the country, and worth a visit any day.

Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum, Nanjing

Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum, photo by KimonBerlin on Flickr

The Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum is the final resting place of the Hongwu Emperor, the legendary founder of the Mind Dynasty. The tomb is a masterpiece of medieval Chinese architecture that took long years and the labor of 100,000 workers to build. The mausoleum is entered through the majestic Great Golden Gates, leading into the Square City Pavilion, where you can see one of the complex’s iconic stone turtles, supporting a beautifully carved stele.

Ming Dynasty Tomb, Beijing

The huge tomb complex 50 kilometers from Central Beijing was established by the Emperor Yongle, the third emperor of the Ming Dynasty, who moved the capital of China from Nanjing to Beijing. The spot where the tombs stand was carefully chosen according to the principles of feng shui in order to keep away evil spirits. Thirteen emperors of the Ming Dynasty were buried in this beautiful necropolis surrounded by tranquil natural beauty.

Zhao Mausoleum, Shenyang

Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum, photo by KimonBerlin on Flickr

Zhao Mausoleum was built for the second emperor of the Qing Dynasty, Huang Taji and empress Xiaoduanwen Borjite, and it is one of the largest Imperial Tombs of China. It took eight years to build the picturesque temple complex, the ornate gates leading to it, and the sacred way leasing to the tomb. The sacred way is split into three different paths, lined with stelae and beautiful animal carvings.

Fuling Tomb, Shenyang

Fuling Tomb is the mausoleum of the first Qing emperor of China, the famous Nurhaci, the Manchurian chieftain who defeated the Ming Dynasty as well as the Joseon Dynasty of Korea. The tomb complex is huge, and served as a ceremonial site for the entire duration of the Qing Dynasty. The pavilions and stelae of the complex are truly remarkable.

Eastern Qing Tombs, Zunhua, Hebei Province

Without a doubt, the Eastern Qing Tombs in Zunhua are the most extensive, best preserved and most resplendent imperial tombs in China. The complex is the burial place of five Qing emperors, fifteen empresses and countless royal concubines, princes and princesses. The spirit was of the Eastern Qing Tombs is the most elaborate one in China with beautiful stone archways, gates, stelae and statues.

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